The most notable biological activity of any dodder seed supplement is its antioxidant effects, though its anti-inflammatory properties may also explain much of the anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness. This is especially true with regard to the popular application of dodder seed extract to the problems of diarrhea, achiness, and issues of the loins.
Dodder seed extract also has some significant impact on osteoporosis, and shows promise for use as a useful anti-osteoporosis/pro-bone-health treatment. What’s more, didder seed supplements have anti-apoptotic properties, meaning that they can stave off cell death caused by aging.
Another unique property of this supplement is its potentially anti-abortive properties, and its traditional use to stop miscarriages.. Dodder seed extract may have some neuroprotective and memory retention effects, especially in older people. That being said, there are also other, more (potentially) helpful herbal supplements for this population, if memory protection is a desired outcome of supplementation.
Conversely, there are few herbal supplements that show better promise for use as an antidepressant therapy. Compared to patients taking fluoxetine, those who take dodder seed supplements by mouth over a long period of time report significant reductions in the symptoms of major depression, with far fewer side effects.
In Chinese medicine dodder seed is categorized as a yang tonic. It is classified as sweet, acrid and neutral. It primarily affects the Liver and Kidney meridians.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Dodder seed supplements are made using the dried, crushed/powdered seeds. Nearly all medicinal uses (especially those that have been significantly empirically studied) call for oral use rather than topical use. However, topical use of dodder seed supplements is not unheard of.
More research is needed to verify both the efficacy and the safety of dodder seed derivatives and supplements. Consequently, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take dodder seed supplements, nor should anyone who is currently under a physician’s supervision for any significant medical condition. Talk to a physician, certified herbalist, or other qualified healthcare professional before adding dodder seed supplementation to your treatment plan. Common side-effects may include stomach pain and upset.
Donnapee, Sineeporn, et al. “Cuscuta Chinensis Lam.: A Systematic Review on Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of an Important Traditional Herbal Medicine.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Elsevier, 2 Oct. 2014, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874114006874.
Kiani, Azadeh et al. “EFFECTS OF CUSCUTA CHINENSIS LAM. VERSUS FLUOXETINE FOR TREATMENT OF MAJOR DEPRESSION: A DOUBLE-BLIND, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL.” (2018).
Liao, Jung-Chun, et al. “Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Cuscuta Chinensis Seeds in Mice.” The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, vol. 42, no. 01, 2014, pp. 223–242., doi:10.1142/s0192415x14500153.
Lin, Ming-Kuem, et al. “Cuscuta Chinensis and C. Campestris Attenuate Scopolamine-Induced Memory Deficit and Oxidative Damage in Mice.” Molecules, vol. 23, no. 12, 2018, p. 3060., doi:10.3390/molecules23123060.
Sun, S., Guo, L., Ren, Y. et al. Anti-apoptosis effect of polysaccharide isolated from the seeds of Cuscuta chinensis Lam on cardiomyocytes in aging rats. Mol Biol Rep 41, 6117–6124 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11033-014-3490-1
Wu, Hai-Wang, et al. “Effect of Total Flavones from Cuscuta Chinensis on Anti-Abortion via the MAPK Signaling Pathway.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2018, Feb. 2018, pp. 1–12., doi:10.1155/2018/6356190.
Yang, Lijuan, et al. “Antiosteoporotic Compounds from Seeds of Cuscuta Chinensis.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 135, no. 2, 2011, pp. 553–560., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.03.056.