Giloy, known by the scientific name, Tinospora cordifolia, is a climber that belongs to family Menispermaceae. It is commonly known as Guduchi, Amrita, Gurach, Tinospora.
Giloy is also called as ‘amruta’ in Sanskrit which means nectar. It is used in ayurveda since centuries to treat myriad of diseases.
The interesting part about Giloy is that any part of the plant when sown in the soil generates the plant.
Health Benefits of Giloy
- Blood sugar lowering properties
As per the research1 done to evaluate the hypoglycemic activities of Giloy, it was seen that even on administering giloy for only two weeks to diabetics showed a significant reduction in the blood sugar and an improvement in the levels of glycosylated haemoglobin levels. Many other animal studies also prove the efficacy of giloy in lowering blood sugar levels.
- To treat fever
Giloy is antipyretic in nature and is used to treat fever and various diseases. It is also anti inflammatory in nature. It is very useful in building the body’s immune system against the various infections. This herb also enhances the killing ability of white blood cells and hence effective in the treatment of diseases like dengue2.
- Immune stimulant
Certain constituents in Giloy help to boost the immune system by increasing immunoglobulin and blood leukocyte levels. It has the ability to reduce solid tumour volume by 58.8%. These immuno-stimulating properties can be used in the prevention of tumour mediated immunosuppression and hence could be a drug choice for various cancers2.
Due to its immune stimulating properties, Giloy is also used to treat people with HIV infection or any other autoimmune infection. In a study published in the "Indian Journal of Pharmacology," 60 percent of HIV patients who received giloy treatment reported a decrease in disease related symptoms, as opposed to only 20 percent who received placebo treatment. This proves the efficacy of this herb in the treatment of HIV infection.
Other benefits of Giloy
- As an anti-oxidant - giloy has exhibited high antioxidant abilities which indicates its use as a potential nutraceutical for treating health problems due to oxidative stress.
- Anti ulcer activity - helps to heal the ulcer faster and protects against stress induced ulceration.
- Mental disorders - whole plant including the leaves have been traditionally used to treat various mental disorders. It can reduce mental stress, anxiety and also boost the memory.
- Anti inflammatory - due to its anti-inflammatory abilities, giloy is used to treat arthritis symptoms especially the swelling and the joint pain.
- Wound healing abilities - giloy also help in stimulating phagocytic cells that aid in healing chronic wounds.
- Oral administration with the juice of giloy stem with honey is used in treating asthma.
Usage and side effects
The major usage of Giloy is for treating various types of fever, be it dengue fever or chronic fever.
- Giloy juice checks fever caused by Vata.
- Juice of giloy and shatavari in equal quantity, mixed with jaggery alleviates fever caused by vata
- Giloy juice mixed with pepper and honey is used as a remedy for chronic fever, kapha, spleen enlargement, cough and anorexia.
Jaundice - Paste of giloy leaves with buttermilk is used to treat jaundice.
Vomiting - decoction of giloy to relieve vomiting
As Rasayana - Giloy is a herb with lots of antioxidants and helps in boosting immunity . It has the power of regeneration and can be used on a regular basis for a period of month or two to boost immunity .
- Since it lowers blood sugar levels, diabetics should consume it with caution and only under the recommendation and care of an ayurvedic practitioner.
- It is also advised against the use of giloy during pregnancy and lactation.