Diet

What is Giloy? Nutrients, Benefits, Downsides, and More

The pandemic has left us all worried about our health. Even if we consume multiple medicines to treat several ailments, the impact of a natural herb is always wondrous. While we all follow various diets and look after health differently, Ayurveda offers many herbs for overall immunity. One such herb is Giloy. It is popularly known as ‘amrita’ in Ayurveda, which means the root of immortality. It has innumerable benefits, as stated in the Ayurveda. People use it for general wellness and to treat day-to-day conditions.

The scientific name of Giloy is Tinospora Cordifolia. It is also known as Guduchi in Hindi. Its stem is highly nutritious. However, it doesn’t taste enjoyable and is full of alkaloids that perform various pharmacological activities. Apart from the stem, we can use its roots and leaves to reap many benefits.

Giloy is an essential herb, according to a shloka of Charak Samhita (a Sanskrit text on Ayurveda). It helps treat multiple health conditions. In addition, it helps alleviate Vata and Kapha dosha. Vata consists of air and space, while Kapha is based on earth and water. 

This article talks about the nutritional properties, benefits, and everything you need to know about Giloy.

Nutritional Value of Giloy

As per science, the nutritional values of the constituents of Giloy are:

  • Moisture: 17.69%
  • Protein: 4.13%
  • Fat: 3.12% 
  • Ash: 12.01 per cent
  • Fibre: 16.19 per cent
  • Neutral Detergent Fibre: 37.90% (Neutral Detergent Fibre or the NDF are structural components of the plant)
  • Acid Detergent Fibre: 34.65% (Acid Detergent Fibre or ADF are the least digestible plant components, including cellulose and lignin)

Top 12 Benefits of Giloy

Giloy is an ancient solution to most of your health problems. However, there are numerous benefits of Giloy. 

1. Giloy Helps Boost Immunity

Giloy boosts the cell-based activity of macrophages (a large phagocytic cell) in our bodies. These cells are the first line of defence in our body that fight infection. As a result, they help boost immunity. The immunity-boosting properties of Giloy help our bodies fight several fever-causing infections.

Chronic Fever

According to Ayurveda, fever occurs due to two factors. The first is due to improper digestion, and the second is because of the actions of foreign particles. Giloy is full of Javarghana (antipyretic) properties, which help fight and reduce fever. In addition, it is anti-inflammatory, and it roots out the cause of fever. It helps boost immunity to fight against infection and aid in early recovery. Giloy also helps retain the average body temperature and assists in early recovery. 

The best way to use Giloy for treating fever is by having giloy juice or Giloy Kadha.

Dengue Fever

Research states that Giloy is the best herbal remedy to treat dengue fever. The anti-inflammatory properties of Giloy help increase metabolism and immunity. In addition, it helps fight dengue fever by improving the platelet count and further provides relief. As a result, it helps avoid serious complications. In addition, it also speeds up the process of recovery. 

Boil some giloy juice with tulsi leaves and drink it for more effective results for Dengue fever. 

Hay Fever

Hay fever is allergic rhinitis. The common symptoms are sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. Giloy works effectively to reduce these symptoms. To prevent an outburst of hay fever, take half a teaspoon of giloy powder with some honey. Use this remedy before you hit the bed.

2. Effective in Coronavirus Infection

As the world struggled with the life-threatening coronavirus infection, the importance of Ayurveda revived. Giloy boosts immunity, which is essential to fight viral fevers.

As per research, people at risk of contracting coronavirus infection should take 500 mg extract or 1-3g giloy powder twice every day. In addition, you should consume it with warm water for 15 days or one month. In addition, you can have Giloy with amla and Gokshura to manage COVID symptoms.

3. Controls Blood Sugar Level

Giloy is known as ‘Madhunashini’ in Ayurveda. It means the destroyer of sugar. Giloy helps stimulate insulin production in the pancreas. As a result, it helps lower blood sugar. In addition, it helps burn excess glucose present in the body. 

According to the study, giloy acts as a hypoglycaemic agent. These agents help reduce glucose levels in the blood. Therefore, giloy is an excellent remedy to manage diabetes and related complications like ulcers and kidney problems.

4. Improves Digestion

Indigestion, dyspepsia or an upset stomach causes discomfort in your upper abdomen. Some of the symptoms include abdominal pain and a feeling of fullness soon after eating. Giloy acts as food for good bacteria in the gut.

As a result, it promotes a healthy microbiome in the gut. It helps restore a healthy gut ecosystem. Therefore, giloy helps improve digestion and reduce digestion related problems like diarrhoea, colitis or inflammation of the colon’s inner lining.

In addition, it also helps prevent digestive issues like vomiting and hyperacidity or imbalance between the acid and the intestine.

