Cissus quadrangularis and Glucosamine for Joint Pain

Posted: April 28, 2011 in Supplements

One of the fastest growing segments of the supplement industry is in joint care.  Apparently, aging baby boomers (me included) are an active bunch and are looking for natural alternatives to relieve the aches and pains that seem to come with aging. Leading the pack is glucosamine.

I’ve taken glucosamine on and off since it first came out in the late 90’s after being mentioned in The Arthritis Cure, by Jason Theodasakis, MD.  As a lifetime weight trainer (retired competitive powerlifter) joint pain seems to come with the territory and I am always on the look out for joint supplements.  Glucosamine seemed to have it all….anecdotal evidence, athlete endorsements, and scientific backing. But to be honest, in recent years it has dropped off my list of core supplements.  I know many people rave about glucosamine, but for me I was never sure if it was working or not.  At best, the results seemed mild.

So, I never stopped looking for a better alternative that actually made a noticeable difference.  And I think I’ve found it: Cissus quadrangularis.  Cissus quadrangularis is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years in India in ayurvedic medicine.  Some of the cited benefits of Cissus include: bone healing, weight-loss, antioxidant, and joint pain relief.  Importantly, Cissus is said to not just mask joint pain, but also help nourish your joints so they can grow stronger.

When I first tried Cissus my main interest was in its joint benefits.  Although I heard many rave reviews from fellow weight trainers I was used to being the odd man that turned out to be a “non-responder”.  And placebos never worked for me.  I approached my trial as always….an open minded skeptic.

I ordered my Cissus in bulk powder form.  The taste is horrible….I’d describe it as bitter dirt, though worse.  Still, a small price to pay if it actually worked.  For about 3 weeks I felt no change in my joints.  Then one workout I noticed a big reduction in the pain in my knees.  Then the next workout my shoulders felt better.  I was absolutely stoked….it seems we take so many supplements on blind faith, not really knowing if they are working or not.  With Cissus I actually felt a difference!  In fact, my joints felt so good I started to push my weights up for the first time in years!  Unfortunately, I increased too fast and ended up pulling a muscle in my hip, which set me back, but hey, my joints felt great!  It’s been two years since I first started Cissus and while I am not 100% pain free, Cissus has greatly diminished my joint pain and has allowed me to continue training hard.  It’s definitely earned a spot in my supplement cabinet.

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