Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), commonly known as Giloya, came into limelight after its exceptional curative effects on Dengue fever. But its remarkable results were known since time immemorial by Ayurvedic seers and scholars.
Guduchi is one of the well-documented herbs in Ayurvedic texts. It is also one of the most used herbs in several of the Ayurvedic formulations and herbal drugs.
This is why, during the last two decades, it has been a subject of interest for the researchers all over the world, and now it is well-known globally.
Guduchi – All you need to know
The literal meaning of Sanskrit word, Guduchi, is the one which protects from diseases. It is very much revered in Indian medicine as Amrita, which means celestial nectar that brings immortality.
Guduchi is a large climber plant having lush, grooved, and green stems with creamy white colored bark. Its extensive branches bear smooth heart-shaped leaves with a long stalk.
Small yellow flowers grow during the summer while red fruits grow during the winter.
It is relatively common plant in tropics of the Indian subcontinent and widely found in deciduous and dry forest areas.
This plant has a specialty that it grows very quickly, does not need much attention and can be planted even with a small part of the stem.
If we cut the stem of the plant, then it grows again and hence it is said that this plant never dies.
Guduchi protects life by its Rasayana (rejuvenating) property, and it is very efficient in fever. Though Guduchi is renowned as a medicine, its dietary utility is lesser-known.
Ayurveda also states its nutritional qualities and has even mentioned it as one of the leafy vegetables.
It indicates that leaves of Guduchi were already a part of the diet of ancient Indians, which lead them towards a long and healthy life span. Tribal people in various parts of India still use it as a vegetable or in another way in their daily life.
The stem is the most used part due to its high number of medicinal properties. It serves as an essential ingredient of several Ayurvedic preparations. Root and leaves have several medicinal phytochemicals.
Ayurveda describes the qualities of Guduchi in detail. It is bitter and astringent in taste and has a sweet post-digestive effect on the body. It is having a heating effect on the body, thus showing catabolic activities. It has unctuousness and takes time to digest.
Guduchi pacifies all three doshas and hence is useful in varieties of diseases. It reflects its therapeutic effects on different organs of the body. Therefore it can be utilized for both dietary as well as treatment purpose.
What are the benefits of Tinospora?
Various Ayurvedic texts and sages sing praises for this amazing plant. Guduchi performs multiple actions in the body to maintain a balanced state of doshas. It strives for well-being in the following ways
- Acts as best anti-pyretic, i.e., can be used to treat any fever
- Protects and treats various viral disorders
- Cures general weakness, heartburn, hyperacidity, and urinary problems
- Stimulates digestive juices and removes accumulated toxins from the body
- Protects the stomach from ulcer, swelling, and injury by producing more mucin, a lubricant that protects body surfaces
- Alleviates anorexia, burning sensation, frequent thirst, and asthma
- Purifies & enriches blood thus useful in many skin disorders like leprosy
- Starch obtained from roots & stems is highly nutritious. Therefore, Guduchi can be used in the daily diet in general weakness caused due to chronic illness to gain body strength and weight
- High protein and carbohydrate contents present in Guduchi helps in providing essential energy component yielding 290 calories
- A potential trace element supplement of potassium and chromium, absence of which causes several metabolic disorders including Type-2 diabetes
- Leaves are reasonably abundant in iron, protein, calcium, and phosphorus thus fulfills the requirement of essential trace elements
- In combination with drugs it acts as an antidote in snake bite and scorpion stings
- Acts as a tonic as it rejuvenates & revitalizes functions of all body systems fights against wrinkles and baldness thereby increases the life span
- Excellent immunomodulator and improves body resistance against diseases
- Decreases blood sugar level and hence useful in diabetes
- Checks increased secretions of body and thus useful in vomiting, bleeding disorders, leucorrhoea, chronic diarrhea & dysentery
- Cures jaundice, liver disorders, malaria, infection, and tumor
- Prevents regular recurrence of symptoms of an illness
- Supports cardiac functioning
- Treats arthritis, fractures, and worm-infested diseases
- One of the best Medhya which means improves cognition power and enhances memory
- The aqueous extract shows antioxidant properties which prevent organ damage induced due to chemical toxicity and radiation
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How to use Guduchi?
