Rang Jued (Thunbergia laurifolia)
Thunbergia laurifolia is the scientific name for the 'Laurel Clock-vine' or 'Blue Trumpet Vine'. It is a member of the Acanthus family of plants and is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is known locally to the Thai people by the name 'Rang Jued'.
Rang Jued is an evergreen, perennial, vine. The vine is very fast-growing and an aggressive spreader and vigorous climber. It is perfect for trellis, porches, and columns. It has pale violet-blue flowers that blossom continuously throughout the year, usually opening at sunrise and closing at sunset. Thunbergia laurifolia often develops a rather tuberous root system.
Rang Jued is primarily prized as an ornamental plant with a beautiful tropical look. It's great for gardens and landscapes due to the fact it attracts pollinating insects like bee's, hummingbirds, and the like. The plant is used traditionally in Asia as a medicinal, usually as a juice made from crushed fresh leaves. These leaves are best picked in the early morning. It is claimed that Rang Jued is good at detoxification of the body, promoting antioxidant activity, and as a potent anti-inflammatory.
Recent research also shows that Rang Jued has a positive potentiating and dopamenergic effect, helping regulate levels of dopamine. Those who make a tea out of the leaves often claim that the tea gives them a clean, focused energy for working on tasks and projects, making Rang Jued a useful nootropic. It may also be useful in the treatment of depression, bipolar, and other mental health issues due to it's dopaminergic effects.