Flowers, leaves, tubers.
Coral vine is used for multiple purposes, including therapeutic and food. This herb possesses several therapeutic properties. A tea made from the coral vine's aerial parts is used to cure common cold and also provide relief from pain. The aerial parts of coral vine are collected and dried and later used to prepare a hot tea for curing flu and sore throat. Findings of several studies have shown that the aerial parts of coral vine can be effective in treating cold, diabetes, reduce swellings, healing wounds and also for providing relief from pain. In addition, the tea can also be used in the form of a heart tonic. An extract of the leaves and flowers of this plant has the ability to slow down the process of lipid peroxidation. It has been established that this plant possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic properties. In ancient times, the native inhabitants of Baja California prepared coral vine seeds in a way like we prepare popcorns today and consumed it. People roasted the seeds of this plant by placing the seeds in a flat shaped basket, which was made with flexible twigs shredded into strips and woven together to prepare a flat surface. They placed live charcoals on the seeds and shook the basket with both hands so that the coals could roast the seeds properly, but without damaging the basket itself. After toasting the seeds, they removed the burnt-out charcoals. During this process, some seeds burst open revealing a white edible substance. Later, they separated the seeds from the husks and tossed the seeds dexterously in the air along with the basket in the same manner in which people in Spain winnow wheat. Subsequently, the roasted seeds are pulverized and the resultant meal consumed by the aboriginal people of Baja California. On the other hand, they also boiled the seeds in water and to prepare fried cakes.
The flowers of coral vines are edible and used in salads. In addition, they are sliced and mixed with omelette. The tubers of this plant are large and may weigh as much as 10 pounds. In several places, people eat the tubers as a vegetable. People in Thailand dry the leaves of coral vine and serve them with a variety of noodles.
Coral vine (Antigonon leptopus) has a preference for fertile and well-drained soil and to grow in full sunlight. If the soil contains excessive nitrogen, it will result in pitiable growth of the plant and also poor flowering. This plant produces seeds profusely and they are dispersed by wild animals and birds by water. Often, it has been found that this plant escaped cultivation. Coral vine grows perfectly well on disturbed ground and can adapt itself well in dry coral cliffs where there is scant soil. It has the ability to endure drought. When there is a drought, the plant defoliates and grows again robustly after rain. During the wet season, coral vine can actually smother the native plants by outgrowing other vines and smaller trees growing in the vicinity. During the dry season, the leaves of this plant dries up and fall - thereby providing fuel for fires that often damage their vicinity. Propagating coral vine is quite easy. Ideally, propagation is done by dividing the plant's underground tubers in the winter months. Coral vine can also be propagated by removing its suckers, as it is a suckering plant. Moreover, stems of the plant that come in contact with the ground will also grow roots and develop into new plants.