Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Ananthamul, Antomul, Asclepias asthmatica, Country Ipecacuanha, Cynanchum indicum, Emetic Swallowwort, Indian Ipecac, Indian Ipecacuanha, Tylophora asthmatica, Tylophora indica.


Tylophora is a plant that grows in tropical parts of Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia. While it did not originate there, it now also grows in Africa. The name Tylophora comes from "tylos" meaning knot and "phoros" meaning bearing.

People take Tylophora by mouth for allergies, asthma, cancer, congestion, constipation, cough, inflamed skin, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, gas, hemorrhoids, tender joints (gout), yellowed skin (jaundice), joint disorder (rheumatoid arthritis), whooping cough, to make someone vomit, and to cause sweating.

People apply Tylophora to the skin for skin ulcers and wounds.

How does it work?

Tylophora seems to increase airflow and reduce allergic reactions.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Asthma. Research on the effectiveness of Tylophora for asthma is not consistent. Early research suggests that taking Tylophora extract daily for 6 days appears to improve asthma symptoms for up to 8 weeks after treatment. Other research suggests that eating a Tylophora leaf for 6 days relieves allergies better than eating a spinach leaf. However, not all evidence is positive. Some early research suggests that taking Tylophora daily along with spinach leaves daily does not improve asthma or lung function. More research is needed to determine if Tylophora might benefit people with asthma.
  • Allergies.
  • Cancer.
  • Congestion.
  • Constipation.
  • Cough.
  • Inflamed skin.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Bloody diarrhea.
  • Gas.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Tender joints (gout).
  • Yellowed skin (jaundice).
  • Joint disorder (rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Whooping cough.
  • Skin ulcers.
  • Wounds.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate Tylophora for these uses

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There isn't enough reliable information available about Tylophora to know if it is safe or what the side effects might be.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Tylophora if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of Tylophora depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Tylophora (in children/in adults). Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Agarwal MK, Shivpuri DN. Preliminary studies on bronchial tolerance to histamine and methacholine chloride inhalation challenge before and after 6 days treatment with the leaves of Tylophora indica. In: Sanyal RK, Arora S, Dave M, editors. Aspects of Allergy and Applied Immunology. Delhi: Atma Ram and Sons, 1971: 62-70.

Butani AK, Panchal SR, Vyas NY, et al. Tylophora indica-an ancient anti-asthmatic medicinal plant: A review. Int J Green Pharm 2007;1:2-6.

Chitnis MP, Khandalekar DD, Adwankar MK, et al. Anti-cancer activity of the extracts of stem and leaf of Tylophora indica. Indian J Med Res 1972;60(3):359-362. View abstract.

Dikshith TS, Raizada RB, Mulchandani NB. Toxicity of pure alkaloid of Tylophora asthamatica in male rat. Indian J Exp Biol 1990;28(3):208-212. View abstract.

Gopalakrishnan C, Shankaranarayanan D, Nazimudeen SK, et al. Effect of tylophorine, a major alkaloid of Tylophora indica, on immunopathological and inflammatory reactions. Indian J Med Res 1980;71:940-948. View abstract.

Gore KV, Rao AK, Guruswamy MN. Physiological studies with Tylophora asthmatica in bronchial asthma. Indian J Med Res 1980;71:144-148. View abstract.

Gupta S, George P, Gupta V, et al. Tylophora indica in bronchial asthma--a double blind study. Indian J Med Res 1979;69:981-989. View abstract.

Gupta SS. Pharmacological basis for the use of Tylophora indica in bronchial asthma. Aspect Aller Appl Immunol 1975;8:95-100.

Haranath PS, Shyamalakumari S. Experimental study on mode of action of Tylophora asthmatica in bronchial asthma. Indian J Med Res 1975;63(5):661-670. View abstract.

Mathew KK, Shivpuri DN. Treatment of asthma with alkaloids of Tylophora indica - a double blind study. Aspects of Allergy Appl Immunol 1974;7:166-179.

Nayak C, Singh V, Singh K, et al. Tylophora indica-A multicentric clinical verification study. Indian J Res Homoeopathy 2010;4(4):12-18.

Nayampalli S, Sheth UK. Evaluation of anti-allergic activity of Tylophora indica using rat lung perfusion. Indian J Pharmacol 1979;11(229):232.

Rao KV. Alkaloids of Tylophora. II. Structural studies. J Pharm Sci 1970;59(11):1608-1611. View abstract.

Shivpuri DN, Menon MP, Parkash D. Preliminary studies in Tylophora indica in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis. J Assoc Physicians India 1968;16(1):9-15. View abstract.

Shivpuri DN, Menon MP, Prakash D. A crossover double-blind study on Tylophora indica in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis. J Allergy 1969;43(3):145-150. View abstract.

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(7):407-412. View abstract.

Thiruvengadam KV, Haranath 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(7):172-176. View abstract.

Udupa AL, Udupa SL, Guruswamy MN. The possible site of anti-asthmatic action of Tylophora asthmatica on pituitary-adrenal axis in albino rats. Planta Med 1991;57(5):409-413. View abstract.

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