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You are viewing: Homeopathics - Cardiospermum halicacabum- Contenporary - Level 3
to Homeopathics - Level 2

Cardiospermun halicacabum

Brought to you by:
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Dr Peter Darashah

The balloon vine is a member of the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. The oils of some of the soapberry fruits are extracted for use in soaps and creams. Since it is not a steroid Cardiospermum has a special attraction for use as a cream and lotion for treatment of dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis

The rampant fast growing 10ft tall annual balloon vine uses tendrils to tightly wrap around any point of contact like a fence, trellis or mailbox.  It also grows relatively unchallenged in the wild due to its pungent and astringent taste (from  the  cyanogenic acid fraction) which ensures that hungry wild predators are disinclined to consume it as fodder. These characteristics bestow it with great prolificacy as a consequence of which it is a prescribed weed in several parts of the world against which many governments have established eradication programmes in place.

The green tri-part foliage is complemented by petite white flowers which give way to showy papery green inflated seed pods resembling balloons or lanterns. When the balloons are popped, each contains three black seeds with a white heart embossed or tattooed on it. Giving a packet of balloon vine seeds to your sweetheart is a Victorian way of showing affection or a way to send a message of love to your Valentine.

The unique ornamental pods and heart embossed seeds are only two dramatic feature of the balloon vine. Increasing ubanisation and the practice of spraying  against mosquitoes has drastically reduced the natural butterfly population. Gardeners wishing to attract particular groups of butterflies grow the vine because it has been found to attract the petite gossamer winged blues and hairstreaks. Blues seek the nectar and larvae feed on the pod. The common banner, amethyst hairstreak, silver-banded hairstreak, grey hairstreak and red-lined scrub hairstreak caterpillars lay their eggs on the underside of balloon vine leaves or near the base of young pods. Newly hatched larvae consume the thin outer walls of the pod and feed on the developing seed before pupating in leaf litter at the base of the vine. The balloon vine is the sole caterpillar food plant for the silver-banded hairstreak.

The tendrils of the delicate balloon vine reach far beyond soap and cream. It will extend to your garden and capture your heart and those you gift with it.

Constituents and Properties
Mild, bitter and pungent tasting, cooling in effect.
Considered antiphlogistic, analgesic, blood refrigerant, anti-infectious, emetic, emmenagogue, laxative, stomachic.
Plant yields saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, proanthocyanidin, apigenin, phytosterols
Considered antibiotic, bacteristatic, fungistatic; steroidal  in action.

Global Utility of Cardiospermum by Continent

Global utilisation of Cardiospermum by Continent 

Ethnobotanical Uses
Roots - Diuretic, diaphoretic, emetic, laxative in action, and useful in strangury, fever, arthritis, amenorrhoea and neuropathy
Leaves - Good for arthritis and otalgia
Seeds - Tonic in action and good for arthritis and fever

Antibiotic, bacteristatic, fungistatic; steroidal

Dropsy, swellings, oedema, (poultice)
Anti-pyretic/ Refrigerant/ Blood coolant (herbal porridge
from seeds made sufficiently thin to drink with milk)
Diaphoretic (root decoction)
Neuropathy (root decoction)

Headache (inhalation of crushed leaves)
Otalgia, earache (leaf juice)
Pulmonary affectations (crushed leaf inhalation)
Naso-pharyngeal affections (inhalation of crushed leaves)
Nasal decongestant especially for infants (warm leaf juice inhalation & application

Emetic (root decoction)
Laxative (root decoction)
Diarrhoea, dysentery (root decoction)
Piles/ Haemorrhoids (root decoction)

Arthritis, rheumatism (root decoction)
Joint pain, inflammation (root decoction)

Menstrual (root decoction)
Amenorrhoea (root decoction)

Hydrocele (root)

External parasitic infestations (leaf juice externally)
Inflammation (leaf tea preparation)
Itch (leaf tea preparation)
Neurodermatitis, itch from scratching (leaf tea preparation)
Dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema (leaf tea preparation)
Rubifacient (crushed salted leaves)
Sores & wounds (paste)

Cooling tonic drink (herbal porridge of seeds
made sufficiently thin to drink with milk)
Human food (leaf, stem)
Animal feed (leaf, fruit & seed)
Honey bee food (fruit)

Clinical Studies
Anti-filarial: Study of extracts of CH was done on adult worms and microfilariae of Brugia pahangi. Results showed that the aqueous extracts had mild but definite direct macrofilarial action on B pahangi.

* Anti-parasitic: Extracts of CH tested in vitro against third-stage larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis showed immobilization (nonmotility) rates better than ivermectin and piperazine.

* Anti-diarrheal: Study showed the antidiarrheal activity of the extracts of C halicacabum, probably due to the presence of phytochemicalssterols, tannins, flavonoids and triterpenes.

* Anti-inflammatory: Study showed inhibitory effects of CH leaf extract on the production of pro-inflammatory mediators, nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. CH exhibited antiinflammatory properties that justifies its use in rheumatoid arthritis treatment. 

*  Anti-hyperglycemic: Study results show that CHE extract possesses an antihyperglycemic activity and provides evidence for its traditional use in diabetes control.

Homeopathic Uses
1. Skin Eczema, Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Inflammation (as a steroidal alternative)
The first natural alternative to cortisone creams & ointments to be introduced in the United States although it has been prescribed by European skin specialists & family doctors for years and used in India and Africa for centuries. For itching/inflammation from eczema, rashes, dry skin or allergies, it is the first medicine you should try. Clinically proven to provide relief in better than 80% of the cases it is safe & effective, and has a pleasant, natural fragrance.
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2. Allergies
Relieves allergic symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, watery eyes, eczema, wheezing, and shortness of breath caused by allergic reactions in particular to insect bites, medication or detergents. Clinical trials have shown an effect similar to cortisone which indicates its usefulness in allergies and other inflammatory conditions.
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Homeopathic Evidence 
Two independent clinical trials have been carried out in Switzerland against standard strength hydrocortisone creams. Cardiospermum  compared favourably against 0.1% hydrocortisone creams (which is the standard strength treatment offered to most eczema sufferers) at both reducing itchiness and redness. Efficacy trials found that Cardiospermum  decreased skin sensitivity by almost 50% and skin redness by 35% just 15 minutes after application.

A UK consumer trial overseen by a UK doctor on 25 testers indicated that  Cardiospermum reduced itchiness, dryness and skin sensitivity caused by eczema better or as well as prescribed treatments, while being nicer to use and less worrying in terms of negative side effects attributed to regular use of steroid creams.


(plant & fruit)

Cardiospermin (flower)
Cardiospermun (flower)

Cardiospermum seed
Cardiospermun (seed)

Kingdom:n: Plant
Latin Name: Cardiospermum halicacabum
Common Name: Baloon vine 
: Cardiospermum

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