Chamissoa altissima

scientific name: 
Chamissoa altissima (Jacq.) Kunth
Achyranthes altissima Jacq.
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Low weedy shrub or climbing vine up to 25 m with stem ca. 3 cm thick, older stems ribbed. Leaves alternate, elliptical to lanceolate 6-14 cm x 8 cm; inflorescence a panicle; flowers, greenish-yellow, 3-4 mm.; fruit a 1-seeded utricle (bladder- like), seeds black, discoid, enveloped in a blue translucent aril.






asthenia, weakness:

leaf, broth (long decoction with salt), orally1

The leaves of Chamissoa altissima are widely used for human consumption.

For asthenia and weakness:

There is no available information establishing a means of preparation and dosage other than that referred to by traditional use.

According to published and other information:

Use for asthenia and weakness is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, and toxicity studies.

Due to the health risks involved with asthenia and weakness, an initial medical evaluation is recommended.  The use of this resource can be considered complementary to medical treatment, unless contraindicated.



TRAMIL Research6

In the assay of acute toxicity of aerial parts, with oral administration to mice, the LD50 was above 2 g/kg.  During chronic treatment, neither weight variations nor morphological alterations were reported in the vital organs of treated animals.

TRAMIL Research7

The hydroalcoholic extract (80%) from the aerial parts (200 µg/mL) did not induce toxicity in the Molt-4in vitro model, and reported weak activity on lymphocytes.

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in pregnant or during breast feeding.

Research TRAMIL2

The aerial parts contain: flavonoids, tannins and saponins.

Research TRAMIL3

Proximate analysis of 100 g of dried leaf: calories: 40.23; water: 5.7%; proteins: 20.7%; fat: 6.5%; carbohydrates: 31.78%; fiber: 23.5%; ash: 15.72%; calcium: 78.3 mg; copper: 2.2 mg; iron: 129.3 mg; potassium: 309.3 mg; lithium: 12.5 mg; magnesium: 67.4 mg; sodium: 26.5 mg; phosphorus: 156.7 mg; zinc: 3.4 mg.

The leaf contains phenolic compounds, quinolones, saponins and tannins4.

The aerial parts contain alkaloid: glycine-betaine (2%); proteid: trigonelline (0.08%)5.

There is no published scientific information available for validating the effects attributed to the leaf decoction for asthenia and weakness.




1 WENIGER B, ROUZIER M, 1986 Enquête TRAMIL. Service Oecuménique d'Entraide SOE, Port au Prince, Haïti.

2 WENIGER B, SAVARY H, DAGUIHL R, 1984 Tri phytochimique de plantes de la liste TRAMIL. Faculté de Médicine, Université d'Haïti, Port au Prince, Haïti.

3 DHENIN J, SUAREZ I, 1990 Datos promedio sobre Chamissoa altissima HBK. Análisis fitoquímicos de hojas. Informe TRAMIL. ORSTOM, Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia.

4 DUKE JA, 1999 Chemicals and their biological activities in: Chamissoa altissima (Jacq.) HBK. Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases.USDA-ARS-NGRL, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, USA. Nov.20,1999. URL:

5 BLUNDEN G, YANG MH, JANICSAK G, MATHE I, CARABOT-CUERVO A, 1999 Betaine distribution in the Amaranthaceae. Biochem Syst Ecol 27(1):87-92.

6 GARCIA MD, SAENZ MT, 1995 Toxicidad aguda de algunas plantas TRAMIL. Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, España.

7 WENIGER B, ITALIANO L, BECK J, ANTON R, ROBINEAU L, 1993 Activités biologiques (cytotoxicité, effet sur la croissance, effet inmunomodulateur) dans des systèmes de cellules animales et humaines en culture de drogues végétales de la Caraïbe. Rapport TRAMIL. Tunis, Tunisie: 1er Congrès Intercontinental Plantes Médicinales et Phytothérapie.


The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.