Niyog-niyogan | Rangoon creeper Herbal Medicine

This article discusses the medicinal uses, health Benefits, side effects and warnings of niyog-niyogan or Rangoon creeper.

Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica) is a spectacular creeping vine whose flowers changes colors in 2 to 3 days time when blooming. But more to it is that this is used as herbal medicine for the expulsion of intestinal worms with anti-cancer health benefits. To know more of this amazing plant, read the rest of the article.


Scientific Name: Quisqualis indica

Also knows as:

Chinese honeysuckle (English); Rangoon Creeper (English); Niyog-niyogan (Filipino); Quiscual (Spanish); Madhu Malti or Madhumalti (Hindu); Radha Manoharam (Telugu); Shih-chun-tzu (China)

Niyog-niyogan, Rangoon creeper (Quisqualis indica) is a large climbing, woody shrub that is native in Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, India, Myanmar and Malaysia. Niyog-niyogan grows to about 20 feet in height with leaves that is rounded at the bottom and pointed at the tips.

Niyog-niyogan fruitNiyog-niyogan or Rangoon creeper shrub has fragrant and colorful flowers. Niyog-niyogan flowers exhibit varying colors, from white, red, reddish purple, pink red to orange that sprouts into clusters. Niyog-niyogan has edible fruit that is ellipsoidal in shape with five lengthwise wings. It has seeds that are black in color. Niyog-niyogan is also one of the herbal plants endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health for its deworming property. Niyog-niyogan has other medicinal benefits as discussed in the following.

Niyog-niyogan (Rangoon creeper) Traditional Health Benefits

According to Philippine Department of Health, Niyog-niyogan has the following health benefits.

Expels Intestinal Worms and Parasites. The seeds of Niyog-niyogan are dried and taken orally. Recommended dosage is 4 to 7 seeds for Children while 8 to 10 seeds for Adults.
Caution: Adverse reactions - diarrhea, abdominal pain, distention and hiccups more likely if nuts are eaten in consecutive days or when fresh nuts are eaten.

Treatment of Inflammation of Kidneys, Niyog-niyogan fruits are believed to alleviate nephritis or inflammation of the kidneys.

Remedy for boils and skin ulcers; Niyog-niyogan leaves are pounded and applied to externally to skin ulcers and boils.

Remedy for headaches, Niyog-niyogan leaves are applied to the head to relieve headaches.

Remedy for Diarrhea and Fever, ripe fruits of Niyog-niyogan are roasted and taken internally for diarrhea and fever treatment.

Remedy for Dysuria or painful urination. A decoction of boiled Niyog-niyogan leaves are taken as tea to relieve pain while urinating.

Anti-Cancer, According to Professor Dr. Thomas Efferth of the DKFZ who studied 76 kinds of Chinese Medicinal plants, Niyog-niyogan or the Rangoon Creeper contains three ingredients with powerful anti-tumor activity that suppress the growth of a specific tumor cell line that is particularly resistant to many commonly used cytotoxins due to overproduction of a transport protein in the cell wall. In contrast, a whole range of standard anti-cancer drugs fail to be effective against this cell.

Scientific Studies: Niyog-niyogan | Rangoon creeper

The study of antioxidant activities of edible flower extracts

The objective of this investigation is to find out the total polyphenolic contents and antioxidant activities of 24 Thai edible flowers by Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity assay (TEAC).Results showed that both dried flowers and crude extract of Quisqualis indica gave the highest total phenol contents and showed the highest antioxidant activities. The antioxidant activity of Q. indica was moderate (TEAC = 0.70, IC50 = 13.26 µg/50µl) when compared to trolox (TEAC = 1). From all data, indications are that the relationships between the antioxidant activities of the flower extracts are directly proportional to the amount of total polyphenol contents in the extracts. Source: Wetwitayaklung, P., Phaechamud, T., Limmatvapirat, C. and Keokitichai, S. (2008). Acta Hortic. 786, 185-192 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.786.20

Free radical scavenging property of Quisqualis indica.

A study was conducted to verify the traditional use of Quisqualis indica having antioxidant activity. According to literature, the leaves of Quisqualis indica contains flavanoids that may have antioxidant activity. Results of the study suggest that the extract from niyog-niyogan inhibited the free radicals in-vitro in dose dependent manner. It is further suggested that the extract is effective against free radical mediated diseases. Source: International Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Effect of Quisqualis indica extract on cholesterol diet induced hyperlipidemia in rats

The present study established that the cholesterol diet raise the lipid and cholesterol level with reducing the HDL level which  cause  hyperlipidemia  as  well  as hypercholesterolemia  existing  heart  disease such as  heart attack,  heart  stroke  etc  in  future.  Epidemiological  studies suggest  that  increased  dietary  intake  of  antioxidants reduces  the risk of  coronary  artery  disease and  the  plant extracts  showing  positive  indication  that  it  contains flavonoids  and phenolic compounds helpful  in CVD. The present investigation  shows that the methanolic extracts of aerial  parts  of  Quisqualis indica  had  markedly  reduced  the  raised  lipid level  LDL, VLDL and cholesterol due to cholesterol diet induced,  thus it  acts  as  hypolipidemic  at dose  dependent manner. Source: Research J. Pharmacology and Pharmacodynamics. November–December 2013, 317-320

Niyog-niyogan Usage, Dosage

Where can i buy / get Niyog-niyogan or Rangoon creeper?

Niyog-niyogan are seen in the wild forest of Southeast Asian countries but also cultivated and propagated as ornamental plant for its beautiful and colorful flowers. You can buy this ornamental plant from your local horticulturist and plant it in your garden.

Dried fruits and leaves of Niyog-niyogan may also be available in Chinese or Asian health stores

Niyog-niyogan Tea Preparation

  1. Pound or cut about a tablespoon of flowers of niyog-niyogan
  2. Then add in 2 cups of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes,
  3. Strain,
  4. Let it cool and drink a cup two to three times a day.
  5. Make new niyog-niyogan herbal tea as needed.

When symptoms persist or irritation occurs stop the use and consult your doctor.

Niyog-niyogan Fruit

  • The fruit is edible and can be eaten raw, roasted or cooked and may be included in daily diet (see warnings and side effects).

Niyog-niyogan use Warnings and Side Effects

When properly prepared and consumed in moderation or as small amount included in daily diet, Niyog-niyog fruit is safe.

However when taken more than the commended dosage such as fruit / nuts are eaten in consecutive days or when fresh nuts are eaten. This may result to overdose and may have the following adverse effects:

  • hiccups
  • diarrhea, abdominal pain, distention
  • nausea and vomitting
  • unconciousness

Pregnancy and Breast feeding. There are no sufficient studies made to determine side effects to infants and babies. Stay on the safe side, avoid heavy consumption of Niyog-niyogan herbs when pregnant and while breast feeding.

Allergies. In rare cases, Niyog-niyogan herb has caused allergic reactions when applied to the skin.

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Article last reviewed: 10.18.2016