9 Powerful Callisia Fragrans Health Benefits

Callisia fragrans health benefits include improved digestion, increased circulation, and better respiratory health. Additionally, this herb has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that make it helpful for treating a variety of conditions. It is a species of flowering plant in the family Commelinaceae. It is native to the Caribbean and Central America, where it grows in moist forests and woodland edges.

Callisia fragrans has been used medicinally to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and other gastroenterologic problems. It has also been used as an emmenagogue (a substance that promotes menstruation) and as a traditional treatment for snakebites. In addition, the plant has been used in folk medicine to treat fever, rheumatism, and other conditions.


When it is grown as an ornamental plant, callisia fragrans is known by the common names inch plant, trailing willow, and false spiderwort. The plant is a perennial with trailing stems that can grow up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) long. It has small, pointed leaves and produces small white flowers in the summer.

The active constituents of callisia fragrans are not known. However, the plant is known to contain saponins, which are thought to be responsible for its medicinal effects. Saponins are a class of natural products that have detergent-like properties. They are found in many plants and are responsible for the bitter taste of some herbal medicines.

Callisia Fragrans Health Benefits

Respiratory Benefits:

Callisia fragrans health benefits have long been used as a traditional remedy for respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and pneumonia. The plant is thought to work by loosening mucus and phlegm in the lungs and helping to expel them. A study published in 2007 found that callisia fragrans extract was effective in vitro in loosening mucus from airway cells.

Another study published in 2009 found that callisia fragrans extract was able to inhibit the growth of two types of bacteria that commonly cause respiratory infections, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. It contains the antitussive, antihistaminic, and bronchodilator tropane alkaloid scopolamine which has been used in several cough medications.

Related: 11 Surprising Ujjayi Breath Benefits (Video)

Antimicrobial Benefits:

Callisia fragrans has also been shown to have antimicrobial properties. A study published in 2009 found that callisia fragrans extract was able to inhibit the growth of two types of bacteria that commonly cause respiratory infections, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae.

Another study published in 2010 found that callisia fragrans extract was also effective against the fungus Candida albicans.



Gastrointestinal Benefits:

Callisia fragrans health benefits have been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, dysentery, and nausea. A study published in 2009 found that callisia fragrans extract was effective in vitro in inhibiting the growth of several types of bacteria including Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Vibrio cholerae.

Callisia fragrans has also been used traditionally to treat stomach pain, ulcers, and other gastrointestinal problems.

Related: 7 Ways to Boost Digestion You Never Knew Existed + [Video]

Skin Care Benefits

Callisia fragrans extract has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, skin protecting, and antioxidant properties. A study published in 2012 found that callisia fragrans extract was able to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory molecules after UV exposure which helps prevent oxidative stress and damage to the skin triggered by free radicals.The leaves are applied topically to treat burns, skin diseases, and insect bites. A starch made from the rhizomes is used as a poultice for boils and abscesses.

Related: The Antioxidant Packed Plant That Could Improve Your Hair and Skin

Antioxidant Benefits:

A study published in 2014 examined the antioxidant activity of callisia fragrans extract compared with various other tropical fruits including mango, pineapple, papaya, grapeseed, cranberry, raspberry seed powder, grape juice, apple cider vinegar powder, cantaloupe melon juice concentrate powder, leafy green vegetable mix (kale/romaine lettuce/Brussels sprouts) powder, and lemon juice. Among the tested extracts, callisia fragrans was found to have the highest antioxidant activity and total phenolic content.

Antidepressant Benefits:

A study published in 2009 found that callisia fragrans extract was able to inhibit the growth of two types of bacteria that commonly cause respiratory infections, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. A study published in 2009 found that callisia fragrans extract was effective in vitro in inhibiting the growth of several types of bacteria including Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Vibrio cholerae. A 2008 study examined the antidepressant effects of five traditional Chinese medicinal on rats exposed to water avoidance stress, social avoidance stress, and the forced swimming test. Callisia fragrans significantly reduced depression-like behaviors in all three tests with no adverse effects.

Analgesic Benefits:

Callisia fragrans health benefits have been used to treat toothaches for centuries according to traditional Chinese medicine. A study published in 2007 found that callisia fragrans extract was effective in vitro in inhibiting prostaglandin production which contributes to pain.

Anticancer Properties:

A 2004 study reported that callisia fragrans increased cell death of pancreatic cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed after 6 days of exposure to fractions containing benzylidene acetone derivatives. Another study from 2010 found that a water extract from callisia fragrans was able to inhibit the growth of leukemia cell lines.


The potential medicinal uses of callisia fragrans make it an important plant to study further. More research is needed to determine the efficacy of the plant for treating various diseases. More recently, callisia fragrans has been investigated as a possible source of new anti-inflammatory drugs. In one study, an extract of the plant was found to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human cells. Another study showed that an extract of the plant suppressed inflammation in rats injected with lipopolysaccharide, a molecule that triggers inflammation.

The leaves and flowers of callisia fragrans are edible, and the plant has been used as a food source in tropical countries. The rhizomes are also edible and can be boiled or roasted.

Where to Buy Callisia Fragrans 

When purchasing callisia fragrans, look for a supplement that has been standardized to contain a certain percentage of benzylidene acetone derivatives. This is the active ingredient in the plant responsible for its medicinal properties. Callisia fragrans supplements are available online and in health food stores.



Please keep in mind that the safety of supplements and herbs is not determined by the FDA, therefor it is always best to consult with a doctor before adding any new supplement to your regular routine. Always buy from reputable suppliers.

Dosage:

There are currently no clinical studies on the correct dosage of callisia fragrans for any medical condition.

Callisia fragrans is thought to have antiasthmatic benefits when given orally in doses of 0.5-1 gram per day . The plant’s use as an emmenagogue calls for a dose of 10 grams daily in divided doses with water . For its role in treating respiratory infections, callisia fragrans extract is taken orally at a dose of 0.5-2 ml (23 mgml) three times daily.



Side Effects:

Callisia fragrans is generally considered safe when taken orally in recommended doses . Callisia fragrans should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It may cause uterine contractions, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, or other side effects if taken in high doses. Callisia fragrans may also have adverse interactions with other drugs including anticoagulants and antihistamines.

The potential medicinal uses of callisia fragrans make it an important plant to study further. More research is needed to determine the efficacy of the plant for treating various diseases. Before trying it yourself, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional to find the right dose for you.