Health benefits of Giloy

Giloy is a potent ayurvedic medicinal herb with an array of health benefits. It is commonly known as Guduchi. In Sanskrit, it is called Amrita which means ‘the root of immortality’.

 The scientific name of Giloy is Tinospora Cordifolia. It is also known as Heart-leaf-moonseed and considered as the “queen of herbs” in Ayurveda.

The herb is a large, glabrous, deciduous climbing shrub belonging to the family Menispermaceae. It has a bitter and pungent taste, mainly found throughout India and also in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and China. 

In Ayurveda, Giloy is used extensively in various herbal formulations for the treatment of several ailments throughout the centuries.

Modern science also has recently confirmed many of the health benefits of this versatile herb.

During the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the whole of humanity over the world is in distress. India is too going through a troublesome time to battle against this fatal disease. Since experimental vaccines for the virus are still under development, the sole alternative fighting against the virus is to take preventive measures.

Professionals from all over the world reported that the virus is fatal mostly for people with a weak immune system. They feel that boosting your immune system may help in reducing the effects of the infection and fight against the virus.

In view of this, the AYUSH Ministry, Government of India, released a guideline suggesting a list of ayurvedic herbs and formulations including Giloy to enhance immunity. It can protect you from the infection of the virus by boosting your immune system.

Let’s check out the health benefits of Giloy concerning old age Ayurveda as well as modern science.

health benefits of giloy
Stem of Giloy

Health Benefits of Giloy According to Ayurveda

Giloy has been utilized in ayurvedic formulations, as mentioned in various ayurvedic literature since ancient times. All parts of the herb are used for various medicinal purposes.

  • The oil of the herb is effective in reducing pain, edema, gout, and skin diseases as well.
  • The herb offers longevity, enhances your memory, improves health, and bestows youth. It also improves your complexion, voice, energy, and shine of the skin as well.
  • It helps treat digestive disorders like loss of appetite, abdominal pain, hyperacidity, colitis, worm infestations, excessive thirst, vomiting, and even liver disorders like hepatitis.
  • Fresh juice of Giloy, when mixed with rock candy, expedites the recovery in hepatitis patients. It helps in treating ailments like anemia, heart disorders, diabetes, sexual debility, bleeding, and splenic disorders too.
  • The starch of the herb is used as a home remedy for chronic fever, relieving burning sensation, and increasing energy and appetite.
  • The decoction of Giloy, mixed with lemon and malabar nut (vasa) relieves the itching and oozing.
  • It helps you to get rid of general weakness, dyspepsia, dysentery, and constipation. It is also helpful in impotency, syphilis, tuberculosis, jaundice, leprosy, and condylomata.
  • The extract of the herb is useful in the treatment of renal calculi and to reduce blood urea level. 
  • The decoction of Giloy and dry ginger is a good recipe for treating gout and rheumatic pain.
  • Giloy juice, taken with cow’s milk, is effective in fighting estrogen imbalance and thus helpful treating white discharge in women.
  • The juice of the herb is mixed with cumin seeds and consumed to reduce the burning sensation caused by hyperacidity.
  • The root extract of Giloy has a strong emetic effect and is used for bowel obstruction.

Health Benefits of Giloy According to Modern Science

Here are the 10 amazing health benefits of Giloy that are supported by scientific research.

1. Boost Your Immune System

Giloy has an excellent antioxidant activity that is well documented by various scientific studies.

Stem, bark, leaf, as well as essential oil isolated from the plant, contains several bioactive compounds. Alkaloid, lactone, and terpenoid present in Giloy have strong antioxidant activities. These compounds can neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals produced by your body during metabolism and prevent cell damage.  

It improves your immune system by increasing immunoglobulin, blood leukocyte levels, and stimulating stem cell growth. Thus it helps you to strengthen your immune system and fight against various infections.  

2. Treats Chronic Fever and Allergy

Being an anti-pyretic in nature, Giloy can prevent the onset of chronic fever. It can reduce the symptoms of some deadly diseases like dengue, malaria, and swine flu as well.

The capsule developed from the herb is found to be beneficial in the treatment of dengue. It can bring down fevers without any side effects and increases your platelet count as well.

