Cissampelos pareira L.: A review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology

J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Jun 28;274:113850. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2021.113850. Epub 2021 Jan 21.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Cissampelos pareira, a well-known medicinal climber-plant of the Menispermaceae family, has been extensively used in the traditional medicinal system since the ancient time for the treatment of numerous diseases such as ulcer, wound, rheumatism, fever, asthma, cholera, diarrhoea, inflammation, snakebite, malaria, rabies, and also recommended for blood purification.

Aim of the review: The main purpose of this review is to provide updated information on ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, chromatographic and spectroscopic analysis, pharmacology, and toxicology of C. pareira along with the possible future research. This information will help to provide a foundation for plant-based drug discovery in the near future.

Material and methods: The online databases such as Scifinder, Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar were used to collect electronically available literature data on C. pareira. Ayurveda text is searched for the traditional uses of this plant in India. The published books are also searched for the information on this plant. Our search was based on traditional uses, botany, phytochemistry, and pharmacological potential by using "Cissampelos pareira" as the keyword.

Results: To date, approximately 54 phytomolecules have been isolated and characterized from C. pareira including mainly isoquinoline alkaloids along with few flavonoids, flavonoid glycosides, and fatty acids. The crude extracts of C. pareira have shown various pharmacological activities such as antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, antiulcer, antidiabetic, anticancer, antifertility, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antivenom, antimalarial, and immunomodulatory, etc. The chemical fingerprinting of C. pareira carried out using HPTLC, HPLC, UPLC, LC-MS, and GC-MS, revealed the presence of alkaloids (isoquinoline alkaloids), fatty acids, and flavonoid glycosides. Moreover, the toxicological assessment of C. pareira has been moderately investigated, which requires further comprehensive studies.

Conclusion: Comprehensive literature survey reveals that till date, remarkable growth has been made on phytochemistry and pharmacology of C. pareira reflecting the great medicinal potential of this plant. Although some of the traditional uses have been well clarified and documented by modern pharmacological analysis, the correlation between its pharmacological activities and particular phytoconstituents still needs to be validated. Furthermore, there is partial data available on most of the pharmacological studies, along with incomplete toxicological screening. Future research needs to pay more attention to pharmacological studies of C. pareira via pre-clinical and clinical trials. Additionally, scientific validation of traditional knowledge of C. pareira is vital for ensuring safety, efficacy, and mechanism of action before clinical uses.

Keywords: Chemical profile; Pharmacology; Phytochemistry; Toxicology; Traditional uses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cissampelos / chemistry*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Ayurvedic
  • Phytochemicals / chemistry
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology*
  • Phytochemicals / therapeutic use*
  • Phytochemicals / toxicity
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Plants, Medicinal / toxicity


  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts