Giloy is Amrita
Written by Dr. Sanjeev Sood & R.D. Gupta   

Dr. Sanjeev Sood
Ph. : +91-9814004142

Giloy is one of the most useful ayurvedic herb which acts as tonic and aphrodisiac, it is also an antihelminthic, anti-arthritic, anti-periodic, anti-pyretic, blood purifier, cardiac, carminative, digestive, diuretic an expectorant, stomachic, rejuvenating, appetizing and anti-inflammatory.

In Ayurvedic literature Giloy is described as Amrita because of its innumerable medicinal properties and it is also said to increase the lifespan of humans by preventing them from many chronic diseases. Giloy is one of the most useful ayurvedic herb which acts as tonic and aphrodisiac, it is also an antihelminthic, anti-arthritic, anti-periodic, anti-pyretic, blood purifier, cardiac, carminative, digestive, diuretic an expectorant, stomachic, rejuvenating, appetizing and anti-inflammatory. Starch from the roots of Giloy as well as from its stems can be used for chronic diarrhoea and dysentery. The juice of the fresh plant is diuretic and is used in gonorrhea. It is also useful for curing chronic fevers, gouts, vomiting, cardiac debility, skin diseases, leprosy, anemia, cough, asthma, jaundice, seminal weakness, uropathy and splenopathy.
Tinospora cordifolia (Wild) Miers Ex. HK. F Thomas, which is commonly known as Giloy or Gudachia. It belongs to the family of Menispermaceae and is a vigorous climber. Its English name is Gulancha Tinospora. There are about 40 species of Giloy which are found throughout the world, comprising parts of Africa, Southern Eastern Asia, and Australia. Out of 40 species only 4 species have been found in India. These consist of : (i) Tinospora cardifolia; (ii) T. sinensis; (iii) T. malabarica; and (iv) T. tomentosa. T. cardifolia is, however, mainly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of India ascending an altitude of 300 m to 1200 m above mean sea level. Contrary to this, T. malabarica grows up to 1300 m above mean sea level. Both these species are found in association with each other in the warmer and mainly valley areas of Uttarakhand. In fact, T. cordifolia is an indigenous plant species belonging to the tropical areas of India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. It is an important herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

Medicinal uses:
• Skin diseases: Juice taken with neem, haldi and amla is very effective.
• Piles: Juice of Tinospora with butter milk is useful.
• Breast milk: Decoction of the stem is given to improve the quality of breast milk.
• Toxins: It is considered a best herb for clearing microcirculatory system. Its juice is very effective in removing both exogenous and endogenous toxins. It clears out the brain toxin that inhibits mental function.
• Asthma: The root and bark with whey is used in the treatment of respiratory troubles particularly in asthma.
• Diabetes: Juice is taken in high quantities.
• Excessive bleeding during menstruation, bleeding after abortion or delivery: Stem, leaves and roots can be used. About 5 g each of leaves and roots are crushed together to extract the juice. Consume 2 cup of this juice for a few days after diluting it with water (2 to 3 ml in half a cup of water) till the condition improve.
• Malaria and other fever : Decoction of the stem with pipli (Piper longum) and honey is taken.
• Indigestion: The juice with honey or the paste of leaves can be given with butter milk.
• Conjuctivitis and cataract : In some parts of India the juice is applied inside the eyes.

Giloy Dosage
• Powder 1-2 gm. up to maximum 5 gm.
• Decoction 50-100 ml
• Extract 1-2 ml

Giloy is a large extensively spreading, glabrous, perennial, deciduous climber having succulent stems and corky dotted bark with grey-brown or creamy-white color. The leaves are simple, membranous, alternate broadly ovate, deeply cordate and shortly acuminate. Its flowers are small, yellow or greenish-yellow in appearance when the plant is leafless. They are usually solitary in the female and clustered in the male plant. The fruits are generally drupes and red in color when they ripe. The drupes are ovoid, glossy, succulent, red and seeds are curved. Usually, fruits bear only one seed.
The flowering in Giloy usually starts in the month of March-June and fruit set in the month of July and mature in the cold season. The most important part of the plant used for therapeutic purpose is fresh stem, though it is commercially available in the market (Grocer's shops) in the dried state.
The main important chemical constituent of the plant are tinosporin, perberillin, palmarin, berberine, tinosporon, hepta consol tinosporic acid adntinosporol. The fresh stem bark yield giloin, giloinin and gilosterol. Hypoglycaemia agent and phenolic lignin have also been isolated from this plant.
Other uses
It is used in cancer prevention, cancer treatment support, high cholesterol and liver protection. It is used as strong anti-aging factor. Many natives use the fruits of Tinospora in face care. It has been used to treat convalescence from severe illness, arthritis, food allergies and anemia. According to some herbalists, Tinospora has adaptogen effects, a term that indicates it helps the body to adopt to stress. In children it is used in general debility, digestive disturbance, loss of appetite and fever.
Giloy can be successfully grown in large variety of soils, ranging from loamy sand/sandy loam or loam to clay loam. However, the soil should be well drained with sufficient moisture.
Planting is usually done during rainy season (July to August). As it is climber so it requires support. Fast growing species such as Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) and Moringa (Moringa oleifera) are planted for providing support to Giloy plant.
Propagation through seeds and cuttings: Although Giloy is propagated through seeds and cuttings yet propagation through cutting is cheaper and easy as compared to seeds. Cuttings do not require any chemical treatments which enhance the rooting before planting. As such they are propagated from cuttings of the plants within 24 hours. The main precaution is that the cuttings should have at least two internodes. One is put inside the soil surface and the other one should remain outside the soil surface. In case of seeds propagation, it requires some chemical treatments before sowing in the nursery bed. Initially at the time of planting, watering is required daily while during winter it can be done once in a week depending upon climatic conditions.
The powder is taken in empty stomach with half cup of water in the morning. The decoction is taken after diluting with half a glass of water early in the morning in empty stomach. The extract is also taken early in the morning in empty stomach after mixing with half a glass of water.
In Ayurvedic products Giloy plant is used for the preparation of various types of ayurvedic products like Yograja guggulu, Kaishore guggulu, Sanjivani-vati, Amritarista, Sudarshan churan.
Parts of Giloy used for curing diseases
Stem—Fever, Acidity, Blood purification and Eye disease
Fruit—Rheumatism, Jaundice

Dr. Sanjeev Sood is Prof. & Head of Panchakarma Department, Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar, + 91 9814004142
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Mr. R.D. Gupta is Ex-Associate Dean, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (J), 39-Dhakki Sarajan, Jammu 180001 (J&K).