Cepharantine

Stephania cepharantha Hayata (Stephania tetrandra S. Moore var. glabra Maxim.; Stephania disciflora Handel-Mazzetti), or jin qian diao wu gui (Chinese), is a climber that grows to 2 m long in open fields and forest edges of China and Taiwan. The roots are tuberous. The stems are purplish-red and prominently lenticelled. The leaves are simple, exstipulate, membranaceous, triangular, and 2-6 cm X 2.5-6.5 cm. The apex of the blade is finely mucronate. The flowers are minute. The fruits consist of drupes that are broadly rotund and 6.5 mm long. In Taiwan, the roots are used to treat epilepsy.

The plant is known to contain cepharantine, which has attracted a great deal of interest on account of its ability to induce apoptosis, fight lung metastasis, and inhibit the replication of HIV (129-131).

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