We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Tinospora crispa - (L.) Hook.f. & Thomson

Common Name Patawali, Akar Patawali
Family Menispermaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Waste ground, forest margins[334 ]. Primary rain forest and mixed deciduous forest, it can also be very common in secondary vegetation after logging and in hedges, at elevations up to 1,000 metres[310 ].
Range E. Asia - southern China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia,
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Tinospora crispa Patawali, Akar Patawali

Tinospora crispa Patawali, Akar Patawali
Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons


Translate this page:


Tinospora crispa is a deciduous, dioecious, climbing shrub about 15 m long with stems of up to 1 cm thick and aerial roots. It can be found in East Asia. No plant part is edible but it is highly valued as a medicinal plant. It is used in the treatment of fevers, stomach problems, indigestion, diarrhea, flatulence in children, tropical ulcers, external parasites, itches, diabetes, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, cholera, jaundice, and wounds.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Tinospora crispa is a deciduous Climber growing to 10 m (32ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Menispermum crispum L. Tinospora gibbericaulis Hand.-Mazz. Tinospora mastersii Diels Tinospora rumph

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Drink

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antidiarrhoeal  Antirheumatic  Cancer  Carminative  Cholera  Febrifuge  Hypotensive  Malaria  
Parasiticide  Skin  Tonic  Vermifuge  Vulnerary

Considered to be a universal medicine by local people in the Philippines who give it the name 'makabuhai', which means 'to give life'[582 ]. The plant is commonly prescribed as a decoction or in powder form in the treatment of fevers, stomach trouble, indigestion, and diarrhoea. It is the basis of a popular preparation, which is used as a cordial, a tonic, or an ingredient in cocktails[582 ]. A preparation made with coconut oil is an effective cure for rheumatism and is also used in the treatment of flatulence in children[582 ]. This preparation is made by chopping the stem into pieces 2 - 5cm long and placing them in a jar with coconut oil,. This jar is then left out in a sunny position to 'cook' and is then stored for 12 months until it is ready to use[582 ]. The stem is antimalarial, parasiticide, tonic and vulnerary[582 ]. It is taken internally in the treatment of fevers[582 ]. Taken externally, a decoction of the stem is considered an effective cure if used as a wash for tropical ulcers, external parasites, and is also an excellent vulnerary for itches, ordinary and cancerous wounds[582 ]. An infusion of the stem is drunk in Malaysia and Indonesia as a vermifuge and of the whole plant to treat cholera; it is also used to treat diabetes mellitus[310 ]. Externally it is applied against scabies and to heal wounds. In Brunei, the plant is used in the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes and to relieve abdominal pains. In Indo-China, an infusion of the stem is drunk to treat fever (also when caused by malaria) and jaundice. Powdered stems are used to fatten horses and cattle by stimulating their appetite. Tinospora crispa is a very commonly used medicinal plant in the Philippines. In Thailand, an infusion from the stem is used to treat jaundice, cholera, malaria, and against worms in children[310 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses


Agroforestry Uses: Some species in this genus are the larval hosts of fruit-piercing noctuid moths that cause significant damage to crops of Citrus (particularly Mandarins) and Dimocarpus longan (Longan) in Thailand[266 ]. Other Uses None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required. The female form is much rarer than the male, suggesting vegetative propagation of male plants for medicinal purposes[266 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - Cuttings - easy, the stems naturally produce aerial roots.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

akar seruntum, amrithaballi, caulis tinosporae, galo, geta kinda / tiththa kinda, giloy, patawali, putawali, tinospora stem.

Asia, India, Indochina, Laos, SE Asia.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Tinospora cordifoliaKanda AmrtaClimber15.0 10-12 FLMHNDM242
Tinospora sagittata Perennial Climber20.0 -  LMHSNM01 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(L.) Hook.f. & Thomson

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Tinospora crispa  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.