Elephant creeper is a perennial climbing vine native to the Indian subcontinent and introduced to numerous areas worldwide, including Hawaii, Africa, and the Caribbean. Though it can be invasive, it is often prized for its aesthetic and medicinal value. Common names include Hawaiian baby woodrose, adhoguda or vidhara (Sanskrit), and woolly morning glory. Its seeds are known for their powerful entheogenic value, greater or similar to those of varieties from the Convolvulaceae family, with users reporting significant psychedelic and spiritual experiences.
Elephant Creeper is a vigorous vine native to India, introduced world-wide. It has large, leathery heart-shaped leaves, which are white on the underside due to hairs. It is called elephant creeper because of the large leaves which look like elephant ears. Leaf blades are 15-25 cm long, and 13-20 cm wide, heart-shaped. Trumpet-shaped flowers are borne in cymes, on long, white-velvety stalks. Sepals are 1.3-1.5 cm long, velvety like the leaves. Flower-stalks are up to 15 cm long. Flowers are 5-7.5 cm long, with a short tube and bell-shaped limb, lavender to pink, the throat being of a darker shade. The flowers are followed by hard, woody capsules, which when they ripen break open to resemble miniature roses. The toxic seeds should not be eaten as they contain alkaloids. Flowering: July-December, March-April.
Elephant Creeper is an important ‘rasayana’ herb used extensively as an adaptogen in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. It is commonly known as Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, Elephant creeper or Woolly morning glow in English and in Sanskrit, it is called as Vridhadaraka
meaning ‘anti-aging’. It is a large climber growing throughout India. It has been assigned various medicinal properties by Ayurvedic Materia Medica. The root is regarded as an alternative tonic and used in cases of rheumatism and neurological disorders. A wide range of phytochemicals has been isolated from the plant and possesses various traditional and tribal uses for cure of human ailments. Pharmacological activities such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, immunomodulatory, adaptogenic and hepatoprotective have also been reported. Adverse side effects have made the use of many modern medicines limited and it is worthwhile to explore the possibility of this drug for the treatment of liver, rhueumatic and neurological complaints