Garlic Vine
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Garlic Vine
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Garlic Vine • Kannada: ಬೆಳ್ಳುಳ್ಳಿ ಬಳ್ಳಿ Bellulli balli • Manipuri: ꯆꯅꯝꯂꯩ চনম লৈ Chanamlei • Bengali: লতা পাৰুল Lata parul
Botanical name: Mansoa alliacea    Family: Bignoniaceae (Jacaranda family)
Synonyms: Bignonia alliacea, Pseudocalymma alliaceum, Adenocalymma alliaceum

Native to South America, Garlic Vine is one of the most rewarding, flowering vines that you can grow. Interestingly enough it smells like garlic. However, it doesn't smell if the plant is left alone, only when the leaves are crushed. It can either be described as a shrub or a vine since it produces numerous woody vines from the root that grow only 2-3 m tall and form a shrub-like appearance. It produces bright green leaves up to 15 cm long. Its compact habitat and pretty continuos flowers make it a popular ornamental plant in gardens in the tropics. Flowering twice a year you will find it quite often covered with flowers. Flowers start off purple with white throat and change to a lighter shade of lavender with age. Eventually fading to almost white. You will see 3 different color of flowers at the same time on the plant. It can be grown in containers and should be trimmed after the flowers are gone.
Medicinal uses: It is a very common and well respected plant remedy in the Amazon for the pain and inflammation of arthritis and rheumatism, as well as, colds, flu, and fever. Some capsule products of the leaves are sold in stores in Brazil and Peru, and it can be found as an ingredient in other various multi-herb formulas for cold and flu, pain, inflammation and arthritis in general. The use of ajos sacha is just catching on in the U.S. market; a few products are now available and it is showing up in several formulas for colds and arthritis here as well.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Delhi & Bangalore.

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