Cissus quadrangularis, commonly known as ‘Hadjod,’ is a ubiquitous plant that has multifaceted use in the traditional Indian system of medicine. It is well-known for its efficacy in fracture healing. Many parts of the plant have shown to possess different medicinal properties.
What is Cissus quadrangularis?
Cissus quadrangularis is a fleshy, perennial plant belonging to the Vitaceae family. It is commonly found in the tropical regions of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Java, Malaysia, and West Africa. It is referred to as ‘Hadjod’ in Hindi and ‘Asthisamharaka’ in Sanskrit; both names indicate the plant’s ability to join bones. The plant grows up to 1.5m height and has quadrangular stems. It can be cultivated in the jungles, coastal areas, and wastelands.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the plant has been proved to be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. Also, a paste of the stem is used for treating burns, asthma, wounds, and bites of poisonous insects.
What are the benefits of Cissus quadrangularis?
The fleshy, stout stem and leaves of Cissus quadrangularis are traditionally used for the treatment of various diseases. The extract of the parts of the plant are used either internally or applied externally. Some of the extracts used for specific conditions are listed below:
- The stem: It is the most useful part of the plant. It is used for the treatment of various conditions, including bone fractures, different complaints of spine and back, muscular pains, menstrual disorders, scurvy, epistaxis, otorrhea, asthma, wounds, burns, bites of poisonous insects, saddle sores, constipation, gastritis, piles, eye diseases, and anemia.
- The shoot: It is used to treat some bowel infections associated with indigestion, and helminthiasis.
- The root: It is mainly used for the healing of the bone fractures.
Apart from these uses, the plant has also shown to be beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, anorexia, colic, dyspepsia, flatulence, leprosy, skin diseases, hemorrhage, convulsion, epilepsy, tumors, hemoptysis, and chronic ulcers.
What are the medicinal properties of Cissus quadrangularis?
The medicinal properties of Cissus quadrangularis are listed below:
- Bone healing activity: The stem and the root extract of the plant have shown bone healing activity.
- Anti-inflammatory property: The stem extract is reported to have anti-inflammatory property.
- Analgesic and anti-pyretic activity: The stem extract, as well as the whole plant, is proved to exhibit analgesic and antipyretic activity.
- Anti-oxidant property: The stem extract is shown to possess antioxidant property.
- Anti-tumor and cytotoxic activity: The whole plant is proved to have anti-tumor and cytotoxic activity.
- Anti-microbial activity: The stem extract is reported to exhibit antimicrobial activity.
- Anti-obesity property: The stem extract is proved to demonstrate anti-obesity activity.
- Gastroprotective activity: The stem extract is reported to exhibit gastroprotective effects.
What are the side effects of Cissus quadrangularis?
Cissus quadrangularis is usually safe when consumed appropriately for a short term. However, it might cause side effects in some individuals. Some of the side effects include:
- Intestinal gas
- Dry mouth
Also, the long-term use of Cissus quadrangularis is not well-understood.
Using Cissus quadrangularis safely
Several extracts of the herb are proved to be safe in most individuals. But, precaution must be taken in the following conditions:
- Pregnancy and lactation: As there is not enough information available regarding the safety of Cissus quadrangularis in pregnant or breastfeeding women, it is advised to avoid the extracts of this plant.
- Diabetes: The extract of Cissus quadrangularis might lower the blood sugar levels. Patients with diabetes who are under treatment and use the plant extract must practice caution, because the blood sugar levels may drop severely and result in hypoglycemia.
- Surgery: As Cissus quadrangularis can reduce the blood sugar levels, it can interfere with the control of blood sugar during and after surgeries. Thus, it is advised to inform the doctor and stop taking the extracts at least two weeks before the surgery.