Balloon vine

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 12.07.2021

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Synonym(s)

Cardiospermum; halicacaciform sperm; Monk's head plant

Definition
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Originally a tropical plant belonging to the Sapindaceae family (soap tree family; lat. sapo = soap). The saponin-containing fruits, which foam up in water, are traditionally used for washing. The name of the plant (monk's head) is derived from the shape of its seeds, which is reminiscent of a monk's head. Medicinal uses are mainly the leaves of the balloon vine (see Cardiospermum-halicacababum leaves below).

No editing by Commission E, no editing by HMPC, no editing by ESCOP.

Commission D: positive monograph: Homeopathic mother tincture: Allergic reactions, hay fever, dermatitis, eczematous dermatoses, neurodermatitis, psoriasis, insect bites, itching, dandruff.

Trade names
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Dermaplant® ointment - prescribable and reimbursable for children up to the age of 12 for the following indications:

Atopic eczema, eczema (acute/chronic) of infants and children, seborrhoea capitis, cradle cap, seborrhoeic eczema of children, allergic contact eczema / allergic contact dermatitis, neurodermatitis chronica circumscripta, dyshidrotic eczema, exsiccation eczema, intertriginous eczema (e.g. simple diaper dermatitis), dermatitis solaris acuta.

Note(s)
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In Germany, a white-flowering species is used to obtain the homeopathic mother tincture. Especially the fresh above-ground parts of the flowering plant are needed.

Ointments with balloon vine should not be applied to open or bacterially infected wounds.

Literature
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  1. Khunkitti W et al (2000) In vitro antifilarial activity of extracts of the medicinal plant Cardiospermum halicacabum against Brugia pahangi. J Helminthol 74:241-246
  2. Merklinger S et al (1995) Eczema treatment with Cardiospermum halicacabum. Cschr. for phythotherapy 16: 263-266
  3. Reuter J et al (2010) Which plant for which skin disease? Part 1 JDDG 10: 788-796