Argyreia nervosa

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"Hawaiian Baby Woodrose" redirects here. For Hawaiian woodrose, see Merremia tuberosa.
Argyreia nervosa
File:Starr 050107-2974 Argyreia nervosa.jpg
Argyreia nervosa flowers (enlarge)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Argyreia
Species: A. nervosa
Binomial name
Argyreia nervosa
(Burm.f.) Bojer

Argyreia speciosa (L.f.) Sweet
Convolvulus nervosus Burm.f.
Convolvulus speciosus L.f.
Lettsomia nervosa (Burm.f.) Roxb.[1]

Argyreia nervosa is a perennial climbing vine that is native to the Indian subcontinent and introduced to numerous areas worldwide, including Hawaii, Africa and the Caribbean. Though it can be invasive, it is often prized for its aesthetic value. Common names include Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, Adhoguda अधोगुडा or Vidhara विधारा (Sanskrit), Elephant Creeper and Woolly Morning Glory. There are two botanical varieties: Argyreia nervosa var. nervosa described here, and Argyrea nervosa var. speciosa, a species used in ayurvedic medicine, but with little to no psychoactive value.

A. nervosa seeds contain various ergoline alkaloids, such as ergine,[2] which can produce psychedelic effects.[3][unreliable source?] Ergine is found in the seeds at a concentration of around 0.3% of dry weight.[4]


A. nervosa is a rare example of a plant whose putative hallucinogenic properties were not recognized until recent times. While several of its cousins in the Convolvulaceae family, such as the Rivea corymbosa (Ololiuhqui) and Ipomoea tricolor (Tlitliltzin), were used in shamanic rituals of Latin America for centuries, A. nervosa was not traditionally used for this purpose. Its properties were first brought to attention in the 1960s,[citation needed] despite the fact that the chemical composition of its seeds is nearly identical to those of the two species mentioned above, and the seeds contain the highest concentration of psychoactive compounds in the entire family.[citation needed]



Arygeria nervosa seeds next to a metric ruler.

In most countries it is legal to purchase, sell or germinate A. nervosa seeds. Depending on the country, it may be illegal to buy seeds with the intention to consume them, and several countries have outlawed ergine-containing seeds altogether. In Australia, if the seeds are first treated to discourage use, then there are no restrictions on trade.[5]

Extracted chemicals

Extracting ergine from A. nervosa seeds is illegal in the USA, since it is a scheduled substance. It is classified as a schedule III depressant by the DEA, although the substance has hallucinogenic/psychedelic properties.[6][unreliable source?]


In an animal model of ulcers in rats, large doses of the extract of Argyrea nervosa var. speciosa leaves (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight) showed dose-dependent antiulcer activity and cured the ulcers.[7]


  1. "Taxon: Argyreia nervosa (Burm. f.) Bojer". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2002-09-03. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 
  2. Halpern, J.H. (2004). "Hallucinogens and dissociative agents naturally growing in the United States". Pharmacology & Therapeutics 102 (2): 131–138. doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2004.03.003. "Although LSD does not occur in nature, a close analogue, lysergic acid amide (LSA, ‘‘ergine’’) is found in the seeds of Argyreia nervosa (Hawaiian baby woodrose)" 
  3. Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa) Vault,, 2009-12-01, retrieved 2012-04-26 
  4. Chao JM, Der Marderosian AH (1973). "Ergoline alkaloidal constituents of Hawaiian baby wood rose, Argyreia nervosa (Burmf) Bojer". J. Pharm. Sci. 62 (4): 588–91. doi:10.1002/jps.2600620409. 
  5. Sunil K. Jaiswal, Chandana V. Rao, Brijesh Sharma, Pritee Mishra, Sanjib Das, Mukesh K. Dubey (1 September 2011). "Gastroprotective effect of standardized leaf extract from Argyreia speciosa on experimental gastric ulcers in rats". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 137 (1): 1–944. 

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