Cissus quadrangularis is a perennial herb that grows in some parts of Africa and Asia. As popular as the plant is, there are plenty of cissus quadrangularis side effects that are not talked about enough.
It’s important to discuss the side effects as well as the benefits.
But before that, what else may you need to know about cissus quadrangularis?
It is also known as the veldt grape, adamant creeper, or the winged treeline.
It is popular for its medicinal properties and has historically been used to treat various conditions, including asthma, hemorrhoids, allergies, and gout.
Furthermore, it’s also used for bone and joint health, and treating menopausal symptoms.
However, as previously mentioned, there are a lot of little-known cissus quadrangularis side effects that every user should be aware of.
This article focuses on 10 cissus quadrangularis side effects that you should know if you are currently using or are planning to use this herb.
But first, here are some benefits of using it.
Cissus quadrangularis benefits
It promotes bone health
Many human and animal studies have found that cissus quadrangularis can speed up the healing of fractures, reduce bone loss and slow down osteoporosis as you age.
It does this by altering the levels of some particular proteins involved in the bones’ metabolism.
It reduces joint inflammation
This plant can also reduce joint swelling and pain, making it ideal for people with arthritis and other joint-related conditions.
It may even work better at reducing swelling and inflammation of joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis than common pain medication used to treat these symptoms.
It prevents metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term for conditions that increase the potential of developing diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
A few of its symptoms include high blood sugar, excess belly fat, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.
Research on this benefit suggests that combined with other supplements, such as green tea and chromium, it can improve the symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
It helps with weight loss
Taking supplements of cissus quadrangularis can help suppress your appetite, which promotes weight loss.
A study on 123 obese and overweight people found that this plant can help lower body weight, LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglycerides.
When should I take cissus?
The sedative effect of cissus quadrangularis is not very well-studied, but it has been found to enhance sleep in animals with a benzodiazepine.
This may suggest that the best time to use it is before bedtime.
Does cissus quadrangularis contain calcium?
This plant contains a high amount of calcium and phosphorus.
This explains why the extracts of its stem are widely used to repair fractures, relieve back pain and gout, and treat irregular menstruation.
Is cissus quadrangularis anabolic?
Aside from phosphorus and calcium, cissus quadrangularis also contains anabolic steroidal substances.
These substances help in repairing body tissues and promote the growth of muscles as well.
Cissus quadrangularis side effects
Some of the most notable side effects of this supplement include:
#1. It may cause thrombocytopenia
Thrombocytopenia describes a condition caused by a low number of platelets in your blood.
It can have causes that have nothing to do with an underlying disease.
A few such causes are pregnancy, medication, and changes in altitude.
There is a past report of a transplant recipient developing this condition after taking cissus quadrangularis after surgery.
However, this side effect is reversible by stopping the consumption of this herb.
#2. It may contribute to hypoglycemia
Hypoglycaemia is one of the most dangerous cissus quadrangularis side effects, especially for diabetics.
It may lower the fasting blood glucose levels in your body, interfering with diabetes medication.
#3. It can cause gastroenteritis
Although rare, gastroenteritis can be one of the side effects of this product.
This is a condition where viruses or bacterial toxins cause inflammation of the intestines and stomach.
It typically affects people of every age, but it is more common in children. Its main symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting.
Additionally, it is likely to occur with prolonged use instead of using it in normal dosage.
#4. It may lead to a tendon injury
Using cissus quadrangularis may expose you to the risk of suffering a tendon injury.
Most weightlifters have the tendency to use products with anabolic steroidal substances to enhance their weightlifting performance.
As much as it may be effective, it can make you develop stiffer tendons, which increases your chances of suffering a tendon injury.
#5. It may cause hormonal changes
If you are taking cissus quadrangularis supplements, you should be well aware of the effects they can have on your hormonal system.
Since it contains anabolic substances, it can disrupt the normal production of hormones in your body.
Some of the hormonal changes you may experience as a result of using this plant include breast development (in men) or enlarged breasts in women, decreased sperm production, and shrinking of the testicles.
#6. It can cause severe acne
If your skin is sensitive or acne-prone, then cissus quadrangularis supplements may not be for you.
This plant can cause you to develop severe acne and, in some cases, cysts.
However, in most cases, this symptom occurs with prolonged use of the plant.
#7. It may trigger contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is the scientific term for an itchy rash you can develop from being in direct contact with a substance you are allergic to.
Although this side effect is not well-researched, it is possible to develop contact dermatitis from cissus quadrangularis.
This is largely because it contains flavonoids, which can cause the condition in some cases.
#8. It can cause carcinogenicity
There is a slight chance that cissus quadrangularis can induce the formation of cancer tumors.
This may come as a bit of a surprise, considering the overwhelming research on the role of flavonoids in preventing cancer.
It is important to note that there still isn’t much research to support this claim, but it is worth having at the back of your mind.
#9. It may cause digestive issues
Using cissus quadrangularis or any products made with it may cause you to develop digestive issues such as abdominal pain, bloating, and flatulence.
If not treated on time, these symptoms can develop into more serious conditions requiring more medical attention.
Be sure to consult your doctor before using cissus quadrangularis, especially if you are susceptible to digestive issues.
#10. It may lead to liver failure
Liver failure happens when the liver gradually or suddenly stops functioning normally.
There are several causes of this condition, a few of which are alcohol abuse, reaction to medication, and hepatitis.
As much as it is quite rare, the flavonoid content of this plant puts you at a slight risk of developing liver failure.
There are several side effects of the cissus quadrangularis, most mild and some a bit more severe.
This article discusses some of the most severe cissus quadrangularis side effects that may require medical attention.
However, you should note that as much as cissus quadrangularis side effects do exist, in most cases, they are absent at normal doses.
The likelihood of their occurrence increases with prolonged use, especially at doses that are higher than recommended by medical practitioners.
Therefore, make sure to talk to a healthcare professional about the suitability of the herb for you before you begin using it.