Parts Used & Where Grown
Tylophora is a perennial climbing plant native to the plains, forests, and hills of southern and eastern India. The portions of the plant used medicinally are the leaves and root.1
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3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
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1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
150 to 400 mg daily of powdered leaf
Tylophora has been shown to benefit people with asthma in a variety of ways, including relieving asthma symptoms, increasing the lungs’ capacity for oxygen, and reducing nighttime shortness of breath.
Different preparations of , including crude leaf, tincture, and capsule, have been tested in human clinical trials. One double-blind trial had people with bronchial asthma chew and swallow one tylophora leaf (150 mg of the leaf by weight) per day for six days. Participants were also given a comparable placebo to be chewed and swallowed during a different six-day period. When consuming tylophora, over half of the people reported experiencing moderate to complete relief of their asthma symptoms, compared to only about 20% reporting relief when consuming the placebo. In a follow-up double-blind trial, an alcoholic extract of crude tylophora leaves had comparable effects to that of chewing the crude leaf. Another double-blind trial found 350 mg of tylophora leaf powder per day increased the lungs’ capacity for oxygen and reduced nighttime shortness of breath, but was not as effective as an antiasthmatic drug combination. A fourth double-blind trial found no significant changes in lung volume measurements or asthmatic symptoms after treatment with 400 mg per day tylophora.
Refer to label instructions
Tylophora has been used traditionally in the Ayurvedic system for diarrhea due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial actions.
has been used traditionally in the Ayurvedic system for diarrhea probably due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial actions, although human studies have not confirmed this use.
Spray a lotion containing 3.7% citronella in a slow-release formula every morning for six days per week
Tylophora contains compounds that have been reported to interfere with the action of mast cells, which contribute to itchy eyes, runny nose, and chest tightness.
is an herb used by Ayurvedic doctors in India to treat people with allergies. It contains compounds that have been reported to interfere with the action of mast cells, which are key components in the process of inflammation responsible for most hay fever symptoms. Mast cells are found in airways of the lungs (among other parts of the body). When mast cells are activated by pollen or other allergens, they release the chemical histamine, which in turn leads to a wide number of symptoms familiar to hay fever sufferers—itchy eyes, runny nose, and chest tightness. Ayurvedic doctors sometimes recommend 200–400 mg of the dried herb daily or 1–2 ml of the tincture per day for up to two weeks.
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
This plant has been traditionally used as a folk remedy in certain regions of India for the treatment of bronchial asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism, and dermatitis. In the latter half of the 19th century, it was called Indian ipecacuahna, as the roots of the plant have often been employed as an effective substitute for ipecac. The use to induce vomiting led to tylophora’s inclusion in the Bengal Pharmacopoeia of 1884.2
How It Works
How It Works
The major constituent in tylophora is the alkaloid tylophorine. Laboratory research has shown this isolated plant extract exerts a strong anti-inflammatory action.3 Test tube studies suggest that tylophorine is able to interfere with the action of mast cells, which are key components in the process of inflammation.4 These actions seem to support tylophora’s traditional use as an antiasthmatic and antiallergic medication by Ayurvedic practitioners.
These historical and laboratory findings have been supported by several human clinical trials using differing preparations of tylophora, including the crude leaf, tincture, and capsule. One clinical trial with asthma sufferers, found that tylophora leaf (150 mg of the leaf by weight) chewed and swallowed daily in the early morning for six days led to moderate to complete relief of their asthma symptoms.5 In a follow-up trial with asthma patients, an alcoholic extract of crude tylophora leaves in 1 gram of glucose had comparable effects to that of chewing the crude leaf.6 Another trial found similar success in reducing asthma symptoms using a tylophora leaf powder (350 mg per day.)7 However, the tylophora was not as effective as a standard asthma drug combination. One double-blind trial failed to show any effect on asthma for tylophora.8
How to Use It
Tylophora leaf—200 to 400 mg of the dried leaf per day or 1 to 2 ml of tincture per day—can be used to treat asthma.9
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
Interactions with Medicines
Patients using tylophora may experience temporary nausea and vomiting, soreness of the mouth, and loss of taste for salt, particularly with the fresh leaf and tincture.10, 11, 12 The herb’s safety for use during pregnancy and breast-feeding has not been established. People with asthma should be closely monitored by a qualified healthcare professional.
1. Bhavan BV. Selected Medicinal Plants of India. Bombay, India: Tata Press, 1992, 333-6.
2. Nadkarni K. Indian Materia Medica vol 1, Bombay, India: Popular Prakashan, 1976, 1252.
3. Gopalakrishnan C, Shankaranarayan D, Kameswaran L, et al. Pharmacological investigations of tylophorine, the major alkaloid of Tylophora indica. Indian J Med Res 1979;69:513-20.
4. Gopalakrishnan C, Shankaranarayan D, Nazimudeen SK, et al. Effect of tylophorine, a major alkaloid of Tylophora indica, on immunopathological and inflammatory reactions. Ind J Med Res 1980;71:940-8.
5. Shivpuri DN, Menon MPS, Prakash D. A crossover double-blind study on Tylophora indica in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis. J Allergy 1969;43:145-50.
6. Shivpuri DN, Singhal SC, Parkash D. Treatment of asthma with an alcoholic extract of Tylophora indica: a cross-over, double-blind study. Ann Allergy 1972;30:407-12.
7. Thiruvengadam KV, Haranatii K, Sudarsan S, et al. Tylophora indica in bronchial asthma: a controlled comparison with a standard anti-asthmatic drug. J Indian Med Assoc 1978;71:172-6.
8. Gupta S, George P, Gupta V, et al. Tylophora indica in bronchial asthma—a double blind study. Ind J Med Res 1979;69:981-9.
9. Bone K. Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Warwick, Queensland, Australia: Phytotherapy Press, 1996, 134-6.
10. Shivpuri DN, Menon MPS, Prakash D. A crossover double-blind study on Tylophora indica in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis. J Allergy 1969;43:145-50.
11. Shivpuri DN, Singhal SC, Parkash D. Treatment of asthma with an alcoholic extract of Tylophora indica: a cross-over, double-blind study. Ann Allergy 1972;30:407-12.
12. Bone K. Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Warwick, Queensland, Australia: Phytotherapy Press, 1996, 134-6.
Last Review: 05-12-2015
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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2023.