Hadjod is a fleshy plant that is widely used in cooking traditional soups, chutneys and dals in India. Additionally, its immense curative abilities are documented in great detail in Ayurveda. According to scholarly texts of this age-old practice of Indian medicine, hadjod portrays powerful traits in mending fractures of the bones, as well as being an excellent natural remedy for flatulence, indigestion, weight loss, epilepsy, decreased sexual desire and haemorrhoids.
Generally called Hadjod in Hindi, this perennial shrub belonging to the grape family has various other local names including “Pirantai” in Tamil, “Nalleru” in Telugu, “Cannalamparanta” in Malayalam and “Mangarahalli” in Kannada. Scientifically, it is termed Cissus quadrangularis, with other common English names such as adamant creeper, veldt grape and edible stemmed vine.
Hadjod belongs to the family Vitaceae and is native to the hot and arid regions of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Africa. The Hadjod tree grows up to a height of 1.5 m, with branches splitting into four parts or a quadrangular arrangement. The leaves are bright green, with sharp edges and three lobes. This plant bears white or jade flowers and red berries when ripened. All parts of Hadjod are edible, with the stem and leaves being used traditionally for cooking and therapeutic purposes.
Today, hadjod is globally recognised for its fantastic incentives for bone tissue development as well as overall wellbeing. It is, thus, largely manufactured and sold in the form of capsules, tablets and powders containing pure Cissus quadrangularis extracts.
Read on, to discover the marvellous benefits of consuming the magical ayurvedic herb – hadjod.
Health Benefits Of Hadjod:
Fortifies Bones And Joints
Packed with calcium, magnesium and the antioxidant resveratrol, hadjod works to foster proper bone cell growth, regeneration and proliferation, thereby ensuring positive structural development of the body.
Regulates The Digestive Process
Hadjod has rewarding benefits for digestion, being a noteworthy antimicrobial agent. It is efficacious in maintaining ideal gut flora and combating intestinal bacteria such as E.coli, in essence promoting digestion. Also Read: 7 Foods To Improve Gut Digestion
Protects The Hepatic System
Containing profuse amounts of vitamin C apart from the anti-inflammatory substances triterpenoids and beta-sitosterol, hadjod effectively shields the liver from fatty liver disorders and bile duct diseases.
Acts As An Aphrodisiac
Hadjod is useful in restoring optimal sexual function in men and women, due to its powerful antioxidant content and serves as a natural aphrodisiac, boosting vigour and stamina.
Efficiently Detoxifies The Body
Being plentiful in vitamin C and several classes of flavonoids, hadjod effectively flushes out excess food particles, fluids and other harmful remnants from the system, evading their accumulation in kidneys. Also Read: Triphala: An Ayurvedic Wonder For Detoxification And Rejuvenation
Therapeutic Uses Of Hadjod:
Heals Bone Conditions
The juice of hadjod stem derivatives can be consumed internally as well as a paste or powder prepared from its leaves applied externally, on fractures, osteoporosis and arthritis. Hadjod speeds up bone mineralization and formation, simultaneously increasing bone mineral density and strength, and pacifying aches in the joints.
Promotes Weight Loss
Hadjod juice works wonders in improving lipid metabolism in the body, decreasing fat accumulation and accelerating calorie consumption and weight loss in those who are obese.
Treats Dental Infections
Plaque, tartar and cavities cause discomfort in the teeth and gums. Following brushing, rinsing with hadjod juice clears all infectious agents causing toothaches, due to its extensive antimicrobial characteristics.
Also Read: The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
Manages Epilepsy Symptoms
The powerful extracts of hadjod possess intrinsic sedative properties. A regular, measured intake of hadjod, therefore, assists in regulating the central nervous system and brain activity and controlling epilepsy.
Remedies Severe Haemorrhoids
The liquid residue of hadjod leaves, when infused with honey and taken with some warm milk or ghee, helps to diminish excessive bleeding and swelling experienced during haemorrhoids.
Alleviates Asthma Symptoms
Asthma occurs due to disproportionate kapha and vata doshas in the body, resulting in accumulation of phlegm and catarrh secretions in the lungs, chest pain and breathing distress. Hadjod, touted for its decongestant traits, vata-kapha-balancing abilities and “Ushna” or hot nature, flushes out excessive mucus, relieves aching sensations in the chest, eases breathing, thereby mitigating discomforting signs of asthma.
Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Bestowed with powerful antioxidants, hadjod regulates fasting blood glucose concentrations, protects the pancreatic cells from oxidative stress, extreme damage and increases the production of insulin. Moreover, this herb possesses “Pachan” i.e. digestion-enhancing qualities, to get rid of ama toxins from the gut - stomach, intestines, aid in smooth absorption of food in the system, thus keeping blood sugar levels in check in instances of diabetes mellitus.
Improves Heart Health
Hadjod is renowned for its potent adaptogenic characteristics, which efficiently lower stress levels, decrease high blood pressure and assist in managing symptoms of hypertension. In addition, this remarkable herb is packed with “Pachan” or digestion-promoting, “Ushna” i.e. inherent hot potential, which stimulates “Agni” (digestive fire) meaning the stomach acid secretions. This facilitates assimilation of food particles, prevents the build-up of ama toxins, averts blockages in blood vessels from fatty substances and augments cardiac muscle functions. Hence, hadjod significantly brings down blood cholesterol to preserve heart health.
Beneficial Bioactive Compounds In Hadjod:
Hadjod is blessed with countless useful constituents but is especially renowned for its vast reserves of calcium and magnesium, apart from anabolic steroids, resveratrol and flavonoids. These work in synergy, to promote rapid healing of fractures and provide relief from pain in joint disorders, thus justifying its classical Sanskrit name “Asthisamharaka”, which literally translates to “bone setter” or “that which protects the bone from destruction”.
Furthermore, hadjod is infused with many other beneficial bioactive constituents namely tannins, triterpenoids, alkaloids, carotenoids, as well as essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, zinc and sodium, all of which offer advantageous antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Effect On Doshas:
Hadjod displays an intrinsically Katu (Pungent) and Madhura (Sweet) rasa (taste), which eventually becomes a Katu vipaka (pungent flavour after digestion or end taste). It equalizes and balances the Vata (air and ether) and Kapha (water and earth) doshas (energies or life forces), as well as effectively flushes out the AMA toxins (toxins that are present within the system and which often lead to incomplete digestion of food).
In addition, hadjod holds an inherent Ushna virya (Heating potency) and exhibits typical Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry) and Sara (Unstable) gunas (qualities or actions).
The dosage of hadjod or Cissus quadrangularis depends upon the formulation of whether it is being consumed in powder, juice or capsule form.
For children, a lower dosage is advised by professional Ayurvedic practitioners, owing to their lesser bodyweight. A daily dosage of 1.5 grams as powder, 5 ml as the juice or 1 tablet, after meals, along with milk or ghee is recommended.
In the case of adults, an everyday dose of 3 grams of the powder, 10 – 20 ml of the juice or 2 tablets, post taking in food, with warm milk, water or ghee is considered secure.
Hadjod Side Effects:
Hadjod is generally well-tolerated in most people. Only when taken in very high doses, it tends to result in heating up of the body, dryness in the mouth and a slight burning sensation in the stomach. It is hence recommended to always consume hadjod only within the safe pharmacological dosage.
Hadjod, with its sweet tangy leaves, stems, juice extracts and excellent curative qualities for a host of conditions, serves as a perfect harmony of food and medicine. Ancient Ayurvedic texts praise the ultimate healing powers of hadjod, for fractures and other bone disorders. The richness of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants coupled with advantageous anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-microbial and diuretic traits make hadjod a truly versatile and outstanding medicinal herb.