The Balloon- Vine and it’s Health Benefits

Enviroment

The balloon vine is an interesting plant of India which is also called as Love in a Puff, the heart pea, the heart seed etc. Botanically, it is called as Cardiospermum halicacabum .This plant belongs to the taxonomic family Sapindaceae or the Soapberry family.

Balloon Vine is a woody perennial vine distributed almost globally in the tropics. It is a fast growing vine. Leaves are trifoliate, up to 4 inches long, with highly lobed leaflets. The plant climbs with tendrils and needs some form of support.

The plant is found growing along the borders of paddy fields, in waste lands, and along the road margins and railway tracks. It also grows with crop plants as weed.

The small white flowers bloom from summer through fall. Flowers are not very showy. The fruit is more interesting, from which the plant gets its common name. It is a brown, thin-shelled, inflated angled capsule up to 3 cm across, containing 3 black seeds each, with a white heart-shaped scar.

Medicinal Properties

  1. Whole plant including young leaves, roots, other leaves, seeds etc. are used as Anti-vatha, Analgesic, Diuretic, Laxative, Stomachic, and Anti-inflammatory.
  2. The oil prepared from the leaves acts as a very effective external application for arthritis and other painful conditions of the body.
  3. 2 to 3 drops of juice of the leaves can be used as ear drops for ear ache, and purulent discharge from ears. The decoction prepared from the roots can be given for hemorrhoids.
  4. The leaves can be crushed well, grounded and applied over the lower abdomen of the delivered woman. This helps in expulsion of waste products out of the uterus.

5 The decoction prepared from the samoolam or whole plant can be given in the dose of 20 to 30 ml for constipation and abdominal discomfort. For hydrocele the leaves can be applied as an external paste over the scrotum. For any inflammation, the leaves cooked in castor oil are grounded and applied over the affected areas.

6. For dandruff, the leaves are soaked in water and then crushed well. This water is used in cleaning the hairs.

Cardiospermum helicacabum, anti-dandruff herb, Hydrocele, scrotum, inflammation

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