Callisia Fragrans (Camel’s Foot) Info:

The name “callisia” comes from the Latin word “cali”, which means foot. The plant has large leaves with several leaflets and small white flowers. They are usually red or purple in color.

These plants have a long history of use as medicine throughout the world, including China where they were used for centuries before being introduced into Europe during the 17th century.

In the United States, it was first cultivated in New Jersey in 1838. By 1840, there were over 100 varieties of callisia growing wild in New York State. Most of these varieties had been collected prior to 1850 when the plant was first described by William Hunt Morgan.

Today, there are approximately 80 different species of callisia and only three native to North America; two of those are found only on Long Island and one is found only in Washington state.

The callisia plant grows up to 10 feet tall and wide, but can reach heights of 20 feet or more. They are very hardy plants and survive harsh winters even in northern climates. They require full sun and dry conditions year round.

The plant tolerates poor soils well, but prefers rich, fertile soil. The roots need light so that they may absorb water from the ground, however they do not like wet soil. These plants are easy to grow from seeds that are available at most nurseries. They can be propagated by division or even cuttings.

Callisia plants have a long history of use in traditional medicine by Native American, European and Asian cultures. The Cherokee used it as a painkiller when damaging the skin and as a sedative for treating hysteria. The Iroquois used it to treat rheumatism and the Navajo used it to treat toothaches.

It was also used in the treatment of warts, skin problems and scabies.

Nowadays, the callisia plant is primarily used to treat stomach pain caused by excess gastric acid. It can also be used as a sedative and to treat anxiety disorder. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine and some Native American tribes use it to treat cancer.

Some studies have shown that callisia may have a positive effect on psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. However, further testing is required before it can be approved by the FDA.

Unlike many pharmaceutical drugs that have negative side effects, callisia is relatively safe for human use. In some rare cases, it may cause mild drowsiness and dizziness, however no serious side effects have been reported. It is believed to improve mood and relieve stress.

Basket Plant Information – How To Grow Callisia Plants - Picture

However, these effects have not been well tested in humans due to a lack of funding for the drug.

Traditionally, callisia has been used to treat various skin diseases including scabies and psoriasis. Recent studies have suggested that it may have a positive effect on these conditions, however more tests are required before the drug can be used for these purposes.

The callisia plant has been found to contain several active ingredients such as caliaphenones, iridoid glucosides and saponins. Caliaphenones are the most effective active ingredient in callisia. They can be found mainly in the leaves and flowers of the plant.

Caliaphenones decrease acid production in the stomach, increase muscle relaxation and improve mood.

Callisia can be ingested in several different forms: capsules, tablets, liquid extracts and raw powder. It is often prescribed by physicians to treat stomach pain caused by excess gastric acid and to help improve mood. It can also be prescribed with other drugs to treat psychiatric conditions and skin diseases.

The active ingredients in callisia can only be extracted from the plant itself. Most drug manufacturers obtain it from agriculture companies in South Africa, the Mediterranean or Canada. Due to a lack of funding for testing new drugs, most pharmaceutical companies show no interest in callisia.

This has resulted in very few suppliers being able to offer the product.

The limited demand and high cost of extraction causes the price of callisia to be very expensive. Most insurance companies do not cover it, as it is not used as a treatment for any conditions they recognize. It is estimated that less than 1% of the population can afford callisia.

In Conclusion

The callisia plant is a potentially therapeutic herb with several active ingredients that may help to improve stomach problems and anxiety. With further testing and development, it may be a useful drug in the future.

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Wikipedia entry on Callisia

Medical Journals:

Basket Plant Information – How To Grow Callisia Plants at




Other Sources:

Callisia – An Overview – by S. M. Mason, M.D.

Callisia – Possible Treatment for Acne – by H. D. Glick, M.D.

Sources & references used in this article:

Accumulation of cadmium in potential hyperaccumulators Chlorophytum comosum and Callisia fragrans and role of organic acids under stress conditions by J Simek, Z Kovalikova, V Dohnal, J Tuma – Environmental Science and …, 2018 – Springer

Immediate hypersensitivity to leaf extracts of Callisia fragrans (inch plant) in a dog by SE Lee, KV Mason – Veterinary Dermatology, 2006 – Wiley Online Library

Growing indoor plants with success by SV Pennisi – 2009 –

Antioxidant content, antioxidant activity, and antibacterial activity of five plants from the commelinaceae family by JBL Tan, WJ Yap, SY Tan, YY Lim, SM Lee – Antioxidants, 2014 –

Vertical Planting Apparatus by P Lin – US Patent App. 13/017,165, 2012 – Google Patents

Indoor Landscaping with Living Foliage Plants. by AF DeWerth – Texas FARMER Collection, 1972 –

Drip irrigator for hanging baskets by O Pointer Jr – US Patent 4,270,696, 1981 – Google Patents

Pestiferous spread of many ornamental and fruit species in south Florida by JF Morton – Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society, 1976 –



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