Guduchi - The Nectar of the Gods

Updated: Jul 4




Botanical Name: Tinospora Cordifolia

Parts used: leaves, stem, root, bitter extract

Energetics: Bitter, Astringent,

Sweet/Heating/Sweet(Post-digestive)

Dosha Compatibility: Guduchi is often referred as Tridoshaghna, which means it helps to balance all the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Despite its heating nature, Guduchi is not pitta aggravating. In fact , its sweet post-digestive effect helps to rejuvenate and nourish pitta body-types. The bitter, astringent, and heating qualities reduce kapha. Vata is reduced by its heat and sweet post-digestive qualities.Thats how it works for all the three doshas.

The Plant: Originating in India, Guduchi is a tropical climbing herb that belongs to the Mernispermaccae family. It is found in tropical areas of India but also in Sri Lanka and Burma. A creeper, the Guduchi vine grows wild and does not require much cultivation. In some homes in India, Guduchi grows wild on hedges. It is often found in the dry forests of India growing on large trees, particularly neem and mango trees.

One of the defining characteristics of the plant is its green heart-shaped leaf. It has a net- like vein structure on it. Its stems, when fresh, have a green succulent bark covered by a thin brown bark and are studded with warty lenticels. When dry, the stem shrinks and the bark separate from the wood. The roots are long narrow aerial roots that arise from the branches. All three parts should be collected in the summer when the bitter qualities are most abundant and, if not used fresh, dried in the shade. Guduchi grows well without fertilizer or pesticide making it simple to grow.

Ways to use it: Fresh juice,Teas, Powder,Capsules

The leaves, stem and root of the plant is used for multiple benefits.

Known by its many benefits, did you know Guduchi has over 70 other names that are used to describe the plant? Some of the most common ones are Giloi, Amrita, Amritavalli, and Rasayani.

The most popular names though are Guduchi or Giloi – the herb that protects. “Amrita” or Amritavalli is the Sanskrit name which has its origins in ancient mythology. According to myth, when the ancient gods churned the primordial ocean, an ambrosial nectar was created that would grant immortality to anyone who drank it. The nectar was named amrit, a Sanskrit word that means “imperishable.” Since then Guduchi as a plant is highly valued in particular for its detoxifying, rejuvenating, immune-boosting, and anti-rheumatic properties.


It is regarded as a whole-body tonic herb. Here are a few of the other benefits of this nectar for life,


MIND and SOUL

Enhances the power of memory and cognitive functions: Guduchi has been described in ancient texts as being a ‘medhya rasayana ‘ This is a set of herbs that helps to keep the learning potential, intelligence, memory, and cognitive functions. It helps us in promoting better mental health with enhancing our rational thinking and has a general soothing effect on our mind. Modern research papers and studies conducted have also shown to support this.


Calms the nervous system down: Being an adaptogenic herb, Guduchi soothes the nervous system, and helps with stress, anxiety, burnout, overwhelm, and fatigue. It is also a great energy tonic for increasing physical and emotional energy and vitality.


BODY

Nutritive tonic: Ayurveda believes that Guduchi works on all the seven Dhatus or tissues that constitutes our whole body. Guduchi brings nourishment to all seven tissues of the body, making it a powerful nutritive tonic. The ability of this herb to detoxify the body while simultaneously rejuvenating it makes it a deeply effective herb for all constitutional types.

Immunity Support: Guduchi is also used to enhance our immune system which seems to be of utmost importance in today’s climate where “immunity” boosters are much sought after. It is regarded as a excellent detoxification agent as it helps to remove all the toxic constituents from our body without reducing our core heat. Guduchi is considered tridoshic because the comprehensive effects of the sum total of all its parts and qualities, it reduces all three doshas, detoxifies the deepest dhatu (shukra), and rejuvenates the entire body. Thus, Guduchi is also able to build ojas of good quality and quantity, explaining its actions as an immune-booster. Guduchi is also described as being “pathyam”, meaning that it keeps one on the path of health by agreeing with one’s physiology

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.”


Other benefits and traditional uses:

  • Guduchi works as a “Jwaraghna” that means Antipyretic but is also effective in various other diseases such as Jaundice, Diarrhoea, Diabetes, Anaemia.

  • Guduchi Satva: Guduchi Satva is a starchy extraction obtained by grinding, soaking and stirring the giloy herb (stem) in water. The water is removed and the starchy portion is dried to get this herbal panacea. Amongst its many benefits,Guduchi Satva has been known as “ Balya” Which means it helps us in strengthening our core muscles.Guduchi Satva is also a popular choice to help manage fevers.


