Cardiospermum halicacabum

Cardiospermum Halicacabum

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Common name: Balloon Vine, Love-in-a-puff, heart pea, heartseed
Hindi: कनफटा Kanphata, कनफूटी Kanphuti, कपालफोड़ी Kapalphodi
Marathi: kanphuti, shibjal, kakumardanika
Tamil: kottavan, modikkottan, mudakattan
Malayalam: Jyotishmati, katabhi
Telugu: buddakakara, ekkudutige, jyotishmatitige, kasaritige
Kannada: agniballi, bekkinatoddinaballi, erumballi, kakaralata
Bengali: Lataphatkari
Oriya: sakralata
Assamese: kapal phuta
 • Sanskrit: Bunu-uchchhe, इंद्रवल्ली Indravalli, Jyotishmati
Nepali: ज्योतिसमाति Jyotismati
Nepali: ज्योतिष्मती Jyotishmati, कपाल फोडी Kapal Fodi, केश लहरा Kesh Laharaa
Botanical name: Cardiospermum halicacabum     
Family: Sapindaceae (Soapberry family)

Vernacular names

  • Balloon vine, heart pea (En). Coeur des Indes, pois de coeur (Fr)
  • Indonesia: ketipes (Javanese), paria gunung (Sundanese), cenet (Malay, Western Sumatra)
  • Malaysia: peria bulan, uban kayu, bintang berahi
  • Philippines: parol-parolan (Tagalog), kana (Cebu Bisaya), paria-aso (Iloko)
  • Thailand: kok kra om (central), pho om (Pattani), luupleep khruea (northern)
  • Vietnam: tầm phong, chùm phong.

Origin and geographic distribution

C. halicacabum probably originates from the New World tropics. At present, it is a common weed in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, and is common throughout Malesia. It is reported to be cultivated in the Philippines and Burma (Myanmar).


The root is the most important plant part used for medicinal purposes. In South-East Asia it is considered to be diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, antipyretic and purgative. The roots are reported to be used in Indonesia and the Philippines against catarrh of the bladder and urinary tract. The leaves are considered antirheumatic in the Philippines, where they are either taken internally or applied externally. In Indonesia, the bruised leaves are used as a cooling compress for nervous headaches. The leaves are reported to be used to treat eye problems in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
In India, the root is considered diuretic, diaphoretic, emetic, laxative, emmenagogic and rubefacient and is sometimes used to treat rheumatism, lumbago and nervous diseases. The leaves are reported to be rubefacient and useful as a poultice to treat rheumatism, and the leaf juice to be a cure for earache. In Bangladesh, pills made from a paste of the whole plant are used to treat asthma. In China, a decoction of the plant is used as a post-surgery wash, and a tea of the leaves is rubbed on itching skin. In Taiwan, leaves are applied to swellings, together with salt. In southern Africa an infusion of the leaves and stalk is applied as an enema to cure diarrhoea and dysentery; a similar method has been reported for Indonesia. The vapour of the crushed leaves is inhaled to relieve headache.
Apart from its medicinal uses, C. halicacabum is eaten as a vegetable, the stems serve to make baskets and the seeds are used as beads. The leaves are reported to be used for washing clothes and the head. An edible oil can be obtained from the seed.

5 Amazing Health Benefits & Uses of Mudakathan Keerai | Balloon Vine| Cardiospermum Halicacabum

We call balloon vine plant "Mudakathan Keerai" in Tamil and this plant is very famous in Tamil Nadu for it's use in treating joint pains. Mudakathana keerai is a climber with balloon like fruits and it's botanical name is cardiospermum halicacabum.

  It is called kanphata in Hindi and is best identified with the leaves and balloon like fruits. For treating joint pains, we add the mudakathan keerai leaves to regular dosai batter and make dosais out of it. Mudakathan keerai is easily available in the markets, but make sure they are fresh. 

 You can also easily grow this plant in pots and that way you will get fresh leaves daily. Most of the herbal remedies call for fresh herbs and that too for many remedies they have to be used for longer periods of time. 

The main reason many don't follow herbal remedies is because they have to get fresh herbs everyday. Unless or otherwise you are living in a village, given our hectic schedules, I know it will be next to impossible to go and collect fresh herbs from the market everyday.

 The best way to solve this problem is grow your own. Especially for herbs like mudakathan, which has to be used for longer periods of time, it is very important that you grow your own. Herbs are much easier to grow than ornamental plants and most of them need little to no maintenance at all. 

