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Coscinium fenestratum

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Template:Italic title Template:Taxobox Coscinium fenestratum or yellow vine, as it is sometimes referred to in English, is a flowering woody climber, native to South Asia and Mainland Southeast Asia. It is rare and critically endangered in many of its habitats.

Coscinium fenestratum is a member of the family Menispermaceae and the genus Coscinium. The plant is known by many different names, such as:<ref name=Senarath>Senarath, JNSF Sri Lanka 2010.</ref> Tree turmeric, False calumba, Colombo weed, Weniwel, Daru Haridra (in Sanskrit), Mara Manjal (in Tamil and Malayalam),<ref>Mooss, N. S.: IDENTIFICATION OF DARU-HARIDRA: (Coscinium fenestratum); Anc Sci Life. 1983 Jan-Mar; 2(3): 135–136.</ref> Haem herb (in Thai),<ref>Coscinium Usitatum Health & Herbals</ref> Voer Romiet (in Khmer),<ref name=Ashwell>Ashwell, D. and Walston, N. (2008): An overview of the use and trade of plants and animals in traditional medicine systems in Cambodia. TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Greater Mekong Programme, Ha Noi, Viet Nam.</ref> etc..



Coscinium fenestratum is flowering and fruiting in August to October.<ref>Coscinium fenestratum Colebr. India Biodiversity Portal</ref>


Its natural habitat spans South Asia and parts of Southeast Asia, from India to Indonesia. It can only thrive in a tropical climate and prefers mixed and dense evergreen forest, with fertile soil and high moisture.


The plant has a long history as a medicinal plant in the various traditional medicines of the region where it grows.<ref name=Ashwell/> This includes Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha medicine in India, Sinhala medicine in Sri Lanka, the Kru Khmer healing traditions in Cambodia, traditional Vietnamese medicine of Thuoc Nam, etc.. There is speculation that it might also have found a modern use in the illegal drug market industry.<ref>Documentary film: "Death in the Forest". Speculation on the potential drug use of yellow vine.</ref>

The primary active ingredient in Coscinium fenestratum is berberine.

Critically endangered

Because of the growing populations and industrialization of Asia, the demand for Coscinium fenestratum has increased manifold in the last decades, decimating the natural distribution of the plant dramatically. It is therefore now listed as rare and critically endangered in many of its habitats.<ref>Tushar, K. V. et al.: Coscinium fenestratum (Goetgh.) Colebr: A review on this rare, critically endangered and highly traded medicinal species Journal of Plant Sciences, 3(2): 133-145, 2008.</ref>

Experiments with cultivating Coscinium fenestratum, instead of harvesting the plant in its natural environment is carried out at present.<ref name=Senarath/><ref>Khan, Talat The role of phytohormone on the production of berberine in the calli cultures of an endangered medicinal plant, turmeric (Coscinium fenestratum l.); African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 7 (18), pp. 3244-3246, 17 September 2008</ref>





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