love-vine, is a species of obligate parasitic vine in the family Lauraceae. The species has a native pantropical distribution encompassing the Americas, Indomalaya, Australasia, Polynesia and tropical Africa In the Caribbean region, it is one of several plants known as "Love vine" because it has a reputation as an aphrodisiac.
Love Vine is a very distinctive vine which can sometimes be confused with Amar Bel. Like Amar Bel, Love Vine is also parasitic on plants. Stems are twining, pale green to yellow-green to orange, thread-like, smooth or velvety. Alternately arranged leaves are about 1 mm. Flowers are borne in spikes, rarely singly, and look like small white balloons. Actual flowers are very tiny, less than 2 mm - the ovary is first exposed and later becomes enveloped by the enlargement and overgrowth of the sepal tube. Fruit is ovoid to spherical, size of a large pea, smooth, green or orange-red on maturing, rarely white, commonly drying black. Love Vine is found throughout the tropical world. Flowering: April-July.
The plant is astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue and tonic
It has a long history of use in traditional medicine, being used in many areas to treat a wide range of complaints.
The whole plant, but especially the stem, contains a series of alkaloids, tannins, saponins and leucanthocyanins. Several of the alkaloids show pharmacological activities when tested in isolation.
An infusion of the stems is used in the treatment of digestive problems such as indigestion, biliousness and diarrhoea; feverish conditions including malaria; urinary system problems, including nephritis and oedema; headache, hepatitis, piles, sinusitis and spermatorrhoea.
It is also often used by women to stimulate menstruation, hasten parturition and to suppress lactation after a stillbirth. The pounded stems are given as a vermifuge and for other intestinal troubles.
A decoction of the stems is drunk to relieve itch and eczema.