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.
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.
The major constituent in tylophora is the alkaloid tylophorine. Laboratory research has shown this isolated plant extract exerts a strong anti-inflammatory action.[Indian J Med Res 1979;69: pp.513-20.] 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. [Ind J Med Res 1980;71: pp.940-8] These actions seem to support tylophora’s traditional use as an antiasthmatic and antiallergic medication by Ayurvedic practitioners.
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. The herb’s safety for use during pregnancy and breast-feeding has not been established. At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions.