Tinospora cordifolia – Caulis (Menispermaceae)
Common name: Guduchi, Giloy (H)
Sanskrit: Guduchi, Amrita, Chakralakshana
Guduchi is described as ‘the one who protects the body’. ‘Amrita’ means ‘divine nectar’ referring to the life restoring drops that Lord Indra sprinkled from heaven to bring life back to the devotees of Lord Rama after they were slain in battle. Its therapeutic strength lies in its rejuvenating and strengthening properties while also detoxifying and cleansing the whole system, specifically via the liver.
The guduchi plant is native to India and can be found growing throughout the country. It is a large vine-like plant that produces a loose grey bark along the stem when it is mature. The leaves are a characteristic heart shape, its flowers are very small and spike-like with a green-yellow colouring. Guduchi fruits are a deep, glossy red and spherical in shape.
How it Works
Guduchi has demonstrated the ability to activate macrophage and antibody production, stimulate tumour necrosis factor and also increase phagocytosis within the immune system. Guduchi acts as an immune system modulator and is indicated in conditions of an autoimmune origin.
Guduchi directly affects the liver and hepatocytes. It encourages hepatocyte regeneration, thereby improving liver function where there has been damage due to abuse or chronic illness.
Guduchi encourages regulation of the blood sugar, directly lowering blood glucose making it specific for hypoglycaemia.
Into the Heart of Guduchi
Guduchi plants have the ability to regenerate from any part of the stem that is re-planted. It is this perpetuating nature of guduchi that is so central to its rejuvenating qualities. It has very interesting energetics. It is bitter, astringent, pungent, yet heating and also sweet post digestively. In Ayurveda, its bitter and astringent quality clears pitta and kapha, its heating energy burns toxins whilst its enduring sweet effect regulates vata and gives it an aphrodisiac quality that nourishes reproductive fluids.
Guduchi has a protective nature, and will encourage regeneration throughout the body, with a particular focus upon the liver and the immune system. It achieves rejuvenation by first encouraging effective cleansing and detoxification. It removes toxic congestion and inflammation that may be worsening chronic inflammatory or degenerative conditions. It has the ability to remove toxicity without destabilising or weakening the rest of the body. By improving liver detoxification processes, guduchi also acts as an alterative, improving overall blood quality. Through encouraging a healthier blood supply, guduchi positively impacts upon skin quality, blood based disorders or deficiencies and chronic inflammatory conditions of the musculoskeletal system.
Liver: Guduchi is indicated in liver damage, viral hepatitis and poisoning from alcohol, chemicals or recreational and medicinal drugs. It is useful in repairing fibrosis and regenerating liver tissue. It is also a useful addition whenever the liver needs protecting from hepatotoxic medications.
Joints: Indicated in gout, arthritis, and other inflammatory joint conditions. It acts by clearing accumulated toxins and uric acid via the urinary system.
Immunity: Guduchi is an excellent choice for all auto-immune diseases influencing inflammation. It is indicated in degenerative diseases such as cancer, AIDS and arthritis through its ability to boost immune system functioning.
Skin: Indicated in supperative and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus and ‘burning’ sensations on the skin. Skin problems that have arised from excessive alcohol, recreational drug and pharmaceutical drug use may also indicate the use of Guduchi.
GIT: Guduchi will heal a bowel affected with constipation, intestinal bleeding, haemorrhoids or dysentery. It is useful at redressing intestinal floral imbalance with candida-like symptoms such as bloating, flatulence and malabsorption, through its cleansing and detoxifying nature.
Metabolic: Guduchi regulates blood sugar levels benefiting diabetes and hypoglycaemia. Guduchi is also very calming to the nervous system soothing nervous irritation, influenced by congestion.
Reproductive: Guduchi’s ability to clear toxicity, and therefore excess heat, indicates it in sexual dysfunctions caused by hyper-heat conditions and is often used in formulas for male sexual dysfunction.