A scientific study reported that Giloy is significantly effective against several allergic conditions. It can treat sneezing, nasal discharge, nasal block, and nasal pruritus and considerably decreases symptoms of allergic rhinitis and bronchospasm.

3. Help Prevent Cancer

The anti-cancer effects of Giloy are mostly studied in animal models. It can slows down tumor growth by killing the cancer cells and increases the lifespan of the patient.

Several bioactive compounds isolated from the whole plant indicate the anticancer potential against skin cancer, brain cancer, and bone marrow tumour in mice.

It is also found to be effective against different human cancer cell viz. human oral squamous carcinoma, hamster ovary, human colon cancer, and human cervical cancer and murine primary cells.

Polysaccharide fraction isolated from the herb is found to be very effective in reducing malignant tumour growth and spontaneous metastatic development.

The conditions that cause the development of tumour growth were reduced significantly in treated animals compared with untreated control animals.

Giloy leaf

4. Radioprotective and Chemoprotective

A study published in “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” confirmed that Giloy may help prevent side effects of radiation therapy.

Extract of the plant is found to be effective in preventing infertility and related problems in men who undergo radiation treatment.

Several newly isolated bioactive compounds from the whole plant have also been reported to have chemoprotective activities in liver cancer in rats.  The effect of Giloy extracts was comparable or better than doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, two popular chemotherapeutic agents.

Thus this magic herb may offer an alternative treatment strategy for cancer therapy in combination with gamma radiation.

5. Help Improve HIV Infection

Giloy may also be beneficial for people with HIV and other autoimmune disorders. The traditional use of the herb as an immunity booster led researchers to study its effects on patients with HIV.

In a study published in the “Indian Journal of Pharmacology,” suggests that Giloy may improve the immune systems of patients with HIV. It also helps to combat with other immune disorders, while also alleviating common side effects of these conditions.

6. Lowers Blood Sugar Level

Stem extract of the herb has a potent antidiabetic property that can significantly reduce the blood sugar level. Saponarin isolated from leaf extract of Giloy helps in managing sugar level by assisting in the production of insulin

The herb can also burn excess glucose and reduces the blood sugar level.

7. Heal Ulcer and Wound

The root extract of the herb is shown to have an antiulcer activity that brings a remarkable protective action against stress-induced ulcers. Treatment with a formulation of Giloy showed to reduce gastric ulcers in rats.

Further, study also indicated that Giloy possesses significant wound healing potency.  It increases wound contraction, collagen deposition, and reduction in epithelialization as well. Leaf paste of the herb can speed up the wound healing process as it helps skin regeneration.

8. Improves Memory and Mental Disorder

Giloy has also been revealed to improve learning and memory in normal rats and reverse their memory deficit.

The whole plant and the juice of the leaves are conventionally used in a variety of mental disorders. This is considered as one of the best psychotropic drugs in Ayurveda. 

It can help you to get rid of anxiety as well as mental stress. If combined with other herbs, Giloy can dispose of toxins, purifies blood, calms down your mind, and boosts memory.

9. Treats Arthritis and Osteoporosis

It is traditionally used in compound formulations for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Modern research reported Giloy to be effective in reducing inflammation, strengthening bones and cartilages, reduces the destruction of joints, and increases mobility.

Extract of the herb has also been reported to significantly relieve osteoporosis in osteoporotic animal models. This pointed out the importance of the herb in the treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

10. Treats Urinary Disorder

In a scientific study, Giloy was found to have diuretic effects. The water extracts of the stem of the herb can dissolute the renal calculi.

The pharmacological and clinical study of Giloy showed a significant decrease in blood urea levels in uremic dogs as well as patients.

Side Effects of Giloy

Giloy does not have any remarkable side effects. It is safe for cardiovascular system, renal system, central nervous system, and gastrointestinal system as reported by scientific studies.

Diabetic patients are advised to use the herb with caution since it can lower blood sugar levels. Pregnant and lactating mother should avoid giloy, since little data is available on its effects on them.

How to use Giloy

Giloy is commercially available in the form of juice, powder, tablet, and capsule. Follow the instruction for use in the label.

Conclusion

The health benefits of Giloy described in Ayurvedic texts have been validated by a lot of scientific evidence. These studies suggested that Giloy has immense potential in modern medical therapies.

However, the above content is general information only. You should always consult your doctor for more information before taking any medication.

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