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Is Cissus Quadrangularis Safe?

Is Cissus Quadrangularis Safe?

Cissus quadrangularis is a vine that is native to Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. Though it is believed to possess therapeutic properties, is cissus quadrangularis safe for human use? The following HolisticZine write-up provides information on the side effects associated with this supplement.
Smita Pandit
Certain animal studies conducted on cissus quadrangularis didn't reveal any toxic effect at dosages as high as 2000 mg per kg of body weight.

Cissus quadrangularis, which is also known as devil's backbone or veldt grape, is a vine that is found in parts of Asia and Africa. It finds mention in Ayurvedic texts. Every part of this plant can be used for therapeutic purposes, due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is available in the form of an extract or pills. It is also used as an ingredient in certain herbal supplements. Extract made from the root, as well as the stem, is used for speeding up the healing process in bone fractures.
Most of the claims regarding its health effects are supported by test tube studies and animal studies, and there's a need to conduct more human trials. However, safety concerns have not been raised till now. But is cissus quadrangularis safe? Can its use cause side effects or adverse drug interactions? Let's find out.
Is it Safe to Take Cissus Quadrangularis?

Though serious side effects have not been reported with short-term use of cissus quadrangularis in the form of pills or extract by healthy individuals, there's a lack of scientific evidence to corroborate adverse drug interactions or even the health benefits. Some of the side effects that have been reported by some users include:
➞ Headache
➞ Flatulence
➞ Dry mouth
➞ Diarrhea
➞ Sleep-related problems
Animal Studies

In one toxicology study, CQR-300 was given to rats at a dose of 2500 mg/kg of body weight for 90 days. In that particular study, the given dosage was established as the No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL). NOAEL is a term used in connection to toxicity tests, and refers to the highest exposure of a chemical, that doesn't cause any untoward effects. Though some changes did take place in blood clotting, these were non-toxic in nature. In another study wherein cissus quadrangularis was given in dosages up to 3 g/kg of body weight for 3 months, adverse effects were not observed.
Since serious side effects have not been reported in case of short-term use, it would be best to take this supplement in small doses for a short duration. Adverse interactions have not been reported, but if you are taking other medicines, consult a physician before you start taking this supplement. It would be a good idea to start with doses as low as 500 mg. Since the effect of cissus quadrangularis on pregnant women and nursing mothers has not been studied, women should refrain from its use at that time.
When it comes to the safety of herbal supplements, users are bound to feel concerned as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) follows a very different set of rules while regulating herbal supplements. These are marketed and sold freely, with the prior approval of FDA not being a necessity. These supplements are not subjected to the testing requirements that are placed on drugs. However, action can be taken if the information on the product's label is misleading. With the increased interest in alternative medicine, there has been a whopping increase in the number of herbal supplements. So, in case of herbal supplements such as cissus quadrangularis, all you can do is rely on the few studies that have been conducted. Though the studies that have been conducted on cissus quadrangularis reveal that its short-term use has not caused observable side effects, do consult your health care practitioner before you start taking this supplement.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.