Guduchi is used as an ingredient in different Ayurvedic herbal preparations. Nowadays, tablets of Guduchi extract are available in the market, which can be used daily to protect oneself from falling sick.
Ayurveda says that the whole plant can be used in various forms. Guduchi can be used easily at home as powdered root and stem bark, the decoction of the stem, juice of stem or root, juice or paste of leaves and stem.
Though its benefits are enormous and it can be used in various ways, lets quickly understand how to use Giloy for some common ailments
- To bring down fever, peel off the bark of 8 to 10g Guduchi stem and boil in a cup of water till ½ cup of water remains, add sugar for taste and take 2 to 3 times a day
- In the case of recurrent fever, juice of Guduchi stem is very useful
- Leaves fried in ghee can also be taken in chronic fever
Applying oil processed with the decoction of Guduchi stem and milk alleviates gout
- In severe hyperacidity, prepare a decoction from leaves of Guduchi, Margosa, and pointed gourd (Tricosanthes dioica) and take with little honey
- Syrup of Guduchi is beneficial in all kinds of thirst related problems
Juice of Guduchi leaves and stems taken with honey cures all types of diabetes
- Apply paste or juice of Tinospora leaves and sesame seed powder locally in case of burning sensation
- In psoriasis, the decoction of Guduchi stem and application of oil prepared with Guduchi juice or applying juice itself on skin gives excellent results
Two drops of leaf juice dropped in-ear cures any sort of ear pain
To treat asthma and bronchitis, drink juice of Guduchi stem with honey
Old septic wound washed with its decoction cures sepsis
Boil 10g stem in 4 cups of water till 1 cup is left and add one teaspoon of honey. Take it twice daily along with a controlled diet to treat obesity
- Use the 3-4 g stem decoction with cold or hot water in the morning on an empty stomach as a tonic to cure weakness
- To gain body strength in cancer, use powdered root and stem along with milk
- Giloya juice, i.e., the mixture of Guduchi herb and basil leaves increases body resistance up to 3 times
- To boost immune power, Guduchi leaves could be used as a vegetable in your diet
What do recent studies say about Guduchi?
Guduchi has undergone much experimentation for its therapeutic utility, and its many unknown actions were discovered.
After knowing its excellent results on Dengue fever, Guduchi has certainly evoked the interest of researchers to extol its other benefits.
- Tinospora prevents the hyperalgesia in diabetic neuropathy
- The immunomodulatory activity of Guduchi is shown due to its macrophage activating properties
- Daily use of Tinospora stem extract shows antioxidant property which reverts the effects of diabetes
Guduchi leaves extract shows anti-HIV activity
- When the starch fraction of Tinospora is injected inside the abdominal lining results in inhibition of cancerous tumors in the lungs
- Ethanol extract of Tinospora exhibits significant anti-stress activity when compared to diazepam; a tranquilizer used to relieve anxiety and stress
- Aqueous extract of roots results in a substantial reduction in serum and tissue cholesterol, and free fatty acids
- On clinical testing, it was found that anti-stress and tonic property of Tinospora brought a good response in children with a moderate degree of behavioral disorders and mental deficit. There was also significant improvement in I.Q. levels
What is the recommended dose?
It is recommended to take 50-100 ml of decoction of Guduchi in a day. If you want to take the powder of dried stem and leaves, then take 1-3 g in divided doses with water.
It is a good alternative for those who find it challenging to take decoction and powder of Guduchi. The extract could be taken daily in a dose of ½ – 2 g.
Ayurvedic classical texts report that Guduchi can cause constipation to those with the weak digestive system if taken regularly in large doses. However, it does not have any side effects and toxicity.
Guduchi – A life-savior herb
Research findings suggest that Guduchi certainly is a potential herb to be used in the development of many drugs. You can use these drugs for the treatment of life-threatening diseases prevalent in today’s society, which still does not have any guaranteed cure.
Guduchi holds a special place in the traditional herbs based home remedies. This magical herb comes with many benefits and no side effects. It can grow well even in the corner of your window without any special care. Use it daily in your diet or as medicine however needed.
Now that you have learned about the astonishing benefits of Guduchi, what are you waiting for? Plant this herb at your home and ensure a healthy future for you and your family.