Giloy (Guduchi): An Amazing Plant with Incredible Benefits

Written by Falguni Daspute

Giloy or Guduchi: One Plant, Many Roles!

Namaste!

Have you ever wondered why Giloy Or Guduchi is so hallowed?

Among many natural medicinal herbs in Ayurveda, Giloy has been the talk of the town for the last few years.

If you are a follower of famous yoga guru Swami Ramdev Ji, then you are already aware of the Giloy plant and Benefits of giloy.

In most of his Yoga and Health camps, he had introduced Giloy benefits to his students and the audience.

From boosting immunity to reducing anxiety, there are immense benefits of this fantastic herb.

Giloy or Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) is a rejuvenating herb for the body.

Due to its unique properties, it is considered like nectar, and for this reason, it is also called Amrita.

Here you will find complete information about Giloy along with its Benefits & Properties.

Giloy or Guduchi

What is Giloy?

Giloy or Guduchi is one of the most highly valued Ayurvedic immunomodulator herb used since the time immemorial due to its medicinal properties and benefits.

Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) or Heart-leaved Moonseed is a magical ayurvedic vanaspati (herb) that is also called as “Queen of all Herbs” by experts.

As per classical ayurvedic text, Nighantu Adarsh, Guduchi is referred to as:

गुडूची – गुड रक्षणे

The word Guduchi is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘gud rakshane’ (that which protects).

So Guduchi means:
The creeping plant that endows life by protecting us from various diseases.”

It has a crucial place in Ayurveda. From the Ayurvedic point of view, it is considered as the best medicine to cure diseases.

It is also said that Ayurvedic practice without this herb may not be possible, as it is an essential ingredient of several ayurvedic decoctions and medicines.

Due to which in India, it is generally termed as “One plant for many diseases.”

Also, in Ayurveda, Guduchi is considered one of the three Amrit (nectar or ambrosia) plants, the other two being garlic and haritaki.

Vernacular Names of Guduchi

Names of Giloy in Other Languages:

LanguagesNames
EnglishIndian Tinospora, Heart-leaved moon seed, Moon Creeper, Tinospora, Bile Killer
HindiGiloy, Amrita, Gulancha, Gulneha, Gulbel, Gurcha, Guloh
MarathiGulvel, Amrita, Amritavalli, Guduchi
GujaratiGulvel, Galo
BengaliGolancha, Giloe, Gulancha
MalayalamAmrutavalli, Amrtu, Chitamruthu, Siddamirth
PunjabiGilo, Garham, Palo
TamilAmrutavalli, Chintilikkoti, Chindil, Seendal, Silam, Kunali, Seendil kodi
TelguTippatige, Thippateega, Dussiramu, Amruta
KannadaAmaradaballi, Amrutaballi, Angiballi
ArabGilo
AssameseSiddhilata, Amarlata, Geloi, Shaguni-lata, Hoguni-lot
KashmiriAmrita, Gilo
OriyaGulochi, Gulancha
UrduGurch, Guluncha
ManipuriNingthou Khongli

Giloy Names in Sanskrit:

Giloy has more than 50 synonyms in various ayurvedic texts based on its actions and properties. A few of them are mentioned below, along with their meanings.

NameMeaning
GuduchiThat which protects us
AmritaNectar or ambrosia
MadhuparniHoney like leaves
AmritavallariCreeper with Amrita or Nector
Chinna
Chinnaruha
These names indicate the capacity of the cut bits of stem to withstand or endure severe adverse conditions and to produce buds to develop new plants
ChinnodbhavaAble to grow even if cut
VatasadaniAlleviates Vata
TantrikaSpreading nature of the plant looks after the health of the body
KundaliniStem gets entangled with twiners
ChakralakshanikaWheel-like appearance of
cross-section
SomaBest of the best food
SomavalliCreeper containing Soma
VishalyaFree from thorns or other irritant appendages, removes
disease
Rasayani
Jivantika
Vayastha
These names indicate rejuvenating
nature of the plant
DevanirmitaCreated by god
JvaranasiniEffect of the plant in
mitigating fever
Bhisakpriya
Bhisagjita
Favorite of the physicians or that which has won the favor of physicians
VaraBest, excellent, or precious among medicines
AmrtasambhavaProduced or originated from the nectar

Every name given to Tinospora Cordifolia has its own significant meaning, like in Sanskrit. It is called Guduchi, which means ‘the one which protects the entire body’ or the Amrita, which means ‘vitality, immortality, and longevity.’

