Botanical Name: Cissus quadrangularis
Species: C. quadrangularis
*Cissus bifida Schumach. & Thonn.
*Cissus edulis Dalzell
*Cissus fischeri Gilg
*Cissus quadrangula L.
*Cissus quadrangula Salisb.
*Cissus succulenta (Galpin) Burtt-Davy
*Cissus tetragona Harv.
*Cissus tetraptera Hook.f.
Common Names: Veldt grape, Devil’s backbone, Adamant creeper, Asthisamharaka or Asthisamhara, Hadjod and pirandai.
Habitat: Cissus quadrangularis is native to tropical Asia, Arabia and much of Africa. It grows on
grassland with scattered Combretum etc; termite mounds; riverine thicket; coastal forest edges; sandy banks of rivers; outwash gully in dense mixed thicket; at elevations from near sea level to 2,250 metres in Africa.
Cissus quadrangularis is an evergreen climber growing to 5 m (16 ft) by .5 m (1.6 ft) at a fast rate and has quadrangular-sectioned branches with internodes 8–10 cm (3–4 in) long and 1.2–1.5 cm (0.5–0.6 in) wide. Along each angle is a leathery edge. Toothed trilobe leaves 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) wide appear at the nodes. Each has a tendril emerging from the opposite side of the node. Racemes of small white, yellowish, or greenish flowers; globular berries are red when ripe.
Cultivation: Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Propagation: Layers very easily. Easily grown from stem cuttings.
Young green stems – cooked. Usually fried or curried. The leaves and young shoots are used in the preparation of poppadoms and curries. Fruit. The ash of the plant is used as a substitute for baking powder.
An infusion of the plant is antifungal and anthelmintic. The pulped stem is given in the treatment of asthma; is used as an alterative in cases of amenorrhoea; and is given in the treatment of haemorrhoids. The leaves or young stems are analgesic and also speed the rate of healing. They are crushed and applied as a poultice to ease the pain of broken bones; for the maturation of boils; to cure wounds and burns; to ease the pain of rheumatic joints; and also as a treatment for saddle sores on horses. The powdered dry roots are used for treating indigestion. The powdered root is considered to be a specific in the treatment of fractured bones.
Other uses rating: Low (2/5). Agroforestry Uses: The plant is sometimes grown to stabilize sand dunes. The plant can be grown to form a hedge. The stems and roots yield a strong fibre.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.