 My biggest desire is to grow all the herbs in my home and nothing makes me more happy than finding new herbs. The best thing about mudakathan keerai is it can be used both internally and externally for treating joint pain and regular use gives good relief. Mudakathan keerai also treats all cold and cough related problems. 

This is a very safe herb that can be used even for treating children's cough & cold. It can also be used to treat ear pain, menstrual cramps, general tiredness and sluggishness. Few drops of the mudakathan keerai leaves juice in the ear will treat ear pain. The poultice of this amazing herb can be used for all kinds of pain. The juice of this plant when combined together with pure turmeric powder and applied on the affected area treats eczema.

1. Mudakathan Keerai Dosai Recipe For Joint Pain: 

                          The most popular way of using mudakathan keerai is by making dosais out of it. People who are suffering from arthritis, joint pain and inflammation should try to include this dosai at least twice or thrice a week in their diet along with external application. 
The easiest way to prepare this dosai is by mixing the paste with our regular idli batter. To make the batter, wash a handful of mudakathan keerai leaves and grind it along with a green chilli and 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds to a fine paste and add it to a cup of idli batter. The batter should neither be too thick nor too thin, make thick or thin dosais and serve it along with coconut chutney. Mudakathan keerai dosai is delicious and very nutritious too. It can also be made regularly and given to children as it is full of nutrients and vitamins. 

2. Mudakathan Keerai Thuvaiyal Recipe For Arthritis:

                                    Another recipe using mudakathan keerai is mudakathan thuvaiyal. If you are planning to use mudakathan for treating joint pain, it is better to know all the different ways of preparing dishes with it, as you will get bored if you keep making the same thing again and again. 
If you are a rice lover like me, then you would love this thuvaiyal especially if had with few drops of homemade ghee. To make the thuvaiyal, heat a tsp of oil in heavy bottomed pan and fry 2 red chillies and a tbsp of split urad dhal till light golden separately and keep aside. 

In the same pan, fry 1/4 cup mudakathan keerai till it wilts completely and keep aside, now fry around 1/8 cup of coconut along with 1 tsp of tamarind till a nice smell wafts and switch off. Grind everything together into a very thick paste with little boiled water along with salt. This thuvaiyal is best had with hot rice along with a few drops of homemade ghee.

3. Mudakathan Keerai Soup Recipe For Cold & Cough:

                         Mudakathan rasam is very famous in my place but I prefer to make soup out of it as it is mild and perfect for taking it when we are having cold, cough or fever. To make the soup, first pound 5 peppercorns, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle coarsely, now add 2 cloves of garlic and pound everything together well. 

Heat an iron kadai and heat 1/2 tsp of homemade ghee and fry the pounded spices for a few seconds in low flame. Now add 1/2 cup of mudakathan keerai leaves and fry till it is wilted, add 2 cups of water of water and let the leaves cook. Once the leaves are half way cooked, add required amount of salt and cook till completely done. 

Once it is fully cooked, remove from fire and let it cool a bit. Now take a potato masher and mash the ingredients once and strain. This soup is perfect for cold & cough and can be given to children. It is also very good for convalescents, as it is very very nutritious. 

4. Mudakathan keerai for Dandruff

                             Mudakathan keerai can be used for hair to treat itchy scalp and dandruff. You can add mudakathan keerai to your homemade hair rinse recipes or you can also make a simple rinse by boiling the a cup of leaves in a liter of water till the leaves are cooked, strain and use it as a hair rinse. 

This hair rinse can be refrigerated, so if you have lot of greens left make this hair rinse and store it in the refrigerator. You can also make a homemade oil for treating dandruff using mudakathan keerai. To make the oil, boil mudakathan keerai with sesame oil and use that oil as a massage oil before hair wash. 

Regular use of this homemade hair rinse will treat itchy scalp very effectively.

5. Mudakathan Keerai Leaves Compress For Joint Pain:

                      Along with consuming mudakathan keerai internally, if we use it externally we will get results fast. The best way to use it externally is by making a compress out of it. This compress can be made either with only mudakathan keerai or along with vada narayan leaves which is also very good for treating joint pain. 

This poultice will give very good temporary relief from joint pains and arthritis pain. To make the compress, heat castor oil in a pan and fry the leaves in a very slow flame. Once the leaves are hot enough, take a pure white cotton cloth and place the leaves in the middle and tie it into a bundle. 

Your homemade compress for joint pain is ready! When you are using this compress, the castor oil will flow out of the bundle as you keep pressing so make sure you don't wear good clothes while doing the treatment else it will stain the clothes. Once the compress loses it's heat warm it again over a hot tawa...

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