Cissus sicyoides, Cissus verticillata
Possum Grape Vine, Princess Vine, Season Vine, Monkey Liana
Origin: Tropical America
vine or creeper, full sun, semi-shade, moderate water, ornamental
foliage, ethno medical, invasive.
Fast growing ornamental vine with woody stems and waxy dark green
leaves. Black grape-like fruit are very showy in fall. Medicinal
plant popularly known in Brazil as cipo-puca, insulina. The plant is
used in several diseases, including rheumatism, epilepsy, stroke and
also in the treatment of diabetes. Leaf decoctions of Cissus
sicyoides are taken widely as a popular remedy for diabetes mellitus
in Brazil, where its common name is vegetal insulin.
Grows wild in the Americas, from Florida to Bolivia and Paraguay
and the West Indies, especially Cuba.
It rises to a height of 6 to 10 m, with tendrils, stems very
flexible, jointed limbs, leaves, up to 15 cm long by 12.5 cm wide,
simple, oblong to ovate or heart-shaped, toothed margin setose,
branched, 2 to 3 times, petioles 8 cm long inflorescences opposite
the leaves, branched, rounded outline, up to 10 cm long, composed
umbelliform top, flowers small, greenish-yellow, whitish or purple
berries subglobose or obovoid, black from 8-10 mm in diameter, each
with a seed 4 to 6 mm long.
It has been valued by traditional medicine, assigned to various
properties. The sap from the stems is used as remedies for
hemorrhoids and rheumatism, as a daily beverage and as against the
gonococcus antibacterial dermatoses, respiratory, and digestive. The
hot decoction of stems and leaves is taken as a remedy to relieve
the flu, such as sudorific; also said to give good results against
The juice of the leaves solar-heated and mixed with almond oil is
used to relieve muscular pain and rheumatism. The leaves are used in
poultices to cure inflammations. Also attributed to the diuretic
quality of leaves.
The flowers in decoction are used as antiseptic to wash and
disinfect wounds and previously exposed to the sun are used to heal
The ripe berries are slightly laxative, is also used to prepare a
fermented beverage. Raisins are used as decoctions and infusions
The different preparations are administered to pregnant women or
children, except for the external use of the poultice of leaves at
the time of delivery, presumably to facilitate and friction on the
legs of children who are slow to walk, with the sap leaves.