- Family Asclepiadaceae
- Marsdenia cundurango syn. Gonolobus condurango
- Eagle Vine
- The plant contains a latex, which is poisonous, and should never be taken internally.
Native to the deciduous forests of the Andes in Peru and Ecuador, the climbing vine grows to thirty feet. It has heart-shaped leaves and funnel-shaped, whitish green flowers. It is generally found growing at altitudes between 1,000 and 2,000 feet. The bark is collected throughout the year.
Early in the 20th century, the plant was thought to be a cure for cancer.
- digestive tonic
- stimulates gastric secretions
- stimulates liver and pancreas
- glycosides (based on condurangogenins)
- volatile oil
- caffeic acid derivatives
- flavonoids (including rutin, saponarin, quercitrin)
- Bark, latex
- Research is still determining the effects of the condurangogenins in the plant to counter tumors.
The caustic white latex is used to remove warts.
In South America, the bark is used as a bitter and digestive tonic that stimulates the liver and pancreas. Its bitterness slowly increases the appetite and the stomach’s ability to process increased quantities of food. It is a specific treatment for nervous indigestion and anorexia nervosa.
A related species, M. zimapanica, is native to Mexico and has been used to poison coyotes.