Condurango,Traditionally used for indigestion, vomiting, stomach pain CONDURANGO

Family: Apocynaceae & Asclepiadaceae

Taxon: Marsdenia cundurango Rchb. F

Synonyms: Marsdenia reichenbachii, Gonolobus condurango, Echites acuminata

Common names: bejuco de condor, bejuco de sapo, condor plant, common condorvine, condurango, condurango blanco, eagle vine, tucacsillu.

Price: £22.50 – 1lb / 454 gm Bag

Parts Used: Vine bark

Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • calms stomach
  • supports gallbladder
Vine bark
  • reduces nausea
  • stops bleeding
Infusion: 1 cup 3 times daily
  • stimulates appetite
  • kills cancer cells
Extract: 3 ml twice daily
  • aids digestion
  • astringent
Capsules: 2 g twice daily
  • increases bile
  • relieves stomach pain
  • expels intestinal gas

Condurango is a tropical woody vine that can be found in the high mountain jungles and cloud forests between 2,000 and 3,000 m in elevation. It is indigenous to the lower slopes of the Andes in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. It grows about 30 feet long and produces velvety heart-shaped leaves and small funnel-shaped greenish brown flowers. The vine grows to about 2 feet in diameter and is quite woody and sturdy. Condurango gets its local name, condor vine or eagle vine, from the large and weighty condor eagles that often use this sturdy vine as roosts and perches.


Condurango has long been used for a variety of digestive and stomach problems by the local people where this tropical vine grows. It aids digestion by being a bitter stimulant to increase digestive juices. It is also used to relieve nausea and vomiting, to calm nervous stomachs, to relieve stomach pain and cramps, for gastric ulcers, and to increase bile in the gallbladder, liver and pancreas.

Condurango was first introduced into the United States in 1871 in an official manner; it was given to the State Department in Washington by the Minister of Ecuador with official certificates from Ecuadorian doctors attesting to its ability to treat stomach cancer and syphilis. While it was never really proven effective for cancer during those early years, it became a trusted remedy for digestive disorders in the late 1800s and early 1900s and was included in the U.S. Pharmacopeia as well as several other European pharmacopeias.

In herbal medicine systems today in Peru condurango is considered an analgesic, appetite stimulant, carminative (expels intestinal gas), chologogue (increases gallbladder bile), hemostat (stops bleeding), stomachic (aids digestion), and tonic. It is often used for a variety of digestive disorders and is especially recommended for bleeding gastric ulcers. In Brazil, condurango is used for appetite loss, dyspepsia, gastralgia, gastritis, neuralgia, stomachaches, stomach cancer, stomach ulcers, and rheumatism.


Condurango contains a group of novel glycosides and steroids. After more than 100 years since it was introduced to the West as a plant active against cancer, a group of Japanese scientists published several studies and filed several Japanese and U.S., patents on these novel compounds as anti-tumor substances in the 1980s. The vine bark is reported to contain an average of 1 to 3% of these various glycosides. However, since filing these patents, research has not progressed past animal studies and into human studies and the true anti-tumor effect in humans still remains unknown today.

Other constituents in condurango include hydroxylated pregnane derivatives, chlorogenic and caffeic acids, as well as various cyclitols, flavonoids, and coumarin derivatives.


Condurango has been reported with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions in animal studies. In test tube studies, it was shown to be highly active against the mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis but inactive against any of the viral strains they tested it against. Its use as a digestive aid was studied and validated in the mid-1980s when scientists reported that it increased various digestive enzymes and juices in the stomach.


For more than 100 years condurango has been used as a remedy for many types of stomach and digestive problems here in the United States. It continues to be an excellent remedy to calm nervous and upset stomachs, relieve stomach pain, nausea, and intestinal gas, and to be an overall bitter digestive tonic for sluggish or poor digestion and to stimulate the appetite.

Main Preparation Method: infusion or fluid extractMain Actions (in order): stomachic, anti-emetic, chologogue, anti-ulcerous, pain reliever (stomach) Main Uses: 

  1. for indigestion, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain
  2. as a bitter stomach tonic to increase appetite
  3. for gastric ulcers
  4. as a digestive aid to increase and stimulate digestive juices and bile
  5. for nervous eating disorders (anorexia, etc.)

Properties/Actions Documented by Research: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-leukemic, antioxidant, antitumorous, stomach stimulantProperties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use: adaptogenic, alterative, analgesic, anti-emetic, appetite stimulant, bitter, chologogue, circulatory stimulant, emmenagogue, hemostat, nervine, stomach relaxant, tonic

Cautions: Avoid use if allergic to latex.







Traditional Preparation: Condurango vine bark is traditionally prepared in fluid extracts and infusions. See Traditional Herbal Remedies Preparation Methods page if necessary for definitions.

Contraindications: One case report was published that a patient with a known latex allergy had an allergic reaction to a condurango tea. If you are allergic to latex, it is best to avoid using this plant.

Drug Interactions: None reported.

