Guduchi Benefits

Guduchi
Latin Name

Tinospora cordifolia

Also Known As

Heart-leaved Moonseed, Giloy

Origin

India

Parts Used

Resin

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

One of the most highly revered plants in Ayurveda, Guduchi is also referred to as “Heavenly Elixir” and the “Nectar of Life”. It has also been described as “one which protects the body”, with the many actions of this herb making it effective in the treatment of a wide variety of ailments.

In Ayurvedic Medicine, Guduchi is classed as bitter and astringent with a special action to destroy toxins – both internally and externally. It is traditionally used to promote life and longevity, increase strength, increase appetite, as an aphrodisiac, a blood cleanser, digestive aid, to alleviate skin disorders and as an adaptogen.

Guduchi Benefits

Immune Boosting

Another of the many names attributed to this powerful herb is the “Nectar of Immunity”. Studies have found that Guduchi supplementation can enhance the ability of macrophages – immune cells that engulf and digest cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, dangerous bacteria, and anything else that does not have the type of proteins specific to healthy body.

A detailed study looking at the effectiveness of Guduchi on the immune system was published in the “Journal of Immunology Research” in 2017. It was concluded that, “T. cordifolia and its constituents have been shown to possess immune-stimulating properties. T. cordifolia and its constituent α-D-glucan stimulate NK (natural killer) cells, B cells, and T cells with simultaneous production of various immune-stimulatory cytokines...... it can be concluded that aqueous and methanolic extracts of T. cordifolia possess immune stimulatory, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, and antioxidant properties.”

Allergies

Guduchi has also been found to be particularly effective against allergy symptoms such as allergic rhinitis, significantly reducing symptoms including stuffiness, sneezing and itching. It is known in Ayurveda as a histamine stabiliser and in animal studies it has decreased histamine-induced bronchospasms (tightening of airways and difficulty breathing) and helped stabilise mast cells.

Guduchi works intelligently by calming histamine reactions when needed and catalyzing more histamine when needed.

Liver Health

Many studies have been done on Guduchi’s ability to heal the liver and reverse damage, especially that which is related to alcoholism. One study found that a 14 day treatment with Guduchi extract reversed various biomarkers related to liver damage.

Another study published in "Alternative Therapies In Health and Medicine" in 2017 revealed that Guduchi helps in alcohol-induced liver toxicity by; regulating antioxidant enzymes, improving liver function, regulating cholesterol metabolism and regulating liver enzyme activity.

It has been found boost antioxidant defences, regulate cholesterol metabolism and improve liver function to fight alcohol toxicity.

Detoxification

The ability of Guduchi to assist in detoxification is primarily attributed to its potent antioxidant properties. It increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes, scavenges harmful free radicals and controls their production. Alkaloids such as choline and palmatine present in the herb contribute to its antioxidant power. The liver is primary detoxification organ in the body; Guduchi cleans the whole system principally through its purifying and building actions upon liver tissue.

Type 2 Diabetes

Guduchi has long been used as an anti-diabetic herb in Ayurveda and has been proven to significantly lower blood sugar. Much research has been conducted on this herb in relation to diabetes and it is thought that the powerful plant compound berberine is partly responsible for its effect on blood sugar.

A study published in the "Journal of Ethnopharmacology", showed the efficacy of Guduchi in treating diabetes mellitus by lowering blood glucose levels and brain lipids in diabetic rats, concluding that Guduchi extract has hypoglycaemic (sugar lowering), and hypolipidaemic (fat metabolising) effects. Another study found that blood glucose levels decreased significantly in patients with moderate and severe diabetes who took Guduchi extract for 3 or 15 weeks.

Typical Use

Organic Guduchi Tincture

Traditionally taken 2-3 ml 2-3 times per day, or as directed by a Herbal Practitioner.

Folklore and History

According to myth, when the ancient gods churned the primordial ocean, an ambrosial nectar was created that would grant immortality to any who drank it. The nectar was named "amrit", a Sanskrit word that means “imperishable.”

The sacred origin of Guduchi is described in the Indian epic "The Ramayana" and the sacred text of the Durga Saptshati. Vaidya Ramakant Mishra recounts the myth of Guduchi from The Ramayana saying that Guduchi began growing on Earth from the hands of Lord Indra. Lord Rama made a special prayer to Lord Indra asking Indra to resurrect all the monkeys and bears from his army that had died during the war with the rakshasa (demon), Ravana. Upon hearing the wish from Rama, Lord Indra granted Rama it and sprinkled nectar from the heavens to resurrect the animals. As the nectarous drops fell upon the bodies of the dead monkeys and bears, they suddenly came back to life. The nectarous drops that fell on the Earth formed the sacred Guduchi plant.

Guduchi
Constituents

The chemical constituents reported from Guduchi belong to different classes such as alkaloids, diterpenoid lactones, glycosides, steroids, sesquiterpenoid, phenolics, aliphatic compounds and polysaccharides.

Precautions

Guduchi can cause gastrointestinal upset when taken in large doses for long periods of time. 

Not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to a lack of safety studies.

Please consult with your healthcare practitioner if you have diabetes and are considering using Guduchi. Do not take with diabetic medication as the blood sugar lowering effects could cause the blood sugar to fall too low.