Cissus quadrangularis: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage

Cissus quadrangularis: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage

Cissus quadrangularis is a plant that has been revered for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.
Historically, it has been used to treat many conditions, including hemorrhoids, gout, asthma, and allergies.
However, recent research has found that this power-packed plant may also help promote bone health, relieve joint pain, and protect against chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
This article reviews the uses, benefits, and side effects of Cissus quadrangularis, as well as its dosage information.
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What is it?

Cissus quadrangularis, also known as veldt grape, adamant creeper, or devil’s backbone, is a plant that belongs to the grape family.
Native to certain parts of Asia, Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula, Cissus quadrangularis has long been used as a natural remedy to treat a wide variety of ailments (1Trusted Source).
Since ancient times, people have used it to help treat pain, regulate menstruation, and repair bone fractures (1Trusted Source).
The healing properties of this plant are attributed to its high contents of vitamin C and antioxidant compounds like carotenoids, tannins, and phenols (2).
Today, extracts produced from its leaf, root, and stem are widely available as herbal supplements. They can be found in powder, capsule, or syrup form.
Uses of Cissus quadrangularis
Cissus quadrangularis is used particularly to treat the following conditions:
  • hemorrhoids
  • obesity
  • allergies
  • asthma
  • bone loss
  • gout
  • diabetes
  • high cholesterol
While Cissus quadrangularis has been shown to help treat some of these conditions, research on some of its uses is either lacking or has failed to show any benefits.
For example, one study in 570 people found that Cissus quadrangularis was no more effective than a placebo at reducing symptoms of hemorrhoids (3Trusted Source).
Meanwhile, no research to date has evaluated the plant’s effects on conditions like allergies, asthma, and gout.
Benefits of Cissus quadrangularis
Although Cissus quadrangularis is used to treat a number of health conditions, only a few of these uses are backed by research.
Here are the top science-based benefits of Cissus quadrangularis.

May promote bone health

Animal and human studies have found that Cissus quadrangularis may help reduce bone loss, speed the healing of fractures, and help prevent conditions like osteoporosis.
In fact, an 11-week study found that feeding Cissus quadrangularis to mice with osteoporosis helped prevent bone loss by altering levels of certain proteins involved in bone metabolism (4Trusted Source).
What’s more, a study in 9 people observed that taking 500 mg of Cissus quadrangularis 3 times per day for 6 weeks helped speed the healing of fractured jaw bones. It also appeared to reduce pain and swelling (5Trusted Source).
Similarly, a 3-month study in 60 people showed that taking 1,200 mg of Cissus quadrangularisdaily promoted fracture healing and increased levels of a specific protein required for bone formation (6Trusted Source).

May reduce joint pain and swelling

Cissus quadrangularis has been shown to help reduce joint pain and relieve symptoms of arthritis, a condition characterized by swollen, stiff joints.
One 8-week study in 29 men with chronic joint pain found that taking 3,200 mg of Cissus quadrangularis daily significantly reduced exercise-induced joint pain (7Trusted Source).
Another study observed that feeding Cissus quadrangularis extract to rats reduced joint swelling and decreased several markers of inflammation, indicating that it may help treat arthritis (8Trusted Source).
Furthermore, a study in rats with arthritis noted similar findings, reporting that Cissus quadrangularis was more effective at reducing swelling than common medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and decrease inflammation (9).
However, human studies in this area are lacking, and more research is needed to investigate the potential benefits of Cissus quadrangularis on joint health.

May help prevent metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
These conditions include excess belly fat, high blood pressure and blood sugar, and increased cholesterol or triglyceride levels (10Trusted Source).
Some research shows that Cissus quadrangularis may help prevent metabolic syndrome by improving several of these conditions.
In an 8-week study, 123 people took 1,028 mg of Cissus quadrangularis daily, as well as a combination of other supplements, including green tea, selenium, and chromium.
This treatment significantly decreased body weight and belly fat, regardless of diet. It also improved fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, and total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (11Trusted Source).
In another 10-week study, 72 people took 300 mg of Cissus quadrangularis daily. Researchers observed that it reduced body weight, body fat, waist size, blood sugar, and total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (12Trusted Source).
However, it’s important to note that one analysis of nine studies found that Cissus quadrangularis only increased weight loss when used in combination with other supplements — not when taken on its own (13Trusted Source).
Due to a lack of studies on the effects of Cissus quadrangularis on metabolic syndrome, it’s unclear if it can help prevent or treat this condition.
Potential side effects
When taken as directed, Cissus quadrangularis can be used safely with minimal risk of side effects (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source).
However, some minor side effects have been reported, the most common of which include gas, diarrhea, dry mouth, headaches, and insomnia (11Trusted Source).
Given the limited research on the safety of taking Cissus quadrangularis during pregnancy, it’s best to avoid it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Additionally, check with your healthcare provider before starting Cissus quadrangularissupplements if you’re receiving treatment for diabetes. It may lower blood sugar levels and could interfere with your medications (11Trusted Source).
Dosage
Currently, there is no official recommended dosage for Cissus quadrangularis.
Most supplements come in powder, capsule, or syrup form and are widely available online and at natural health shops and pharmacies.
Most of these products recommend doses of 500 or 1,000 mg per day.
However, studies have found doses of 300–3,200 mg per day to provide benefits (7Trusted Source12Trusted Source).
Ideally, you should start with a lower dose and slowly work your way up to assess your tolerance.
As with any dietary supplement, consult your healthcare provider before taking Cissus quadrangularis.
The bottom line
The Cissus quadrangularis plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments for centuries.
Some studies show it may have powerful medicinal properties, including supporting bone health, reducing joint pain, and helping prevent metabolic syndrome.
However, more research on the plant’s potential benefits is needed.
Cissus quadrangularis is generally safe and associated with few side effects. However, consult your healthcare provider before adding it to your natural healthcare routine to ensure it’s the right choice for your needs.
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