Brazil as a bitter tonic, depurative, and stomachic; for appetite loss, dyspepsia, digestive disorders, gastralgia, gastritis, neuralgia, stomachaches, stomach cancer, stomach ulcers, and rheumatism
Colombia as a stomachic; for cancer
Ecuador for cancer, inflammation, snakebite, stomach cancer, and syphilis
Germany for dyspeptic complaints and loss of appetite
Latin America for syphilis and venereal diseases
Peru as an analgesic, appetite stimulant, carminative, chologogue, hemostat, and tonic; for anemia, anorexia, bleeding ulcers, cancer, dyspepsia, digestive disorders, gastralgia, gastritis, snakebite
United Kingdom as a adaptogenic, alterative, anti-emetic, appetite stimulant, bitter, circulatory stimulant, and stomach relaxant; for anorexia nervosa, gastric ulcers, nausea, nervous indigestion, and stomach cancer
United States as an alterative, analgesic, antiseptic, appetite stimulant, bitter tonic, circulatory stimulant, cystostatic, digestive stimulant, diuretic, emmenagogue, hemostat, nervine, restorative, stomachic, stomach sedative, and tonic; for anorexia nervosa, beri-beri, cancer, catarrhal gastritis, digestive disorders, duodenal ulcers, gastric debility, gastric ulcers, gastritis, loss of appetite, nausea, rheumastism, snakebite, stomachaches, stomach cancer, stomach ulcers, syphilis, and ventricular ulcers

The above text has been authored by Leslie Taylor, ND and copyrighted © 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, including websites, without written permission.

* The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Please refer to our Conditions of Use for using this plant database file and web site.

Third-Party Published Research:*

All available third-party research on condurango can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the published research on condurango is shown below: Digestive Actions:

Yamasaki, K., et al. “Studies on the effect of crude drugs on enzyme activites (IV) Influence of stomachic crude drugs on digestive enzymes.” Shoyakugaku Zasshi. 1986; 40(3): 289-294.

Anti-inflammatory Actions:

Balreira, A., et al. “Uncoupling between CD1d upregulation induced by retinoic acid and conduritol-B-epoxide and iNKT cell responsiveness.” Immunobiology. 2009 Aug 1.

De Las Heras, B., et al. ” Antiinflammatory and antioxidant activity of plants used in traditional medicine in Ecuador.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1998; 61(2): 161-166.

Ortega, T., et al. “Anti-inflammatory activity of ethanolic extracts of plants used in traditional medicine in Ecuador.” Phytother. Res. 1996: S121 -S122.

Anti-tumor Actions:

Hayashi, K., et al. “Antitumor active glycosides from condurango cortex.” Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1980: 1954-1958.

Takase, M., et al. “Studies on the constituents of Asclepiadaceae plants. 49. Confirmation of the structures of antitumor-active glycosides in condurango cortex. Chemical transformation of the aglycone moiety.” Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1982: 2429-2432.

Hayashi, K., et al. “Further investigation of antitumor condurangoglycosides with C-18 oxygenated aglycone.” Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1981: 29(9): 2725-2730. Anon. “Antitumor substances from Marsdenia cundurango.” Patent 1981. Japan Kokai Tokkyo Koho 81 125,400.

Anon. “Condurango extracts and anti-tumor agents from same.” Patent 1981 Japan Kokai Tokkyo Koho 81 147,721.

Anon. “Condurango glycoside EO1.” Patent 1982 – Japan Kokai Tokkyo Koho 57 163,398

Mitsuhashi, H., et al. “Condurango glycoside compounds, processes for their preparation, antitumor agents comprising them and compositions.” U.S. Patent no. 4,452,786 June 5, 1984.

Anti-diabetic Actions:

Simões-Pires, C., et al. “A TLC bioautographic method for the detection of alpha- and beta-glucosidase inhibitors in plant extracts.” Phytochem. Anal. 2009 Nov; 20(6): 511-5.

Wei, J., et al. “Experimental [corrected] study of hypoglycemic activity of conduritol A of stems of Gymnema sylvestre. Zhongguo. Zhong. Yao. Za. Zhi. 2008 Dec; 33(24): 2961-5.

Antimicrobial Actions (virus & bacteria):

Grange, J. M., et al. “Detection of antituberculous activity in plant extracts.” J. Appl. Bacteriol. 1990; 68(6): 587-591.

May, G., et al. “Antiviral activity of aqueous extracts from medicinal plants in tissue cultures.” Arzneim-Forsch. 1978: 28(1): 1-7.

Ingredients: 100% pure condurango (Marsdenia cundurango) cortex (wood). No binders, fillers or additives are used. This plant is non-irradiated and non-fumigated, and has grown naturally in Peru without pesticides or fertilizers.

Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as an infusion (tea): Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Pour boiling water over herb in cup and allow to steep 10 minutes. Strain tea (or allow settled powder to remain in the bottom of cup) and drink warm. It is traditionally taken in 1/2 cup dosages, twice daily. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal infusions see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

Contraindications: One case report was published that a patient with a known latex allergy had an allergic reaction to a condurango tea. If you are allergic to latex, it is best to avoid using this plant.

Drug Interactions: None reported.

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