Cissus quadrangularis is a perennial, woody, climbing botanical belonging to the grape family. It is a vine with tendrils, fleshy 3-lobed leaves, a quadrangular stem (hence the name), and grape-shaped leaves two inches long (5 cm). The flowers are also typical of the grape family, greenish-white, and bloom at the end of the summer season. It is known as veldt-grape, winged treebine, devil's backbone, adamant creeper. In the Indian Ayurvedic medicine system, it is called hadjod.
It is native to and grows wild in sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, India, and Sri Lanka. It is now naturalized in Indonesia. Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, and other tropical countries as well. Cissus quadrangularis is an essential and valued plant in these countries. It is grown as a garden ornamental and for erosion controlling ground cover.
It is a popular foodstuff, often eaten alone as a vegetable or as an ingredient in dishes like curry. The nutritional value and dietary fiber levels are very high. In some countries, the ash of the dried and burned plant is also used as baking powder. Preparations of the root and stem are even used as a pesticide in some countries. These homemade insecticides have shown effectiveness against pests such as fleas, termites, and leaf cutters, to name a few.
The same compounds in Cissus that make it such a good pesticide also make it a valued medicinal herb. Cissus quadrangularis uses have been established in Ayurveda for thousands of years. It is known for its ability to heal broken bones, and thus it's commonly referred to as "boneset" within India. But it does so much more. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, pro-immunity, and a potent anti-oxidant. Extracts of the stem are also used to treat and prevent ulcers and reduce blood sugar and serum cholesterol. It has also shown a benefit as a fat burner and weight loss agent on its own and in commercial preparations.
Cissus quadrangularis is high in vitamin C, ketosterones, calcium, and other minerals. It also contains flavonoids, triterpenoids, and resveratrol. It is these compounds that aid healing and stimulate collagen production in the body. Recent studies have shown that its extracts can offset cortisol's negative effects on muscle, and connective tissue. Weight training is also a stressor of joints and muscle. For these reasons, Cissus quadrangularis uses as supplements have become very popular with strength training and bodybuilding enthusiasts. The ability to increase collagen production, stimulate muscle repair, and reduce joint pain are critical benefits of Cissus.
Whether as a modern supplement or traditional remedy, Cissus quadrangularis uses as an herbal medicine is very powerful. Many centuries of human consumption have shown it to be safe and with few side effects. To see our supplements containing Cissus quadrangularis, click here.