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Ichnocarpus frutescens


Black Creeper, in Thrissur, Kerala, India

Ichnocarpus frutescens is a species of flowering plant in the dogbane family known by the English common name black creeper. It is native to much of China, India, Southeast Asia, and northern Australia.<ref name=Fl.China/><ref name=AustTRFPK6.1/> In Uttarakhand it is known as kali-dudhi,<ref name=adhi>Adhikari, B. S., et al. (2010). Medicinal Plants Diversity and their Conservation Status in Wildlife Institute of India (WII) Campus, Dehradun. Ethnobotanical Leaflets 14 46-83.</ref> and as botilai<ref name=dash>Dash, D. K., et al. (2007). Evaluation of hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity of Ichnocarpus frutescens (Linn.) R.Br. on paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 6:3 755-65.</ref> and shyamlata in Orissa,<ref name=ashu>Ashutosh, M, et al. (2009). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect of Ichnocarpus frutescens plant parts. Int J Ph Sci 1:2 280-83.</ref> dudhilata in Madhya Pradesh,<ref name=barik>Barik, R., et al. (2008). Antidiabetic activity of aqueous root extract of Ichnocarpus frutescens in streptozotocin-nicotinamide induced type II diabetes in rats. Indian Journal of Pharmacology 40:1 19.</ref> palvalli in Tamil Nadu,<ref name=kali>Kalidass, C., et al. (2009). Pharmacognostic studies on Ichnocarpus frutescens (L.) R.Br. Journal of Herbal Medicine & Toxicology 3:2 23-29.</ref> and siamlata in Uttar Pradesh.<ref name=pandu>Pandurangan, A., et al. (2009). Evaluation of antipyretic potential of Ichnocarpus frutescens roots. Iranian Journal of Pharmacology & Therapeutics 8:1 47-50.</ref>

It is a woody shrub with lianas sprawling to 10 meters in maximum length and 6 centimeters in diameter. The bark produces a creamy white sap. The leaves are up to 11 centimeters long by 4.5 wide. The inflorescence is a head of several flowers. Each flower has a calyx of densely hairy sepals and a five lobed corolla just under a centimeter long. The fruit is a follicle which may be over 14 centimeters long. The roots may be reddish or purple. The plant is sold in markets in some areas in India.<ref name=barik/>


The plant has a large number of traditional medicinal uses, including treatment for rheumatism, asthma, cholera, and fever.<ref name=adhi/> Some in vitro and rodent studies have suggested that extracts of the plant inhibit tumors,<ref name=kuma>Template:Cite journal</ref> protect liver cells from damage in acetaminophen overdose,<ref name=dash/> and reduces complications of hyperlipidemia in diabetic rats.<ref name=kuma2>Template:Cite journal</ref> There have been no published studies testing any of these effects in humans.

The fibrous bark is used to make rope.<ref name=Fl.China/>