Cissus Quadrangularis growing wildly in it’s most vibrant form and environment, on a neem tree. As you view this very detailed video, notice the structure of the cissus plant; it is quadrangula shaped. It is also jointed, just like our bones. In ayruvedic medicine it is written that herbs and plants shape and structure from the molecular level to the outer, more noticeable layer emulate the parts of our body which the herb or plant medicine may be supportive of.
Dr Brijnath Singh, eminant scholar, MD and PhD in Ayurveda and ethnopharmacology wild-cultivates Harjod (Cissus Quadrangularis) in the Vrindavan farm north of Lucknow. Prashanti interviews him on the magic of this herb whose very name means ‘Bone joiner” as it is so rich in the minerals and healing power to support Bone and Joint health.
In this video Dr. Brijnath Singh and Prashanti discuss Harjod, or in latin, Cissus Quadrangularis, in a very detailed discussion with great views of the herb growing on this majestic neem tree in the beautifully culivated farms of India.
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Among the vast benefits of Cissus Quadrangularis, it has been clinically proven that cissus reduces weight, body fat, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting blood glucose levels over the respective study periods.
Obesity is generally linked to complications in lipid metabolism and oxidative stress. The ability of our bodies to metabolize fats is determined by the homeostasis of all our bodily functions, starting at the celluar level. When we have blocks in our systems, or parts of our systems are failing, our body tends to “protect” itself by storing fats.
What causes these blocks and bodily system failures? Stress.
When our bodies are put under stress from an external stressful event, improper diet, or just a constant stressful lifestyle, our bodies go into protection mode. To protect ourselves we produce higher than normal levels of cortisol which breaks down our immune system and causes our bodies to produce more glucose in our blood. This creates a bodily environment where fat thrives.
Cissus Quadrangularis counteracts the negative effects of cortisol. Cissus is an anti-oxidant which also prevents the absorption of cortisol in our muscle tissue. By taking an anti-oxidant such as Cissus Quadrangularis, your body is able to reduce the amount of oxidative stress and create a homeostatic environment where you body is able to rid itself of toxins, rid itself of unwanted fats, and promote a healthy, balance bodily system.
Am I Stressed?
This is a difficult answer to determine for oneself. We all like to think of ourselves as stress-free, but the truth is we ALL have stress at one time or another, it’s human nature. When we hear a loud sound, or have a near car accident, or think about money, our bodies trigger off the natural hormones to combat the stress we are put through.
Our diet also puts our bodies through stress. Many people do not eat a proper diet and are not providing their body with the vital vitamins and nutrients it needs to rid itself of toxins and perform properly. The incidence of obesity in adults as well as children is on an increase globally. Once considered a problem of developed countries, this global epidemic also affects developing countries. Coupled to this epidemic are obesity related complications such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression, and Type-2 diabetes, which are spreading rapidly across poor and middle-income countries, where infectious diseases and malnutrition have previously overshadowed such illnesses.
So what is Cissus and how can it help?
Cissus quadrangularis has been used by common folk in India for promoting the fracture healing process. It has been prescribed in Ayurveda as an alterative, anthelmintic, dyspeptic, digestive, tonic, analgesic in eye and ear diseases, and in the treatment of irregular menstruation and asthma. In Cameroon, the whole plant is used in oral re-hydration, while the leaf, stem, and root extracts of this plant are important in the management of various ailments.
Earlier works on Cissus quadrangularis report its effectiveness on the management of obesity and complications associated with metabolic syndrome, as well as its antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity. Various formulations now contain extracts of Cissus quadrangularis in combination with other compounds, used for the purpose of management of overweight and obesity, as well as complications resulting from these conditions, notably metabolic syndrome.
Study Proves Cissus Reduces Weight, Body Fat, & Total Cholesterol
A study done by BioMed Central called “The effect of Cissus quadrangularis (CQR-300) and a Cissus formulation (CORE) on obesity and obesity-induced oxidative stress” has concluded that CQR-300 (300 mg daily) and CORE (1028 mg daily) brought about significant reductions in weight and blood glucose levels, while decreasing serum lipids thus improving cardiovascular risk factors.
The study was double-blind placebo controlled, with the 168 overweight, obese, or normal weight participants of both sexes (between 19 and 50 years).
Amazingly, but not surprising to us, the study concluded that the CORE and CQR-300 (300 mg daily) brought about a significantly greater weight loss than placebo during the study period in obese individuals. This was accompanied by a significant improvement in the lipid profiles, blood sugar profiles, and serotonin profiles of study participants.
Thus, CQR-300 as well as CORE possesses antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties that could have applications in metabolic as well as other physiological complications in which there is an increase in oxidative stress.