BEAUTY

Hair Health: Guduchi is said to be very effective in nourishing all the Dhatus in the body which constitutes “Asthi” Dhatu.Guduchi is very useful in strengthening hair follicles which in turn reduces hair loss and improves hair health. It helps in repairing the cell damage thus improving the shine and texture of our hair. We can also use Guduchi to make some pastes/ masks at home for topical applications as mentioned below.

Skin health: Guduchi leaves have antioxidant properties which helps the skin repair itself which leads to youthful looking skin. These antioxidants also protect our skin from various environmental damage such as UV rays and pollution. Guduchi is considered as a powerhouse of antioxidants thus largely impacting our skin and hair health. It clears our skin from blemishes and also lightens our complexion.

Along with its antioxidant properties it also possesses anti-inflammatory properties which helps in curtailing any allergic conditions such as redness of the skin, itching and inflammation.



Best ways to use Guduchi:


Tea: Teas are a great way to take herbs in. When brewed correctly they release all their goodness into the water. Ideally it is always good to be able to “taste” your herb and you get this benefit too with a tea.As an overall immunity booster Guduchi is great to have at the change of every season, while you suffer from any colds/ hay fever/ allergies or just in general to build overall immunity. Teas offer a simple,effective way to take your herbs in.

Powder: Guduchi Powder as well as Guduchi Satva are good to have on hand in your pantry.

To support immunity, the standard dosage suggested is ½ to one teaspoon, twice a day. You can combine the powder with honey, aloe vera juice or any natural sweetener. You can also just mix it with lukewarm water to consume. Another option would be to add it to pancakes, porridge, smoothies etc. The same can also be helpful while fighting away a viral, cold or flu.

When using Guduchi Satva, a pinch of it is sufficient. Both Guduchi and Guduchi Satva are best taken approximately 30 mins after a meal.

For external use, Guduchi can be used for any inflammations or irritations on the skin like very dry skin/ eczema or for open wounds for relief. Combine a teaspoon of the powder with water or two times the quantity of coconut oil to make a thick paste. Apply on the area and leave for 30 mins to an hour. Wash off gently after.


Capsules: Capsules offer the ease to measure dosage and avoid the fuss of combining the powder with anything else. It is also an easy option if and when travelling. Acting as a natural preventive, it is suggested to limit the intake of capsules to four in a day.


Avoid using any herb for extended periods of time without an appropriate consultation.


Try this:


1. Our immuniTEA

To taste, Guduchi can be quite bitter- and thats why we have combined it sweet chamomile and other herbs to help you enjoy that cup of health-giving tea each morning while also enjoying the taste of it! The simplest and tastiest way to get your little bit of Guduchi everyday.


2. If Hair loss or dandruff is bothering you, try this,

Guduchi helps to control hair loss and dandruff because of its Katu (pungent) and Kashaya (astringent) nature. It also helps in hair growth due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) properties. Tip: 1. Take 1 tablespoon of Guduchi powder.

2. Add some rose water to it to make a thick paste. 3. Apply it on the scalp and leave it for at least 2-3 hours. 4. Wash it with any herbal shampoo.


3. If you have Guduchi on hand and you know you are prone to seasonal allergies, apart from having a simple Guduchi tea , you can also combine, Guduchi and Trikatu

(a combination of ginger, long pepper and black pepper) in the ratio of 1:2 i.e ½ tsp of guduchi with 1 tsp of trikatu with some turmeric and honey and have once or twice a day with water. This combination might be a bit heating so avoid having this for too many days at a stretch.


Cautions:

While no serious side-effects of consuming Guduchi have been noted since it is a natural and safe herbal supplement. However, in some cases - the use of Guduchi can cause constipation and lower blood sugar levels. Guduchi is also best avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless you are health consultant suggests otherwise.




Research/references

https://chopra.com

https://www.ayurvedacollege.com/blog/guduchi-protects-the-body/

https://www.mind-body-medical.co.uk/news/guduchi-herb-profile

https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/giloy-satva-powder-benefits-uses-ingredients-method-dosage-and-side-effects

https://www.bibliomed.org/mnsfulltext/82/82-1433920976.pdf?1652784304

https://www.ejmanager.com/mnstemps/70/70-1591516753.pdf?t=1652784276

https://www.easyayurveda.com/2012/08/28/guduchi-giloy-ayurvedic-details-benefits-usage-dose





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