Millettia championii Benth.
Millettia cognata Hance
Millettia kiangsiensis Z.Wei
Millettia purpurea Yatabe
Millettia reticulata Benth.
Common Name: Ji Xue Teng
Callerya reticulata is a deciduous climbing shrub, producing several stems that can be from 2 - 12 metres long. The stems support themselves by twining[
The plant is used in traditional Chinese medicine, being gathered from the wild. It is also a source of rotenone, used as an insecticide.
Millettia and related species in general contain a range of toxic substances, especially isoflavones. Rotenone is probably the best known of these isoflavones and it is found especially in the seeds and roots of the plants. Rotenone is often used locally as a fish poison - the rotenone kills or stuns the fish making them easy to catch, but the fish remain perfectly safe for warm-blooded creatures to eat. Rotenone is classified by the World Health Organization as moderately hazardous. It is mildly toxic to humans and other mammals, but extremely toxic to many insects (hence its use as an insecticide) and also to aquatic life, including fish. This higher toxicity in fish and insects is because the lipophilic rotenone is easily taken up through the gills or trachea, but not as easily through the skin or the gastrointestinal tract. The lowest lethal dose for a child is 143 mg/kg, but human deaths from rotenone poisoning are rare because its irritating action causes vomiting. Deliberate ingestion of rotenone, however, can be fatal.
The compound decomposes when exposed to sunlight and usually has an activity of six days in the environment.
Millettia species often also contain other potentially toxic compounds, especially saponins and alkaloids[
E. Asia - southern China, Taiwan, Vietnam.
Damp shady places[
]. Thickets on slopes and in valleys, thickets by streams, at elevations from 100 - 1,200 metres[
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A plant of the warm temperate to tropical zones, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c and down to about -15°c when given the protection of a warm sunny wall[
Succeeds in full sun in a fertile moisture-retentive but well-drained soil[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
Ji Xue Teng is classified in Chinese herbalism as a plant that invigorates the blood. It is used mainly to treat menstrual problems, relieving pain and normalizing an irregular or absent cycle[
The roots and the vines are emmenagogue and stomachic[
]. A decoction is used in the treatment of stomach aches, breathlessness, anaemia in women, menstrual irregularities, vaginal discharge (bloody discharge and leucorrhoea), numbness and paralysis, backache and pain in the knees, seminal emission, gonorrhoea and stomach ache[
The plant is used as a tonic to induce the growth of red blood cells[
The plant contains the antitumour compound rotenone[
The plant contains rotenone, which is used as an insecticide[
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in a greenhouse in spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Layering in spring.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood with the leaves removed, mid summer in moist sand in a frame[