5. Giloy Has Neuroprotective Properties

Traditional medicines work on your physical and mental health. In Ayurveda, Giloy is called Amrit due to its medicinal properties. However, it can also reduce mental stress and anxiety.

It contains significant neuroprotective activity. It rejuvenates the nervous system by repairing damaged brain cells. In addition, it helps calm down your body and enhances memory.

Giloy also plays a crucial role in improving your cognitive functions. It modulates the antioxidant enzyme system of brain tissue and helps preserve the dopaminergic neurons. 

6. Treats Arthritis and Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when you have excessive uric acid in your blood. It forms sharp crystals in the joints. The attacks caused by arthritis are sudden and very painful. Giloy has anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. 

A study claims that it treats inflammation of the joints. It also brings down the levels of uric acid in the blood. In addition, it also helps relieve osteoporosis. So, if you have severe joint pain, consume giloy powder with warm milk. 

7. Improves Eyesight

Giloy is excellent for your eyesight. People use it in Panchkarma, an Ayurvedic therapy. It is a method of cleansing the body of all the unwanted waste after providing it with moisture. In addition, giloy has antioxidants such as lutein. These antioxidants help improve eye health. 

For enhancing your eyesight through natural means, take some giloy leaves and boil them in water. Then, apply it to your eyelids.

8. Improves Respiratory Health

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Giloy is suitable for your respiratory health. It treats breathing problems caused by cough, cold and tonsils. Furthermore, it provides relief to asthmatic patients. 

Trachea inflammation may lead to several respiratory issues, including asthma. The symptoms are chest tightness, coughing, and wheezing. The antioxidant properties of giloy ease inflammation and makes breathing easier. 

9. Slows Down Skin Ageing

Free radicals may lead to premature ageing of the skin. Free radicals are compounds that can harm you if their levels heighten. They are the reason behind multiple illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Free radicals result in oxidative stress, which is harmful to the body. Giloy, with its antioxidants, prevents oxidative stress and slows down skin ageing.

In addition, they revive these tissues and improve blood circulation. As a result, giloy helps restore a natural and desirable glow.

10. Giloy Helps in Weight Loss

An excellent immune system plays an essential role in managing weight. Similarly, better metabolism helps burn more fat. It also improves the digestive system by eliminating excess fat from the body. Giloy helps boost immunity and metabolism.

As a result, it helps manage weight. In addition, it further reduces high blood pressure. The presence of adiponectin and leptin in giloy also helps in controlling weight. 

11. Anti-HIV effects

As per studies, giloy consumption may lead to a decrease in the recurrent resistance of HIV. As a result, it improves therapeutic outcomes. Giloy helps reduce eosinophil count, stimulation of B lymphocytes, macrophages and polymorphonuclear leucocytes.

In addition, it also helps reduce the haemoglobin percentage. As a result, it plays a promising role in managing the disease.

Giloy: Healthy Recipes

#1 Giloy Juice

Giloy Juice

Servings: 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Giloy Stem: 12 inches long
  • Water: 2 cups

Recipe:

  • Take a piece of the giloy stem. Wash and peel it off. 
  • Cut it into small pieces.
  • Before putting them in the grinder, crush them in a mortar and pestle.
  • Then, add some water and mix them in the grinder.
  • Strain it with the help of a muslin cloth. 
  • Your juice is ready!

You can consume the juice twice a day. However, it is recommended to drink it in the morning and evening. Use half the ingredients if you want to drink the juice once. Similarly, increase the amounts as per the number of family members. 

Benefits of Giloy Juice:

  • Helps boost immunity
  • Reduces stress levels
  • May help treat COVID and dengue
  • Assists recovery
  • Heals wounds faster.
  • Exhibits anti-ageing properties
  • Treats arthritis and diabetes
  • Lessens respiratory problems
  • Reduces ailments of the throat such as tonsillitis and cough

#2 Mint Honey Giloy Kadha

Giloy Kadha

Number of servings: 1

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Water: 2 glasses 
  • Clove: 5 pcs
  • Cinnamon: 1 small pcs
  • Black pepper: 5 pcs 
  • Crushed Ginger: 1 small pc 
  • Giloy powder (dry): 1 tbsp
  • Mint leaves: 15-20 
  • Honey: 1 tbsp

Recipe:

  • Boil some water and add cloves, cinnamon and black pepper.
  • Cover the vessel to protect the pleasant smell.
  • Add the remaining ingredients one by one while stirring.
  • The colour of the water will change as you add dry giloy powder.
  • Boil the mixture for a couple of minutes to absorb the essence of the ingredients.
  • Turn off the flame and remove the mixture.
  • Let it cool down. Then strain it when the mixture is at room temperature.
  • Mix some honey and mix it well.
  • Your Mint Honey Giloy Kadha is ready to be served.

