Bryonia dioica

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Bryonia dioica
P1000627 Bryonia dioica (Cucurbitaceae) Plant.JPG
Red Bryony (B. dioica)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Subfamily: Cucurbitoideae
Tribe: Benincaseae
Subtribe: Benincasinae
Genus: Bryonia
Species: B. dioica
Binomial name
Bryonia dioica
Flowers of Bryonia dioica

Bryonia dioica, known by the common names red bryony and white bryony,[1] is a perennial climbing vine indigenous to Central and Southern Europe. It is a flowering plant of the genus Bryonia with five-pointed leaves and blue or white flowers. The vine produces a red berry fruit.

Medicinal use[edit]

The plant is sometimes used in herbal medicine. It is a powerful cathartic and purgative.[medical citation needed] It is primarily prescribed for painful rheumatic conditions. The root is cathartic, cytotoxic, diaphoretic, expectorant, hydrogogue, irritant, pectoral, purgative and vermifugal. It is used in small quantities internally in the treatment of various inflammatory conditions, bronchial complaints, asthma, intestinal ulcers, hypertension and arthritis.[medical citation needed] Externally, it is applied as a rubefacient to muscular and joint pains and pleurisy.[medical citation needed] The root, which can be 75 cm long and 75mm thick, can be used fresh at any time of the year, it can also be harvested in the autumn and be dried for later use. The whole herb has an antiviral effect.[2][unreliable medical source?]


B. dioica is generally toxic to humans. Application of its juice to the skin produces inflammation with a rash or ulcers, and consumption of this juice causes intense gastrointestinal irritation including nausea and vomiting in small doses, and anxiety, paralysis, or death in larger amounts.

The seed of this vine, by contrast, is safely edible, and finds use in Western Europe as an ingredient in starch dishes.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Sterry, Paul (2006). Collins Complete Guide to British Wild Flowers. London: HarperCollins. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-00-723684-8. 
  2. ^ Red Bryony (herb).


  • Creynaud J. La flora del farmacéutico. Ediciones Mundi-Prensa, 2002.
  • Bruneton J. Plantas tóxicas, Acribia, Colección: Ciencias biomédicas, 2001.
  • Font P. Plantas medicinales, Labor, 1980.
  • Díaz T. Curso de botánica, Trea ciencias, 2004.
  • Caron M, Clos H. Plantas medicinales, Ediciones Daimon i Manuel Tamayo de 1973.