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Cardiospermum halicacabum - L.                
Common Name Heart Seed, Balloon vine
Family Sapindaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Moist thickets and waste ground in Eastern N. America[43].
Range E. Asia - India. N. America. Africa. Locally naturalized in S. Europe[50].
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of climber
Cardiospermum halicacabum is a deciduous Climber growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cardiospermum halicacabum Heart Seed, Balloon vine

Cardiospermum halicacabum Heart Seed, Balloon vine
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves and young shoots - cooked[1, 105, 177, 272]. Used as a spinach[2].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Emmenagogue;  Laxative;  Refrigerant;  Rubefacient;  Stomachic.

The whole plant is diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, laxative, refrigerant, rubefacient, stomachic and sudorific[218]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, nervous diseases, stiffness of the limbs and snakebite[240, 243]. The leaves are rubefacient, they are applied as a poultice in the treatment of rheumatism[240, 243]. A tea made from them is used in the treatment of itchy skin[218]. Salted leaves are used as a poultice on swellings[218].The leaf juice has been used as a treatment for earache[240, 243]. The root is diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative and rubefacient[240]. It is occasionally used in the treatment of rheumatism, lumbago and nervous diseases[240].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a moist soil and a sunny sheltered position[138], but succeeds in most soils[1]. A frost-tender deciduous climber, it is grown as an annual in Britain[188].
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 3 - 4 weeks at 20°c[138]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[43]Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany.
A bit dated but good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[138]Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 3.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[243] Medicinal Plants of Nepal
Terse details of the medicinal properties of Nepalese plants, including cultivated species and a few imported herbs.
[272]Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Nini Tun Thu Mar 1 2007

This is the website of our family. You can learn alot about medicinal plants in this site. We translanted from Myanmar (Burmese) to English. Get knowledge.

Elizabeth H.
indira Tue Sep 4 2007
does this plant have any antimicrpobial activity
Elizabeth H.
karthiga Tue Sep 4 2007
what the procedures to estimate alkaloids,terpenoids,flavonids,tannis
Elizabeth H.
alessa beringer Tue Jun 10 2008
I am trying to buy cardiospermum halicacabum leaves as an herb to use . Can you help me in anyway to find someone that I can buy them from ?? Thank you, Alessa
Elizabeth H.
samuel Mon Feb 2 2009
Dear sir, if you need of Cardiospermum halicacabum please contect me i will send you at your place freely and requst you to pay the trosporting cost only
Elizabeth H.
RAVICHANDRAN.S Sat Apr 11 2009
ravichandran.s 11.04.2009 Does this plant have any Anti inflammatory activity.
Elizabeth H.
Nambatya Sat May 16 2009
Can this plant be used to lower the effects of HIV / AIDS
Elizabeth H.
Padma Fri Jul 17 2009
I am in need of Cardiospermum halicacabum whole plant dried 20 kg. can you supply.
Elizabeth H.
arasu Sat Sep 26 2009
Hi we can supply the herbal Cardiospermum halicacabum .very use full herbs, if you want the items send us your feed back soon, reg arasu www.tanhoardexports.com tilipji@yahoo.com

an hoard exports

Elizabeth H.
Divya.H Wed Dec 23 2009
does the plant have any anti-hypertensive activity?
Elizabeth H.
SP.Bhuvaneshwaran. Thu Dec 31 2009
Please sayme the methods to collect diferent extracts from Cardiospermum halicacabum and give me the procedures with links. Thank you.
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Subject : Cardiospermum halicacabum  

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