Edible and medicinal plants

By Aaron Smith

Balloon Vine

Scientific Name

Cardiospermum grandiflorum Sweet


Cardiospermum hirsutum Willd.

Common Names

balloon vine, balloonvine, heart seed vine, heartseed, heart seed vine, heartseed vine, heartseedvine, large balloon creeper, showy balloon vine, showy balloonvine


This plant is most commonly found growing over the vegetation lining creeks and rivers. It is also a weed of forests and forest margins, urban bushland, open woodlands, roadsides, fence-lines, disturbed sites, waste areas and neglected gardens in tropical, sub tropical and warmer temperate regions.

Balloon Vine Cures

Most Effective- Anemia

Highly Effective- Anorexia, Asthma

Effective- Abdominal pains, Arthritis

Beefsteak Weed

Scientific Name(s): Perilla frutescens
Abundance: invasive
What: leaves, flowers, seeds
How: raw, cooked, tea
Where: shade, woods, borders
When: summer
Nutritional Value: leaves have fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamins A, C, riboflavin; seeds have omega-3 fatty acids
Dangers: dried plants can become toxic to cattle

Native Origin

It's native origin was in Asia. It is a traditional crop of China, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries.


Beefsteak plants are prominent along roadsides, railroad right- of-ways, streams, spring branches, pastures, fields, woodlands and gravel bars. It can grow in rich soils, alluvial soils or dry soils.

Medical Uses

Rub leaves on your skin and clothes on hikes to repel ticks.

Traditional herbal medicine states it is an antiasthmatic, antibacterial, general antiseptic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emollient, expectorant, and general tonic. It supposedly has strong anti-cancer properties.