What is Giloy?

Giloy is a herb that's important in Ayurveda and is believed to be the queen of spices. It's been used in Ayurveda for centuries to treat several diseases. In Ayurveda, Giloy is considered among the best plant to treat various fevers and other conditions. Giloy is among the three Amrit plants. Amrit means the 'origin of immortality.' Consequently, it's also known as Amritavalli or Amrita in Sanskrit. Giloy is scientifically Called Tinospora Cordifolia or Guduchi in Hindi. The stem of Giloy is considered vital due to its high nutrient content and the alkaloids found in it, but the leaves and root can also be utilized.

In accordance with Charak Samhita's shloka, Giloy is one of the chief herbs with a bitter flavor. It's used in a variety of ailments and helps alleviate Vata and Kapha dosha. Giloy may help boost immunity. It has heart-shaped leaves which resemble betel leaves. Giloy is a versatile ayurvedic herb that can treat the majority of your health issues such as digestion, fever, diabetes, and eye disorders. 

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Nutritional Value of Giloy

The capability of giloy to heal many conditions is due to its medicinal properties such as anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and nutrient content. It's abundant in alkaloids. Other biochemical substances found in giloy are steroids, flavonoids, and carbohydrates. As a result of the high nutrient content, giloy is used to manufacture many herbal, ayurvedic, and modern medicines.

100 grams giloy contain approximately:

- 11.321 grams fiber

- 3.34 grams carbohydrate

- 2.30 grams protein

- 5.87 mg iron

- 85.25 mg calcium

- 303.7 micrograms of vitamin A

- 56 milligrams of vitamin C.

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Giloy health benefits

The plant is of interest to researchers throughout the globe due to its reported medicinal properties such as anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-periodic, anti-spasmodic, anti-oxidant, anti-allergic, anti-stress, anti-leprotic, anti-malarial, hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory, and anti-neoplastic actions.

Listed below are the best health benefits of Giloy:

- Boosts immunity: Boosting immunity is the first and the main benefit of Giloy. It can rejuvenate the body too. Giloy comprises antioxidant properties which improve health and combat dangerous diseases. Additionally, it flushes out free radicals and eliminates toxins from both the liver and the kidneys to enhance health. Along with all this, Giloy even combats bacteria that cause diseases in our own bodies. 

Diabetes: Many people the world over suffer from diabetes, known as part of frequent lifestyle diseases. Giloy functions as a hypoglycaemic agent, so it can be effective for diabetics. It can lower the amount of blood glucose and lipids. People with type 2 diabetes may consume Giloy juice to reduce elevated levels of blood glucose.

Gut health: Giloy stem can help to decrease constipation, acidity, bloating, and gas as it improves digestion. It works well for individuals who have a weak digestive system, a frequent issue. Consuming half a gram of Giloy powder with amla frequently can take care of most digestive troubles. Having Giloy juice with buttermilk is also effective in this situation. This treatment is also used by individuals suffering from hemorrhoids or piles.

Healthy aging: It can be used in the treatment of signs of aging. It comprises anti-aging properties which reduce dark spots, pimples, wrinkles, and fine lines. It keeps your skin glowing, young, and lovely.

- Chronic Fever: Giloy treats chronic fever and diseases. As it's antipyretic in character, it can reduce symptoms and signs of several life-threatening problems. It may increase the count of your blood platelets and alleviates symptoms of dengue fever. Giloy combined with a very little bit of honey, treats malaria.

- Asthma: Asthma is among the most dangerous diseases to afflict human beings The symptoms are varied, ranging from chest tightness to wheezing. What more, it isn't easy to treat asthma. Giloy is helpful against asthma and has been used by specialists to deal with asthma patients.

- Joint pain

Arthritis is a significant ailment.  it restricts movement. Giloy comprises anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties, which take care of arthritis and a number of its symptoms, such as joint pains.

- Eyes: The eyes are among the essential components of our body. Giloy may be used to treat eye ailments. It boosts clarity and can help you see better without spectacles. In certain parts of India, individuals apply Giloy on the eyelids regularly. Boil Giloy in water allow it to cool, and use it on your eyelids. You will surely see a change.

- Anxiety: It is often blended with other herbs to produce a fantastic health tonic. It not only clears brain toxins but also boosts memory. Additionally, it enables you to enhance your attention span. In this fast-paced world where cut-throat competition is the norm, psychological stress and stress are not uncommon. Giloy can decrease both mental tension and anxiety.

- Libido: Giloy can boost your sex life. Giloy comprises properties that boost libido that influence your sexual relations.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for digestion & gut health

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Giloy uses

There's only one possible alternative use of Giloy that's as a decorative plant to elevate aesthetic appeal. Giloy is a creeper so that you can allow it to grow on the side of your home for decoration. You want to trim the creeper regularly to keep it in shape. There are no alternative uses of Giloy. The nutrient content of Giloy is extremely high, so it's been an integral and extensive portion of medicine since ancient times. 

See: Ayurvedic herbs for constipation relief

See: Ayurveda for GERD, Constipation & Digestive Health

Side-Effects and Allergies of Giloy

The significance of this miracle herb is growing day by day as more and more people begin understanding the uses of this Amrit plant. It's slowly gaining popularity in most areas of the world as preventative and clinical medicine. Major side effects haven't been reported following consuming Guduchi. Individuals with weak digestive systems may experience constipation following long terms utilization of Guduchi. Consult with a trained ayurvedic practitioner regarding dosage that's acceptable for you. Different studies and scientific evaluations are done on the pharmacological effects of Guduchi (Giloy). 

Despite its many advantages, Giloy can cause stomach discomfort. These side effects will happen no matter what kind of Giloy you consume as powder,  juice, or supplement capsule. Giloy can also lower glucose levels.

Diabetics should be careful when consuming Giloy as it can also over-stimulate the immune system and make it over-active. When this occurs, symptoms of diseases like multiple sclerosis,  lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis increase. It's better to avoid Giloy if you suffer from one of these diseases. 

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References:

1.    Bishayi, B., Roychowdhury, S., Ghosh, S. and Sengupta, M., 2002. Hepatoprotective and immunomodulatory properties of Tinospora cordifolia in CCl4 intoxicated mature albino rats. The Journal of toxicological sciences, 27(3), pp.139-146.

2.    Singh, R.P., Banerjee, S., Kumar, P.V.S., Raveesha, K.A. and Rao, A.R., 2006. Tinospora cordifolia induces enzymes of carcinogen/drug metabolism and antioxidant system and inhibits lipid peroxidation in mice. Phytomedicine, 13(1-2), pp.74-84.

3.    Singh, G. and Saxena, R.K., 2017. Medicinal Properties of Tinospora Cordifolia (Guduchi).

4.    Nagarkar, B., Kulkarni, R., Bhondave, P., Kasote, D., Kulkarni, O., Harsulkar, A. and Jagtap, S., 2013. Comparative hepatoprotective potential of Tinospora cordifolia, Tinospora Sinensis, and Neem-Guduchi. Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, pp.906-916.

5.    Salubrainous. (2020). Tinospora (Guduchi) For Alcoholism: Research & Safety. [online] Available at: https://www.salubrainous.com/tinospora-cordifolia-for-alcoholism/.

6.    Prince, P.S.M. and Menon, V.P., 1999. Antioxidant activity of Tinospora cordifolia roots in experimental diabetes. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 65(3), pp.277-281.

7.    Rajalakshmi, M., Eliza, J., Priya, C.E., Nirmala, A. and Daisy, P., 2009. Anti-diabetic properties of Tinospora cordifolia stem extracts on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Afr J Pharm Pharmacol, 3(5), pp.171-180.

8.    Tang, L.Q., Wei, W., Chen, L.M. and Liu, S., 2006. Effects of berberine on diabetes induced by alloxan and a Saha, S. and Ghosh, S., 2012. Tinospora cordifolia: One plant, many roles. The ancient science of life, 31(4), p.151.

9.    Alsuhaibani, S. and Khan, M.A., 2017. Immune-stimulatory and therapeutic activity of Tinospora cordifolia: Double-edged sword against salmonellosis. Journal of immunology research, 2017.

10.  high-fat/high-cholesterol diet in rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 108(1), pp.109-115.

11.  Prince, P.S.M., Menon, V.P. and Gunasekaran, G., 1998. Hypolipidaemic action of Tinospora cordifolia roots in alloxan diabetic rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 64(1), pp.53-57.

12.  Prabhakar, P.K. and Doble, M., 2011. Mechanism of action of natural products used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, 17(8), p.563.

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