Giloy Plant Description

So now talking about Giloy Plant, it is a creeping shrub with lots of medicinal properties.

Giloy is a large, deciduous, extensively-spreading, climbing shrub with several long twining branches.

It is a perennial shrub and can grow up to an altitude of 300-320 m.

Giloy Leaves

Guduchi Leaves are membranous, cordate (heart-shaped), and are dark green.

Giloy Leaves are simple, alternate, and exstipulate with long petioles up to 15 cm (6 in) long, roundish and pulvinate, and are similar to betel (paan) leaves.

The leaves have an indistinct odor and are bitter.

Giloy Flower

Flowers of giloy are small and greenish-yellow in color on axillary and terminal racemes.

They are unisexual, small on separate plants, and appearing when the plant is leafless, Male flowers are clustered, but female flowers are usually solitary.

It has six sepals in two series of three each.

The flowering of the giloy plant occurs in May and June while the fruits are in September and October.

Giloy Fruit

Giloy Fruits are oval in shape, lustrous, scarlet or orange-colored, and similar to that of pea with a single seed.

Seeds are fleshy and curved. Fruits mostly grow in clusters of one to three.

They are smooth ovoid drupelets on thick stalks with subterminal style scars.

Giloy Stem

The giloy plant’s stem is mainly used for medicinal purposes, and it is the main ingredient in the preparation of various formulations in Ayurveda.

Giloy stem occurs in varying thickness ranging from 0.6-5 cm in diameter.

The young stem is green in color with a smooth surface and swelling at nodes; older ones show light brown color.

The stem is somewhat succulent with long filiform—fleshy aerial roots from the branches with a thick, soft, warted bark.

The wood is white, soft, and porous, and when freshly cut, it quickly gives a yellow tint.

Giloy plant is cultivated in warm and humid climates and grows well in all types of soil but mostly prefers red soil or black soil.

This plant is indigenous to tropical areas of India, China, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. In India, Ahmedabad cultivates Guduchi in hectares.

As it is a climber, it needs support to climb and grow. It climbs on the mountains and another plant, etc. circularly, so it is also called “Kundalini.”

Commonly, Giloy is found climbing on Neem (Azadirachta indica) and Mango (Mangifera indica).

Every element of giloy plant is used in medicine by the ayurvedic system to treat various diseases.

Fact about Giloy:
It has a unique property that it gains the qualities of the plant on which it grows.
According to this, Giloy or T.cordifolia growing on Neem is considered the best medicine for the eyes.

Medicinal Parts of Giloy Plant

The following parts of the giloy plant are used for medicinal purposes:

  • Stem
  • Roots
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Fruits

Almost all parts of the plant are documented to be useful, but stem and roots are used exclusively.

A different part of Giloy is used differently for various diseases.

Scientific Classification of Guduchi

KingdomPLANTAE
DivisionTRACHEOPHYTA (tracheophytes or Vascular Plants)
ClassMAGNOLIOPSIDA
OrderRANUNCULALES
FamilyMENISPERMACEAE
GenusTINOSPORA
SpeciesT. CORDIFOLIA

Botanical Name of Giloy or Guduchi: Tinospora cordifolia

Medicinal Properties or Action of Giloy

Ayurvedic properties (Dravya-Gun) of Giloy

In Ayurveda classification of any herb is done by its taste, quality, potency, resultant, effect. Likewise for Giloy following are the Dravya-Guna:

Rasa (Taste)Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna (Quality)Laghu (Light), Snigdha (Unctuous)
Virya (Potency)Ushna (Hot)
Vipaka (Resultant – After Digestion)Madhura (Sweet)
Prabhava (Effect)Vishaghna (Anti-toxic)

Effect of Guduchi on Tridosha               

According to Ayurvedic science, Tridosha – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are three humors or the root forces of the body which bring health when in balance, and produce diseases when they are out of balance.

