Devil’s backbone is a perennial plant of the grape family. It contains a rich source of carotenoids, triterpenoids and ascorbic acid. These compounds have been found to be beneficial to bone health, helping to stave off bone loss and facilitating bone formation in post-menopausal women.
Forty perimenopausal women were randomly selected to participate in one clinical trial,. Each participant was given a supplement containing 250 milligrams of a devil’s backbone extract, three times a day for six months. Bone mineral density, serum alkaline phosphatase, calcium and phosphorus were estimated at baseline and after six months of extract treatment.
The researchers found that bone mineral density was increased by 17%. They concluded that the devil’s backbone extract had a beneficial effect on low bone mineral density and was well tolerated. They suggested that it can be used as an alternative cure for low bone mineral density in perimenopausal women with the advantages of being indigenous, natural and safe.
In another clinical trial, researchers wanted to find out what effect devil’s backbone had on the formation of osteoblasts (cells that make bone). Stems cells were cultured either with or without devil’s backbone. The researchers found that treatment with the herbal extract enhanced the differentiation of stem cells into osteoblasts and increased extracellular calcification. They concluded that devil’s backbone stimulates osteoblast creation and could be used as an alternative remedy for bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Devil’s backbone, or Cissus quadrangularis, can be found in extract or supplement form. You should be able to find the recommended dosage on the bottle. You should also seek out your doctor’s advice before trying any herbal treatment. Some possible side effects are flatulence, diarrhea, and dry mouth. Cissus quadrangularis is considered to be generally safe, although it is said to have an unpleasant smell.