Qing Dai (QD), or Indigo, is an ancient remedy widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent, for heat-cleaning, blood cooling, fever-cooling, and detoxification.
Over the last decade, Qing Dai has emerged as a promising therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The treatment had been found highly effective in numerous clinical trials in rapidly inducing remission in patients with active ulcerative colitis, including patients who had previously not benefited from corticosteroid or biologic therapy.
With unprecedented rates of remission and complete mucosal healing, QD has taken the lead as the fastest, most proven natural treatment for IBD. Still, many are concerned with various side effects reported from several trials.
Here’s what you need to know about the side effects of Qing Dai, what to watch out for, and how to ensure a safe, long-lasting recovery with this natural therapy.
What you need to know about taking Qing Dai
Unlike usual supplements, Qing Dai needs to be used in the correct way, with evidence-based doses and treatment duration.
It’s just as vital that the QD formulation includes the accurate amounts of molecules Indigo and Indirubin. These are the active constituents responsible for the benefits of QD for intestinal inflammation and mucosal damage in IBD.
Here’s how it works: Indigo and Indirubin have been confirmed to activate what is known as the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway. Aryl hydrocarbon receptors line the gastrointestinal tract. When activated, they send signals to the body to override pro-inflammatory cytokines in the intestine, largely through boosting interleukin (IL)-22, which regulates intestinal immune homeostasis, reduces inflammation, and promotes mucosal tissue healing.
If you’re looking to purchase Qing Dai, make sure the product has gone through third-party LCMS lab testing for ascertaining the minimally required content of Indigo and Indirubin, or you may not feel any benefit from this supplement.
LCMS is a more complex analytical chemistry technique that goes beyond the usual heavy metal and pesticide testing. Unfortunately, due to the extra expense, few supplement companies undergo LCMS, but it is an extremely important factor when selecting your Qing Dai formula.
Who shouldn’t take Qing Dai?
- You are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to conceive in the next 3 months as the safety data is currently limited
- You are allergic to Qing Dai
- You are diagnosed with a chronic liver disease (autoimmune hepatitis or primary sclerosing cholangitis) as QD can potentially exasperate these conditions
- You have a blood clotting (hyper-coagulability) condition
- You have ever been diagnosed with venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or pulmonary hypertension due to rare reports of PAH in patients taking high doses of unregulated QD in Japan and China
- Consult your physician before taking CurQD if you are currently taking drugs of the JAK inhibitors family such as Xeljanz or Rinvoq
Potential Adverse Effects of Qing Dai
Qing Dai is a potent compound that may sometimes be a little difficult to digest. Therefore you may experience some mild symptoms, though these are usually temporary and resolve quickly on their own.
The adverse effects of Qing Dai are typically:
- Slight abdominal pain
- Epigastric pain
If these symptoms persist for over a week, it’s best to consult with your physician or the clinic service from which you purchased your Qing Dai.
Some have experienced liver blood test abnormalities after taking QD, but these dissipated upon discontinuation or dose reduction. It’s therefore recommended to take a liver blood test 3-6 weeks after starting treatment.
There have been a few, extremely rare cases of pulmonary hypertension after Qing Dai use. This was always reversible and dissipated after discontinuation. It should be noted that these cases were always reported in patients taking unregulated and untested formulations of Qing Dai, at very high doses for extended periods of time.
In studies using the QD1 formulation of Qing Dai at a regulated dose and for a limited duration, there have been zero reports of pulmonary hypertension or any harmful side effects.
Rarely, QD has been associated with intussusception, which is when a part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part (like the folding of a telescope) and causes obstruction. This can also occur with some viral illnesses, with IBD itself, or if there are polyps or other lesions in the colon. If you do experience sudden severe abdominal pain, stop QD treatment until consulting with your physician.
How to take Qing Dai powder?
The most important thing you need to know about Qing Dai is that, although natural, it is a potent compound, not just a supplement. Therefore it needs to be taken within a strict framework for tapering, tailored to your specific disease state, and with the guidance of your physician or clinic service.
Even with such guidance, it’s highly advised to take QD in a regulated capsule form, not powder form, as this can lead to ingesting varying and hard-to-control amounts of QD.