Benefits of Mint Honey Giloy Kadha:

  • Lubricates the joints
  • Contains important nutrients
  • Has anti-viral properties
  • High in antioxidants
  • Treats many forms of nausea
  • Removes toxins from the body
  • Reduces stomach inflammation
  • Better for blood sugar levels

#3 Herbal Giloy Tea

Number of servings: 1

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Giloy stem: 12 inches long
  • Tulsi: 15-20 leaves 
  • Cinnamon: 1 small pc 
  • Crushed Ginger: 1 small pc 
  • Fennel seeds: ½ tbsp 
  • Honey: 2 tbsp 

Recipe:

  • Wash the giloy stick and cut them into pieces.
  • Then, crush them with a mortar pestle and set them aside.
  • Boil some water in a pan and add these pieces.
  • Add some tulsi leaves, grated ginger, cinnamon stick and fennel seeds.
  • Boil it on a low flame for approximately four to five minutes till it reduces to two-thirds of the amount.
  • Switch off and cover it for about two to three minutes.
  • Strain and pour it. Add some honey and stir it well. 
  • You can also have some oat and ragi cookies with the tea. 
  • You can also add maple syrup in place of honey. 
  • Your herbal giloy tea is ready to healthify you!

Benefits of Herbal Giloy Tea:

  • Treats fever and infections
  • Combats harmful bacteria and germs in the mouth
  • Relieves digestive discomfort
  • Reduces nausea
  • It has a cooling effect on the body
  • Reduces the bitter taste of giloy

Giloy: Precautions and Side Effects

Before consuming any Ayurvedic medicine, you should know the probable adverse effects. So, let us have a quick look at the precautions you should take.

  • Autoimmune diseases: Giloy may overpower the functioning of the immune system, which could cause autoimmune disorders. These are rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.
  • During or after surgery: During or after the process of any surgery, giloy interferes with blood sugar levels. So, only take it before two weeks of the schedule.
  • Allergy: Use it after a medical consultation. It might cause an allergy.
  • Breastfeeding: There is a lack of scientific evidence of breastfeeding and the use of Giloy simultaneously. Hence, don’t use giloy during the lactation period.
  • Anti-diabetic drugs: Monitor your blood glucose level if you take anti-diabetic drugs. Avoid giloy as it may lower your blood glucose level.
  • Pregnancy: Just like breastfeeding, there is no scientific evidence related to pregnancy and the use of giloy. Therefore, it is not recommended to consume it.
  • Short-term use: Giloy is effective when you use it for the short term and in recommended dosage.
  • Juice – 2-3 teaspoons of juice, once or twice a day.
  • Churna – ¼-½ teaspoon of giloy churna twice a day.
  • Giloy Tablet – 1-2 giloy tablets twice a day.
  • Capsule – 1-2 giloy capsules twice a day.
  • Giloy Extract – 1 pinch twice a day.

Conclusion

Ayurvedic medicines have been using giloy as a herb for many years. The pandemic made us realise the importance of this amongst all herbs. However, there are fewer scientific shreds of evidence to prove its benefits. Even those that already exist are small ones.

It is safe to consume giloy by following the directions prescribed on the product label. Women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding should refrain from its use.

If you are on medications, use giloy only after consulting with your doctor. It’s always better to take professional help to get advice according to your body type.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can giloy be taken daily?

A: Giloy can be taken daily for overall health benefits. The Food and Drug Administration also approves it as a remedial medication.

Q. Does giloy increase weight?

A: No, giloy does not increase weight. Instead, it aids in weight loss.

Q. What are the side effects of giloy?

A: Overconsumption of giloy may lead to constipation. In addition, it may drop your blood sugar level and can trigger autoimmune diseases.

Q. Is giloy hot or cold in nature?

A: Giloy is cold in nature. It deals with problems that have a hot effect on the body, including fever.

Q. Can giloy be taken with lemon?

A: Yes, you can take giloy with lemon. It does not have any harmful effects on the body.

Q. Is giloy good for acidity?

A: Giloy is suitable for treating acidity. If you use it properly, it improves digestion and reduces constipation, gas, and bloating.

Q. Does giloy have zinc?

A: Yes, giloy has zinc which acts as an antioxidant. It further protects cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Q. Does giloy help in weight loss?

A: Yes, giloy helps in weight loss as it boosts immunity and metabolism of the body. It also improves the health of your gut which assists in weight loss.

Q. Is giloy good for skin?

A: Yes, giloy is good for detoxifying the skin. It also improves the quality of the skin and makes it clear and glowing.

Q. Can Amla and giloy be taken together?

A: Amla and giloy are known for their immunity improving properties. They form the perfect immunity booster juice.

Q. How do diabetics use giloy?

A: Diabetics can use giloy in their juice, small capsule or mix giloy powder with warm water.

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