These new findings warrant further exploration into the active phytonutrients of Cissus quadrangularisand the potential of its newly discovered weight loss and cardiovascular health benefits.
Another great find by The Cissus Experts on yet another great benefit of Cissus Quadrangularis. We at The Cissus Experts are not just interested in a fast, gimmicky weight loss. We are interested in health maintenance which means maintaining a healthy weight. When are bodies are in a homeostatic state, it will naturally set itself at a healthy weight for the amount of activity you do on a daily basis. Cissus Quadrangularis also promotes lean muscle which may not show weight loss on a scale, but will show in how you look and feel.
The Cissus Experts have been traveling Southeast Asia gaining more insight into Cissus Quadrangularis. Although this plant is grown throughout SE Asia, it’s healing attributes are not widely known. We only found a few products that included Cissus Quadrangularis, and they were mostly for aiding with hemorrhoids. However, we wanted to research the long, ancient history of Cissus.
As we were holding this magnificent plant we were amazed at it’s strength and durability. The plant itself is very unique in structure and growth. The vines of the plant are that like a winged bean, or a dragon fruit plant. The leaves look similar to water cress, they are small, simple, heart-shaped and toothed. The flowers are small, greenish white, in short cymes. It grows wildly up from the root in abundance and hangs downward, again very similar to a dragon fruit plant.
We’ve always been well aware of the benefits of Cissus: an antioxidant, cortisol inhibitor, bone/ligament/tendon strengthener, etc., but we wanted to find more about it’s ancient healing scriptures of Ayurveda. Most of the history of cissus comes from India.
The Sanskrit word for Cissus Quadrangularis is Asthisamharaka literally means “that which saves the bones from their destruction”. It is also named Asthisandhani, which describes its peculiar quality of healing the bone fractures. From Ayurvedic texts the taste of Cissus is said to be sweet, but the properties are sour in the digestive tract. It has a heating potency throughout digestion and was used as a laxative in some cases. Cissus is an appetizer, digestant, an aphrodisiac and healer of bone fractures. Mainly it was used for diseases like piles, fractures, asthma, cough and loss of appetite.
The stem and leaves of cissus have great medicinal value. The plant was always used both, internally as well as externally. Mainly used to promote bone healing from fractures, crushed stems are used as a poultice over bone fractures, along with the juice of its roasted stems, orally, is given with ghee (Indian butter). In epistaxis (nose bleed), the stem juice is instilled nasally, to arrest the nose bleed. The powdered stem is missed with pulses and fried in sesame oil, as a remedy for several Vata diseases such as Arthritis, High or low blood pressure, Cracking or popping joints, and Constipation.
Orally, the plant is recommended with Vakeri (Caesalpinia digya) root powder, to treat veneral diseases. In loss of appetite and indigestion, the cooked leaves are advised or their burnt ash is used. In menorrhagia, the stem juice, combined with gopicandana, is prescribed with ghee and honey. The fresh juice of the plant is used to treat in asthma. As a blood purifier, it is said to be beneficial in blood disorders in scurvy also. Asthisamharaka is also used as a general tonic.
These ancient uses with cissus were fascinating to us. It seemed the most prevalent use of cissus was for bone fractures. Today, research on the Bone-Healing Properties of CissusCissus quadrangularis has been studied extensively to verify its bone-healing properties. Clinical trials and animal studies have shown that treatment with Cissus facilitates the remodeling process of the healing bone, speeding the restoration of bone tensile strength. In clinical trials, Cissus shortened fracture healing time between 33% and 55%. In a number of studies, the effect of Cissus was observed in bones that were weakened by cortisol. When Cissus extracts were given, cortisol-induced weakening was halted, and the healing process began.
Although the bulk of the research on Cissus centers around bone healing, the possibility exists that Cissus may act to improve the healing rate of connective tissue in general, including tendons. If this is the case it would be of great benefit to bodybuilders and athletes.
Besides the above-mentioned properties of Cissus, the plant is also rich in the vitamins/antioxidants, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. As analyzed, Cissus quadrangularis contained ascorbic acid 479 mg, and carotene 267 units per 100g of freshly prepared paste in addition to calcium oxalate.
The typical recommended daily dosage of Cissus extract is between 100 and 500 mg, depending on the concentration of the extract and the severity of symptoms. For the powder of the dried plant, the Ayurvedic texts recommend a dosage of 3 to 6 grams to accelerate fracture healing. Safety studies in rats showed no toxic effects at dosages as high as 2000 mg/kg of body weight. So not only is Cissus efficacious, it is also quite safe, in either the dried powder form or the commercially available extract.