Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi) is a large, smooth, perennial, deciduous, climbing shrub of weak and fleshy stem found throughout India. It is a widely used plant in Ayurvedic systems of medicine.
Guduchi, the Sanskrit name, is also known as Amrita which means immortal and its ability to impart youthfulness, vitality and longevity. Other synonyms are Amritavalli, Madhuparni, Guduchika, Chinnobhava, Vatsadani, Tantrika, and Kundalini in Sanskrit, Gurcha in Hindi, Heartleaf Moonseed or Tinospora in English.
Guduchi has been used in Ayurvedic preparations for the treatment of various ailments throughout the centuries. It is a traditional belief that guduchi obtained from the one growing on a neem tree (Azadirachta indica) is more bitter, efficacious, and is said to incorporate the medicinal values of neem. It is bitter and astringent in taste, light to digest, and hot in potency. As per Ayurveda, it balances vata, pitta, and kapha (tridoshahar). Stem is the widely used part of guduchi whereas, earlier its roots were used by Acharya Sushruta for suturing surgical wounds.
The term Rasayan refers to nourishment or nutrition. Rasayan drugs act essentially on nutrition and rejuvenate the body and mind. As per Ayurveda, rasayan drugs also promote intellect, strength, prolongation of life, and helps in the prevention of diseases. Guduchi is used as a rasayana to improve the immune system and body resistance against infections. Researchers suggest that, T. cordifolia are reported to have beneficial effects on the immune system hence, Guduchi should be consumed in proper quantity on daily basis to get all the benefits of rasayan in one’s life.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder, characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from a variable interaction of hereditary and environmental factors, defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Today, it is a vulnerable endemic problem all over the globe. Research conducted during past few decades on about 45 plants have shown experimental or clinical anti‑diabetic activity. It is estimated that more than 800 species of plants exhibit hypoglycemic properties, and Guduchi is one among them. In Ayurvedic classics, use of Guduchi sattva in different stages of diabetes (prameha) is stated as beneficial. Another research confirmed a significant reduction in blood glucose by administering extracts of Guduchi.
Inflammation is defined as the local response of living tissues to injury due to any agent. It is a body defense reaction in order to eliminate or limit the spread of injurious agent. Among them, the main feature of inflammation is accumulation of fluid. In a study, it has been observed that Guduchi Ghana (extract) prepared by classical method produced significant suppression of edema indicating that it inhibits fluid accumulation and thus reduces acute inflammation. Hence it is proved that classically prepared Guduchi Ghana produced significant anti-inflammatory activity. Although guduchi is hot in potency, it is beneficial in reducing burning sensation. This is due to its sweet vipaka (after-taste) which is cold in nature.
In Charak Samhita, guduchi is said to promote digestive capacity, improves strength, relives from ama (click on the link to know more about ama), improves skin complexion, helps in reducing fever, and improves heart function by balancing vata dosha. Medicinal properties reported by scientific research include anti-diabetic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antioxidant, anti-allergic, anti-stress, anti-leprotic, antimalarial, hepato-protective, immuno-modulatory, and anti-neoplastic activities.
Guduchi can further lower your blood glucose if taken with other medicines. Therefore, it must be taken under medical supervision only. It must be carefully administered by pregnant females and children.
Effect on COVID-19
Guduchi is best in management of fever and acts as an immunity booster but it cannot be claimed to have 100% effect on covid-19.
To improve immunity, guduchi can be taken in various ways such as decoction, powder, juice, and tablets. Always consult your doctor before taking any remedies.