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Cissus quadrangularis is a succulent vine from Africa and Asia. It is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in Thailand, and is also used in traditional African and Ayurvedic medicine. All parts of the plant are used for medicine.
Cissus quadrangularis is used for obesity, diabetes, a cluster of heart disease risk factors called “metabolic syndrome,” and high cholesterol. It has also been used for bone fractures, weak bones (osteoporosis), scurvy, cancer, upset stomach, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcer disease (PUD), painful menstrual periods, asthma, malaria, and pain. Cissus quadrangularis is also used in bodybuilding supplements as an alternative to anabolic steroids.
How does it work?
There is not enough information to know how Cissus quadrangularis might work for medicinal purposes in people. Test tube studies and research in animals show that it has antioxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It might have activity against the organism that causes malaria.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Bone fractures. Early research suggests that applying a specific Cissus quadrangularis product (Calzbone, Verdure Sciences) to the skin improves fracture healing in some people. It is unclear is the effects of this product are due to Cissus quadrangularis or the other ingredients in this product, which include calcium, vitamin D, and boswelia. Other research shows that taking a different Cissus quadrangularis combination product that also contains ashwagandha and holy basil for 6 months improves bone mineral density (BMD) in some people. Whether this increase in BMD reduces the chance for fractures is not known.
- Hemorrhoids. Early research shows that taking Cissus quadrangularis tablets by mouth twice daily for 7 days does not improve hemorrhoid symptoms.
- Obesity and weight loss. Developing research shows that taking a specific Cissus quadrangularis combination product (Cylaris, Iovate Health Sciences Research) or taking a specific Cissus quadrangularis extract (CQR-300) reduces weight in obese and overweight people.
- Bone defects caused by gum disease. Early research suggests that adding Cissus quadrangularis to a material called hydroxyapatite, which is used in dentistry to treat tissue loss caused by gum disease, does not improve tissue regrowth in people with specific bone defects called periodontal intrabony defects.
- Heart disease risk factors that occur together (metabolic syndrome).
- High cholesterol.
- Upset stomach.
- Stomach ulcers.
- Menstrual discomfort.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Some specific commercial products containing Cissus quadrangularis are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately short-term (for up to 6-8 weeks). These products can cause side effects such as headache, intestinal gas, dry mouth, diarrhea, and insomnia. But there is not enough information to know how often these side effects might occur.
Since there is not much information about the use of Cissus quadrangularis in people, long-term safety is not known.
Diabetes: Cissus quadrangularis might lower blood sugar. Taking Cissus quadrangularis along with medications for diabetes might lower blood sugar too much. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar levels closely if you have diabetes and use Cissus quadrangularis.
Surgery: Cissus quadrangularis might lower blood sugar and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using Cissus quadrangularis at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Cissus quadrangularis might lower blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking Cissus quadrangularis along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
The appropriate dose of Cissus quadrangularis depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Cissus quadrangularis. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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