So Giloy is Doshatrayahara is nature that it helps to balance Tridoshas – Vata, Pitta & Kapha in the body.

Likewise, Guduchi is Vatakar means it increases Vata dosha in the body by reducing the effect of the other two doshas Pitta and Kapha therefore it is known as Pitta-Kapha shamak.

Similarly it is highly beneficial to maintain balance in doshas.

Importance of Guduchi/Amrita in Ayurvedic Texts

Maharshi Charak has mentioned the use of Amrita in his book Charak Samhita (Sutrasthan-Chapter 24)

अमृता साङ्ग्राहिकवातहरदीपनीयश्लेष्मशोणितविबन्धप्रशमनानां।।

Meaning: Amrita (Giloy) has the potential to treat imbalance Vata Dosha. It also increases the appetite and clears the obstruction of Pitta and Kapha Doshas.

According to this shlok of charak Samhita guduchi is one main herb with a bitter taste. It helps in stimulating digestion and helps in alleviating Vata and Kapha dosha. Guduchi is a beneficial herb to cure constipation and bleeding disorders.

Maharshi Vaghbhat had also mentioned the benefits of Guduchi in his book Ashtanghriday. 

Vaghbhat ji says Guduchi is effective against Jwara (Prolonged fever), Chardiv(Vomiting), Daha (Burning sensation), Trushna (Thirst), increases appetite and reduces pitta and Kapha dosha dushti. He also says that Guduchi is also effective in curing diseases such as Kushta (Leprosy), Kandu (Pits or itching), Drushtivran (Eye problems) and reduces the effect of poison.

Now let’s have a look at the benefits of Giloy plant on the human body.

Giloy Benefits

Following are the Benefits of Giloy:

  • Boosts Immunity
  • Controls Diabetes
  • Helps with Indigestion
  • Increases Eyesight
  • Treats prolonged Respiratory Diseases
  • Treats Skin Problems
  • Increases Blood Cells
  • Helpful in PCOD
  • Treats Urinary Disorders
  • Treats Rheumatoid arthritis

1. Boosts Immunity

Giloy is termed as a universal herb to increase immunity. Antioxidants present in giloy promote the production of T and B lymphocytes which helps the human body to get resistant to any disease.

2. Controls Diabetes

In ayurveda, Giloy is extensively used to treat Prameha. i.e. Diabetes Mellitus. According to the modern concept, Tinospora cordifolia is hypoglycemic that means it has the property to reduce blood sugar levels and contains chemical berberine which treats Diabetes (especially of type -2). Juice of roots is helpful for chronic Diabetes.

3. Helps With Indigestion

Ama (Undigested food) in the amashaya (Stomach) is formed due to vitiated Vata dosha. In this Guduchi’s kadha (decoction) or fresh juice is recommended which triggers the function of Vata dosha, balances the effect of the other two doshas and ama gets out of the body.

It simply means Giloy helps in indigestion.

4. Increases Vision or Eyesight

As mentioned earlier Giloy plant growing on Neem (Azadirachta indica) has been proven to be the best medicine for eyes. It is known as chakshushya in Ayurveda.

Consumption of Giloy can help you to get a proper and clear image (Eyesight). 

5. Treats prolonged Respiratory Diseases

Giloy has anti-inflammatory action and helps in the treatment of respiratory problems such as chronic asthma, cold, cough, bronchitis, etc. Use the juice of stem with honey for asthma.

6. Treats Skin Problems

Giloy is known to be the best blood purifier. Skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis can be cured by applying face packs (prepared from fresh leaves).

Skin problems like pimples, acne, dark circles, black spots, etc are cured by applying Giloy gel on the infected area. Is also gives flawless skin and improves complexion.

7. Increases Blood Cells 

Giloy promotes cell division and helps in the production of megakaryocytes i.e. platelets. As it has the potency to increase the count of blood cells particularly platelets it is advised or given in diseases like Dengue (in which platelet count is severely reduced).

In the ayurvedic treatment of Pandu (Anaemia) Giloy is used extensively.

8. Helpful in PCOS/PCOD (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/Polycystic Ovary Disorder)

Berberine chemical present in Tinospora cordifolia promotes proper ovarian cycle and helps to treat PCOS.

