Cissus quadrangularis belongs to the grape family. It is a perennial plant which is also known as Veldt Grape or Devil's Backbone. Some believe that the plant is native to India and Sri Lanka, but it is also found in many other parts of the world, like Africa and Southeast Asia. This plant has been used for medicinal purposes since centuries. Every part of the plant is used for making medicine, and is available in the powdered form.
Health Benefits of Cissus Quadrangularis
Cissus quadrangularis is said to have antioxidant, anthelmintic, antibacterial, antifungal, and analgesic properties. It has been found that it is rich in carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and triterpenoids. But the evidence about its medicinal properties is insufficient. However, it is said to be beneficial and is used for following purposes.
✜ Healing Broken Bones
It is believed that Cissus quadrangularis heals a broken bone faster than normal healing. Researchers believe that this plant increases the absorption of calcium, which is very important in strengthening the bones. It is also said that consuming the leaves of this plant every day, can reduce the risk of fractures by up to 40%. According to the International Journal of PharmTech Research,"systemic use of Cissus quadrangularis in rats caused complete restoration of normal composition of bone, after fracture in four weeks, while the controls required six weeks. There was a shortening of about two weeks in the bone healing duration."
✜ Weight Loss
Cissus quadrangularis is known for its ability to help in weight loss. It is believed that it suppresses the appetite, and helps in burning fat. Many people even observe a decrease in blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and reduced cholesterol. It has been said that taking Cissus quadrangularis daily, combined with a healthy diet and exercise, can help in losing a considerable amount of weight.
✜ Type 2 Diabetes
As it has been reported that it helps in reducing blood sugar level, it will naturally reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It also helps improve the condition of diabetic patients by promoting weight loss.
✜ Heart Diseases
Obesity is one of the major causative factors of heart diseases. As Cissus quadrangularis addresses obesity and diabetes, it reduces the risk of heart problems as well.
✜ Pain and Inflammation
Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation. This, in turn, results in alleviating pain, swelling, and other problems related to the inflammation of that particular part of the body.
✜ Other Diseases
Cissus quadrangularis is high in antioxidants which helps destroy free radicals that otherwise damage cells of the body. The following are some of the other diseases against which Cissus quadrangularis can be beneficial.
Cissus quadrangularis is also associated with some side effects. It is said that it is safe when taken for a short period of time (for up to 6 - 8 weeks) and in small amounts. But if taken in a large amount, it can cause headache, intestinal gas, insomnia, diarrhea, etc. But there is not much evidence with regard to these side effects. As is the case about benefits, even the side effects of consuming Cissus quadrangularis lack evidence. It is advisable that breastfeeding women and pregnant mothers avoid consuming this herb.