Giloy is an extremely essential herbal plant in Ayurvedic medicine because of its ability to manage a number of disorders. It is considered the ‘Mother Herb’ in Ayurveda owing to its wide-ranging health benefits, particularly it’s capacity to strengthen the immune system, manage digestive disorders, treat diabetes, fight infections, and heal the body.
Giloy is also commonly referred to as ‘Amrita,’ which literally means ‘divine nectar’ or ‘the root of immortality.’ Giloy has been used in Ayurveda and Siddha medicine since ancient times because of its abundant curative properties to treat various health conditions. It is extensively used in the treatment of chronic fevers. The herb has prominently been mentioned in Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita and Bhavaprakasha Nighantu.
The most widely known health benefit of Giloy herb is its immunity-boosting property. Due to this specific property, the use of Giloy is believed to be very beneficial in fighting Covid-19 (Corona) or even its new variant Omicron-like viruses and all types of infections. The herb can increase the immunity of the body, and thereby help it combat the infection in a natural and effective manner.
Synonyms of Giloy
Giloy is also called Guduchi (the protector). It is an herbaceous creeping plant belonging to the Menispermaceae botanical family. Some of the Sanskrit names of Giloy are Amritavallari, Ayattha, Amravalli, Chakrangi, Chandrahasa, Chinnaruha, Devanirmita, Guduchika, Jivantika, Jwarari, Jwaranashini, Madhuparni and Somvalli.
The scientific name of Giloy is Tinospora cordifolia. In English language, Giloy is known as Indian tinospora, Indian gulancha, Heart-leaved tinospora, and Heart-leaved moonseed.
The other names of Giloy in various vernacular languages are:
Giloy is a large, deciduous climbing shrub, which spreads extensively in the areas in which it is grown. The shrub, with numerous elongated coiling branches, commonly grows in higher-altitude regions.
The native habitat of Giloy is the tropical regions of Asia — predominantly countries like India and China. Besides tropical Asia, Giloy is also grown in the tropical regions of Africa and Australia.
All the parts of the Giloy herb are used in Ayurvedic medicine because of their varied healing properties. The herb contains a number of beneficial compounds, which have distinct pharmacological actions.
The parts of Giloy which are specifically used for medicinal purposes owing to their multiple health benefits include:
- Roots (aerial roots).
The stems of Giloy have specifically been approved by the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India for medicinal use. The Giloy stems are quite juicy and they comprise long fleshy aerial roots which form the branches of the plant.
Giloy has wide-ranging medicinal properties due to which the herb is extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine. Some of the key properties of the herb are:
The diverse medical properties of the Giloy herb are attributable to the presence of some beneficial plant compounds which can be broadly categorized into four groups — terpenoids, alkaloids, steroids, and lignans. More specifically, Giloy contains biologically active components like diterpenoid lactones, glycosides, aliphatic, polysaccharides, sesquiterpenoid, phenolics, and aliphatic compounds, along with antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, carotene, iron, phenol, anthocyanin, and lycopene.
Ayurvedic Properties and effect on Vata, Pitta, Kapha
The Ayurvedic properties of the Giloy herb can be described as follows:
Rasa (Taste) –Kashaya (astringent) and Tikta (bitter)
Guna (Quality) – Laghu (light to digest) and Snigdha (oily, unctuous)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (hot)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion) – Madhura (sweet).
About Giloy’s effect on the three doshas (Vata, Pita and Kapha), it is proven since ancient times that the herb has ‘Tridosha balancing’ properties — that is, it can effectively balance all the doshas. Giloy has a nourishing impact on the body because it can pacify the Pitta and Kapha doshas due to its astringent and bitter taste and normalize the Vata dosha because of its metabolic property.
Uses and Benefits
Giloy is a well-known medicinal herb, which is considered a ‘Rasayana’ (rejuvenator) in Ayurveda because of its numerous uses and benefits for supporting overall good health. In particular, the herb has a time-tested ability to boost immunity and help the body fight infections (including Corona and its Omicron variant and other infections). In addition, Giloy can also treat chronic fevers, improve digestion, reduce cholesterol levels, treat respiratory problems, improve skin health, and reduce stress and anxiety.
Some specific health problems or diseases in which the use of Giloy supplement is extremely beneficial are:
- Chronic fever
- Urinary tract disorders
- Pain and inflammation
- Skin infections
- Eye disorders
- Hansen’s disease (leprosy)
- Dengue fever
- Swine flu
- Liver disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Neurological disorders
- Bleeding problems (like bleeding piles, and nose bleeds).
The use of Giloy is also beneficial in treating several sexual health problems (like involuntary ejaculation and impotence) and increasing virility and stamina in males.
Giloy is available in the form of tablets, capsules, powder, and juice. Regular intake of Giloy supplement, under the guidance of an Ayurveda expert, is extremely beneficial for boosting immunity and managing a wide range of health conditions.
The recommended dosage of Giloy for adults is as follows:
- In tablet or capsule form: 1-2 tablets or capsules twice a day, with plain water.
- In powder form: 1/2 teaspoon of the powder twice a day, with lukewarm water or honey.
Giloy can be used safely as a natural treatment for several disorders.
It is advised that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not take Giloy.
Giloy should be taken under the medical supervision by the following people:
- People suffering from autoimmune diseases, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Lupus
- People scheduled to undergo surgical procedures
- People taking immunosuppressant drugs
Giloy is, by and large, safe Ayurvedic medicine for all adults as well as kids of age group 5 to 12. There have been no reported side effects when Giloy is taken as per the recommended dosage.
Giloy holds special significance in Ayurvedic medicine because it is a versatile herb, containing several beneficial active compounds, which are very much famous to help in chronic fevers and can support the overall healing process of the body. The herb is especially known in Ayurveda because of its immunomodulatory and physiological actions, which demonstrate its diverse versatility as herbal medicine. Giloy can effectively support the immune system and improve the body’s resistance to different types of infections. Some recent scientific studies have shown that the use of Giloy supplement can be quite beneficial in controlling the Corona or Omicron virus infection.