Elephant Creeper for Erectile dysfunction

Elephant creeper is a vine native to India and it derives its name from the leaves that are large and resemble elephant ears. The seeds of the plant are known to have psychoactive properties. However, not all species of the plant have psychedelic value – Argyreia nervosa var. speciosa is the variety that is used in Ayurveda and it is not psychedelic.

Botanical name: Argyreia nervosa
Family: Convolvulaceae
English name: Elephant creeper, Hawaiian baby woodrose
Hindi name: Samundrasokh, Vruddha daraka, Samundar-ka-pat

Elephant creeper is a very large climbing shrub with woody, white, tomentose stems.

Roots: large root masses extending out and down.
Leaves: simple, large, ovate, acute, base cordate, glabrous above, whitish on the underside due to hairs.
Flowers: large, purple, silky, and pubescent with long peduncled cymes, corolla tubular.
Fruits: dry, globose, apiculate woody capsules that break open when ripe to resemble miniature roses.
Seeds: 4-6 in a pod, hard with fungus like coating and resembling small chocolate chips.

Parts used as medicine: Roots and leaves

Ayurvedic recommendations

The Elephant creeper roots are bitter and astringent sweet in taste with a cool potency. It has acrid, emollient, thermogenic, digestive, carminative, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory qualities and is especially known for its rejuvenating, intellect promoting, brain and nervine tonic actions. The herb is useful in conditions such as emaciation, ulcers, wounds, anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, constipation, cardiac debility, inflammations, cough, bronchitis, seminal weakness, nervous weakness, cerebral disorders, piles, obesity, syphilis, anemia, diabetes, tuberculosis, arthritis, ascites, leucorrhea and general debility. It is helpful in vitiated conditions of Kapha and Vata.

Therapeutic uses

1.    Ayurveda recommends the powdered root of Vruddha daruka in synovitis and syphilis.

2.    The leaves of elephant creeper are recommended for external application in cases of skin diseases.

3.    The root powder of this herb is processed with Asparagus roots and milk and prescribed for a period of one month to improve intellect, strengthen the body, and prevent the effects of ageing.

4.    The elephant creeper root mixed with caraway (ajwain) seeds is a good medicine for rheumatic affections and hemiplegia.

5.    In traditional medicine, a paste of the roots made with rice water is applied over rheumatic swellings and rubbed over the body to reduce obesity.

6.    In folk medicine, the leaves of the herb are used to prevent conception.

Side effects: Argyreia nervosa may cause side effects such as nausea, hallucinations, sweating and increased blood pressure. It should not be used in pregnancy, or if under treatment for depression and mood disorder, or if scheduled for surgery in two weeks.


1.    The aphrodisiac property of Argyreia nervosa was studied in male experimental animals. The results showed that the root, flower, and to some extent leaf extracts of A. nervosa var speciosa showed aphrodisiac activity as evidenced by an increase in mounting behavior of the experimental animals. The plant has promising potential to be developed into effective medicine for stimulating male sexual activity, according to the researchers. [J Endocrinol Reprod 11 (2007) 2: 82 – 85] [http://srbce.org/jer2007/subramoniametal.pdf


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