The Fascinating World of Mikania Plants

Mikania plants, particularly Mikania glomerata and Mikania laevigata, have been the subject of various scientific studies and patents due to their significant antibacterial activities. These vines, native to Southeastern Brazil, are not just a part of traditional medicine but are also making strides in modern scientific research.

Mikania plants have been the subject of patent filings for over two decades. A Japanese inventor published a patent about odor-suppressing Mikania plants twenty years ago (Ishimaru, 2003). More recently, another patent was filed and granted. Stanley Hazen's team secured this patent for a method involving Mikania extract to inhibit the conversion of choline to trimethylamine (TMA).

According to a recent systematic review, Mikania glomerata is among the plant species with the best overall mean MIC (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) values, ranging from 3.5–16 μg/mL. The review also highlighted that of the 76 species from the Asteraceae family with antibacterial activity, Mikania glomerata was among the top ten most active species.

A clinical trial involving preschool children showed that a mixture of M. glomerata and M. laevigata was effective in disinfecting toothbrushes, with results comparable to chlorhexidine. Microbial testing showed a reduction of Streptococcus mutans (Lessa et al., 2012). Another phase 1 trial from Brazil confirmed the safety of these species for oral solutions, although their effectiveness still remains to be proven.

Mikania leaves are traditionally used to treat various ailments like snake bites, fevers, and respiratory problems. The plants contain compounds like coumarin, known for their anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator effects. The methanol extract of Mikania glomerata has shown MICs against several bacteria strains, including Cutibacterium acnes and E. faecalis.

A phase I study aimed to evaluate the safety of oral solutions from Mikania glomerata and Mikania laevigata in healthy volunteers. The results indicated that MG was not correlated to any adverse events and affected only parameters within the normal range for healthy individuals.

Mikania plants, especially Mikania glomerata and Mikania laevigata, are a treasure trove of antibacterial properties. While they have been a part of traditional medicine for ages, their potential is now being recognized in modern science as well. With ongoing research and clinical trials, Mikania plants could become a significant part of herbal strategy programs against various bacterial strains.

Note: This blog is for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice.


Ishimaru, Hidehiko. 2003. "Composition for suppressing emission of odor" Japan patent JP2003113062A. Filed September 28, 2001. Published April 18, 2003. Assigned to Lion Corp. Status: Pending

de Souza NA, dos Anjos Santos VL, de Lima Araújo TC, Sampaio PA, de Souza RR, Neto PJ, Nishimura RH, Rolim LA. Technological prospection: the genus Mikania in therapeutic use. Research, Society and Development. 2021 Nov 3;10(14):e333101422076-.

Lessa, F. C. R., Grillo, C. H. B., Pinto, F. E., Lorençon, B. B., Martins, J. D. L., Bertolucci, S. K. V., et al. (2012). Efficacy of guaco mouthwashes (Mikania glomerata and Mikania laevigata) on the disinfection of toothbrushes. Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 22, 1330–1337. doi:10.1590/s0102-695x2012005000115

Spolidorio DMP, Tardivo TA, DOS Reis Derceli J, Neppelenbroek KH, Duque C, Spolidorio LC, Pires JR 2011. Evaluation of two alternative methods for disinfection of toothbrushes and tongue scrapers. J Dent Hyg 9: 279-283. 

Napimoga, M. H., and Yatsuda, R. (2010). Scientific evidence for Mikania laevigata and Mikania glomerata as a pharmacological tool. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 62, 809–820. doi:10.1211/jpp.62.07.0001

Moreti, D. L. C., Leandro, L. F., Da Silva Moraes, T., Moreira, M. R., Sola Veneziani, R. C., Ambrosio, S. R., et al. (2017). Mikania glomerata Sprengel extract and its major compound ent -kaurenoic acid display activity against bacteria present in endodontic infections. Anaerobe 47, 201–208. doi:10.1016/j.anaerobe.2017.06.008

de Oliveira Costa, V.C., 2016. Estudo comparativo da morfologia, anatomia e perfil químico de duas espécies de guaco, Mikania glomerata Sprengel e Mikania laevigata Schultz (Asteraceae)= Comparative study of the morphology, anatomy and chemical profiles of two species of Guaco, Mikania glomerata Spreng. and Mikania laevigata Schultz (Asteraceae) (Doctoral dissertation, [sn]).

Bertol G, Cobre AF, Campos ML, Pontarolo R. Safety evaluation of Mikania glomerata and Mikania laevigata in healthy volunteers: A randomized, open label and multiple dose phase I clinical trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2023 Aug 8;318(Pt B):117018. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2023.117018. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37562463.

Hazen SL, Garcia-Garcia JC, Gerberick GF, Wos JA, Gu X, Reilly M, Sivik MR, Reed JM, Cody DB, inventors; Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Procter, assignee. Methods for inhibiting conversion of choline to trimethylamine (TMA). United States patent US 11,246,844. 2022 Feb 15.


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