According to Ayurveda Guduchi triggers the function of Vata dosha (Especially Apan Vayu – a type of Vata dosha) which ultimately triggers Artav Nishkraman i.e. releasing one egg after each menstrual cycle and clears problem of PCOS.

9. Treats Urinary Disorders

Problems related to Urinary tract or Kidneys such as difficulty in urination, burning micturition (Mutrakruchha in Ayurveda) are also cured by this plant.

10. Treats Rheumatoid arthritis

As we all know that rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and as Guduchi is the best medicine to increase immunity it works well for the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis and other such autoimmune disorders. 

As its name suggests ‘Amrita’ means vitality it has miraculous effects on the human body.

Apart from all the above-mentioned benefits and diseases, Giloy is also helpful to manage mental stress conditions.

Also It is proven to be the best rejuvenator, it also helps to treat piles, fistula. Works best as a laxative and detoxifier. Used in cardiovascular diseases, helpful in treating infertility.

It also has everlasting effects on the body organs especially liver (due to its cooling property), spleen (as it helps in proper blood circulation), stomach (as it helps in proper secretion of digestive juices), kidneys(as it prevents burning). 

Uses of Giloy

Giloy can be used as:

1. Satva (Extract)

Take the fresh stem of Giloy plant cut it into 4-5 small pieces and boil it until it becomes like a thick paste then strain the mixture and keep it to dry under sun rays to get the fine powder and take that powder in lukewarm water.

Satva of Giloy helps treat indigestion, constipation, burning sensation, and autoimmune disorders.

2. Fresh Giloy Juice

Readymade juice bottles are available in the market that can be used or prepare it at home. Boil the small pieces of Giloy stem with Basil (Tulsi) leaves and simmer the mixture until 1/4th of water remains, let it cool naturally and drink when it becomes lukewarm. It is best for fever, chronic DM, respiratory problems, and to reduce mental stress and anxiety.

3.Giloy Churna

It is prepared by the leaves of Giloy. Taking Giloy churna with cold milk has been used for acidity and piles. Applying its paste is proven to be useful for skin problems and on eyelids for clear eyesight.

4.Giloy Ghanavati or tablets 

It is available in the market and recommends for fever, to boost immunity, dengue, urinary tract infections and also for skin issues.

Fact about Giloy:
About the roots of T.cordifolia, it is said that Acharya Sushrut made use of its aerial roots for suturing the wounds as they are strong and have the property to heal the wound.

How to Take Giloy?

  1. Juice of Giloy can be taken in the morning regularly before breakfast for proper digestion.
  2. It can also be taken to reduce the heat of the body which will ultimately cure skin problems like pimples and acne.
  3. Giloy ghanavati.i.e. 2 tablets can be taken regularly with milk to built stronger immunity and also for skincare.
  4. As it contains anti-aging properties it can be taken regularly with lukewarm for a fresh glow.
  5. Powder of roots and stems along with milk is proven to be best for cancer patients.
  6. Juice of roots is used for Urinary tract disorders.

Conclusion

Giloy or Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) is a rejuvenating herb for the body.

Giloy has been used as a special ingredient in various Ayurvedic medicines since ancient times. It is a very versatile herb that has lots of benefits and can treat most of your health problems. 

Giloy is one such miraculous plant, which proves to be a medicine for various health problems.
It has a very important place in Ayurveda. From the Ayurvedic point of view, it is considered as the best medicine to cure diseases.

It gives man the strength to fight against any kind of disease. Due to its special properties, it is considered like nectar and for this reason, it is also called Amrita.

Giloy is proven to be the best rejuvenator and Immunomodulator herb.

Guduchi also has everlasting effects on the body organs especially liver (due to its cooling property), spleen (as it helps in proper blood circulation), stomach (as it helps in proper secretion of digestive juices), kidneys(as it prevents burning). 

So there are immense such Benefits of Giloy!

Now you know the various Giloy benefits and multiple properties of this fantastic ayurvedic herb let us know how Giloy/Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) has benefited your health in the comments below!

Also, share this article on Guduchi (Amrita) with your close ones and friends to spread the knowledge of this fantastic herb.

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