Giloy is a plant that has been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries. The leaves of the plant are used to make tea which is said to have many health benefits. Some of the benefits of drinking giloy tea include boosting the immune system, helping to fight inflammation, and reducing the symptoms of arthritis. Giloy is also known to improve bone health, and recent studies suggest that it can be effective in treating some types of cancer. Modern research has begun on the use of giloy and its potential in preventing or slowing down the growth of certain cancers like ovarian and breast cancer.
The Scientific Name
Giloy or Tinospora cordifolia is a perennial plant in the family Menispermaceae. It’s also known as Guduchi in Sanskrit which means one that can conquer the disease ‘Gu’. Its Hindi name is Guduchi. It’s a climbing plant that dies every year and is regenerated from roots. It is found throughout India, including the North East region, found abundantly in marshy areas of central and southern India. In Telugu, it is called ‘Guduchi’.
Giloy contains several active substances such as alkaloids, steroidal lactones, carbohydrates, melanins, and tannins.
The stem of the plant is glabrous, herbaceous, 2-5 m long. Leaves are simple and oblong with acute apex having entire margin; 5-15 cm long by 1.5-3 cm broad. Flowers small in axillary clusters of two to three. Fruits cylindrical capsules up to 3 cm long, seeds small reddish-brown or black shiny ovoid grains. The plant is almost deciduous during the dry season but becomes green as soon as the pre-monsoon showers arrive. It has been reported that it flowers only at night time, opening between 20:00 Hrs and 22:30 Hrs. Flowering starts from June to August, fruiting occurs from September to March. Seeds are mature by January–February. The plant has smooth cylindrical bark with dark-brown color which is fairly hard, coarsely striated, or longitudinally fissured. Seed germination starts after heavy rains from June to July. Flowering is between February and May, Fruiting reaches its maximum abundance in April–October. The average fruit production during this period is 52%.
What Is The Benefits Of Giloy Leaves
The benefits of giloy leaves include boosting the immune system, fighting inflammation, reducing the symptoms of arthritis, improving bone health, and treating cancer. Studies suggest that giloy can be effective in preventing or slowing down the growth of ovarian and breast cancer. Giloy is said to be good for the digestive system, increasing appetite, treating diarrhea, malaria, diabetes, tumors, coughs, colds, and tumors. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in using Giloy for various disorders. The studies of the leaves and roots of Giloy have revealed many biologically active compounds, hence it provides a scientific basis to justify its use in folk medicine. In traditional Indian medicine, giloy is used for pneumonia, dysentery, tumors, leprosy, fever, anemia, diabetes, and leucorrhea. The stem has reported antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Proteus Vulgaris, and Citrobacter freundii. However, no work of antifungal activity is available for this plant yet.
Uses Of Giloy Leaves
Giloy had also been used traditionally to treat amebic dysentery and other protozoal infections, tumors, asthma, kidney stones, coughs, and colds. The plant is most commonly used in the treatment of inflammation and pain relief. It is also used to make antiviral medicines. The leaves are used as a carminative (a substance that relieves flatulence) and appetite-stimulant. In traditional Indian medicine, giloy is used for pneumonia, dysentery, tumors, leprosy, fever, anemia, diabetes, and leucorrhea. The stem has reported antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Proteus Vulgaris, and Citrobacter freundii. However, no work of antifungal activity is available for this plant yet.
How to use Giloy leaves
You can take fresh or dried giloy leaves in any form you like – in juices, salads, soups, stews or curries, etc. Giloy tea is also easy and quick to prepare. Just take a teaspoonful of fresh leaves and steep in hot water for 5-10 minutes, strain and serve with honey and lemon. You can also combine it with peppermint, chamomile, or ginger tea for flavor.
Don’t use giloy without the knowledge of an expert as it may cause certain side effects which may prove to be fatal. Take the advice of a medical practitioner before using it.