What is Cissus Quadrangularis?

What is it?

Cissus quadrangularis, a medicinal plant indigenous to Asia and Africa, is used for many ailments such as burns, gastrointestinal complaints, backache, body and febrile pain, malaria, and especially treatment of hemorrhoids.

What does it do?

Cissus quadrangularis is well known for its treatment of gastric disorders in traditional medicine. This is due in part to its rich source of carotenoids, triterpenoids and vitamin C, and it has received considerable attention regarding its role in human nutrition. It is an indigenous plant commonly mentioned in Ayurveda for treatment of gastric ulcers. The ulcer-protective effect of a methanolic extract of C. quadrangularis (CQE) was comparable to that of the reference drug sucralfate. Ethanol extract of Cissus quadrangularis was also evaluated for its anti-osteoporotic activity and other extracts were tested for antioxidant activity. C. quadrangularis alleviates pain from burns, gastrointestinal complaints, backache, body and febrile pain, swellings and malaria. Recently, research has been performed on the capability of Cissus quadrangularis to help manage weight and metabolic syndrome.

How does it work?

Cissus Quadrangularis has shown to prevent oxidative damage of DNA by reducing DNA fragmentation, indicating its block on cell death. Ulcer protection in Cissus quadrangularis-treated rats was confirmed by histoarchitecture, which was comprised of reduced size of ulcer crater and restoration of mucosal epithelium. Thus, reduced neutrophil infiltration, anti-apoptotic and antioxidant action have a pivotal role in the gastroprotective effect of Cissus quadrangularis. Previous research findings suggest that the gastroprotective activity of Cissus quadrangularis could be mediated possibly through its antioxidant effect as well as by the attenuation of the oxidative mechanism and neutrophil infiltration. Cissus quadrangularis may protect the gastric mucosa against ulceration by preventing gastric secretions.

For weight loss, researchers suggest that a formulation of Cissus quadrangularis might interact in a manner similar to statins, fibrates, probucol, nicotinic acid or cholesterol absorption inhibitors. Inhibition of the oxidation of LDL and the antithrombotic activity both aid in lowering total cholesterol/LDL-cholesterol and increasing HDL-cholesterol levels. Also, the phytochemical constituents in Cissus quadrangularis may have activity similar to other plant sterols. The molecular structure of phytotosterols, for example, is practically identical to that of cholesterol.

Dosage Recommendations:

Jainu and Devi found that gastric juice and mucosal studies showed that Cissus quadrangularis at a dose of 500 mg/kg given for 10 days significantly increased the mucosal defensive factors like mucin secretion, mucosal cell proliferation, glycoproteins, and life span of cells. In the study for weight loss, Cissus formulation administered twice daily (514mg each) to obese and overweight persons with symptoms of metabolic syndrome results in both weight reduction and an improvement in the symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome.

Safety:

The typical recommended daily dosage of Cissus extract is between 500 and 1000 mg, depending on the concentration of the extract. For the powder of the dried plant, the Ayurvedic texts recommend a dosage of 3 to 6 grams. Safety studies in rats showed no toxic effects at dosages as high as 2000 mg/kg of body weight.

Conclusions:

Cissus quadrangularis was proven in many different studies to help gastric disorders, but using it to help an individual lose weight is still suspicious. The research supporting Cissus quadrangularis in the effectiveness in weight loss stated that it was not the sole ingredient given to the participants. The participants were give a “Cissus quadrangularis formulation” that needs to be broken down further. Other ingredients in the formulation may have aided in weight loss more than Cissus quadrangularis itself.

Also, the research was somewhat unsupervised by not being done in the United States. The research for weight loss was performed in a poor country where conspiracy comes at the right price. More research needs to be done in America before the product should be sold in America for weight loss. Long term effects have not been evaluated yet.