Herbal Plant Giloy & Its Various Benefits

2 years ago / by Team SEEMA
Giloy plant


If you’ve never heard of the giloy plant, you’ll be excited to learn that this special herb has many medicinal benefits. Safe as an at-home remedy for common ailments, giloy or guduchi is used in Ayurvedic medicine and is used to fight a plethora of different diseases and disorders. These include asthma, diabetes, gout, eye problems, digestive disorders, fever and more. Here’s how to use giloy at home to optimize your well-being and improve your health.

What is Giloy?

The giloy plant or Tinospora cordifolia is a large vine that climb and spread out with long twisting branches. From Menispermaceae, a botanical family, this essential herb is popular in India, Africa, China, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka where the climates are more tropical or in subtropical rainforests.

Referred to as gurcha, giloe, guduchior amrita satva, giloy is also referred to as heart-leaved moonseeds (Makabuhay) to some. Giloe is from the Hindu folklore word indicative of the heavenly elixir the gods used. The Sanskrit root words are Guduchi(protecting the whole body) and Amrita (immortality). The entire plant is used in folk medicine and for Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia health care.

Descriptive Properties

Giloy(guduchi) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries in fresh or dried form as a medicinal herb to help treat different types of medical symptoms, various diseases and disorders. In exploring Hindu mythology, this special elixir was what the celestial beings used to keep them youthful and vibrant.

The plant’s leaves are in a heart shape while its stem has pores that are rosette-like in shape. With aerial roots, this deciduous plant climbs and needs a trellis to help ensure its growth. Flowers that grow from this plant, whether indoors or outside are yellowish-green and the fruit that grows from giloy is red and round.

Giloy includes special chemical compounds that make this plant essential in boosting the immune system and healing various health disorders. Included compounds are glycosides, alkaloids, steroids, diterpenoid lactones, polysaccharides, sesquiterpenoids, phenolics and aliphatic compounds.


Gilroy stems are what most people use. However, the leaves, roots and flowers are useful for a variety of medicinal purposes. You might find giloy in tablet or powder form. It’s also often found as a tonic, juice, churan, paste or kadhas. Some people even suck on the fresh stems to consume the raw juice or they might chew its leaves.

To make it as a juice, cut off a few stems and peel the husky outer layer. Blend the inner fleshy part and add water to dilute it. Then, pour the milky substance into a glass and drink it. Watch a demonstration of gilroy stems being used to make an immunity-boosting juice.

To create the powder, wash the stem and peel it. Cut it into small pieces and dilute it with water. Mash it and let the mixture soak overnight. The next day, macerate it to release the starch and then filter it through a porous strainer. Let it rest for a few hours to separate the residue from the filtrate. Remove the residue and let it air dry with a fan to make the powder. Then, store it for future usage. 



Giloyor guduchi is used in several types of home remedies as it can help with eye disorders, acne, dry skin and hair loss. Here are a few ways to use giloy at home if you want to create a DIY giloy recipe.

To treat hair loss, dry scalp and skin abrasions

Usegiloy leaves and create a paste out of them with rose water or honey. Add it directly to your scalp and sit with the mixture on for 2 to 3 hours. Then, rinse it out with your shampoo. If you’re adding it to a skin abrasion, leave it on for the same time frame but rinse with water.

To heal dry skin and remove crows feet or wrinkles

Take honey and mix it with 1 to 2 teaspoons of giloy juice. Take a little of that paste and add it to your skin evenly like a mask. Then, after it’s dried, rinse it off. You can apply this up to 3 times weekly.

To heal eye problems

Boilgiloy leaves and let the water cool down. Once it’s completely cool, apply it to your eyelids and don’t let it get into your eyes. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse with water that’s lukewarm.

To help with acne, skin blemishes and discolorations

Take 25% to 50% of a teaspoonful of giloy in powder form and add it to milk. Then mix it and apply it to the affected area. You can let it dry and then rinse it off with warm water. Keep applying this mixture up to 3 times weekly.

Benefits of Giloy

Whether you ingest it as an immunity-boosting drink or use its powder as an herbal remedy, giloy has several powerful benefits. Known as the root of immortality its benefits include:

  • Reduces anxiety: Adaptogenic herbs can reduce stress and anxious thoughts and bring a sense of calm.
  • Clears the complexion: Removing toxins, and clearing up/brightening the skin are other benefits of using giloy. This anti-aging herb can even boost wound healing, release collagen into the skin and remove dark spots and acne.
  • Decreases pain: Analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties can reduce cytokines (pro-inflammation) and help this herb to stave off body aches, gout, arthritis and muscle or joint pain.
  • Improves vision: In some forms, giloy is applied to the eyes to improve vision.
  • Reduces asthma-like symptoms: Due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-arthritic properties, it can reduce sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath and tightness in the lungs.
  • Stops scalp irritation: Giloy can strengthen the hair follicles, reduce breakage and help heal flaky and dry scalps.
  • Improves digestion: Its laxative effect stops constipation, bloating, gastritis, gas and abdominal discomfort. To help stop constipation, mix a little with Amla.
  • Increases metabolism and appetite: Proteins like Leptin and Adiponectin are released in the body to help regulate weight and improve endocrine function.
  • Reduces high blood sugar: It’s the hypoglycemic agent that can regulate insulin and blood glucose as it makes cells less insulin-resistant. It also helps improve kidney function and reduces ulcers.
  • Decreases various types of viral fevers: Antipyretic activity helps it reduce fevers in the body and it can improve platelet counts for those with dengue fever, malaria and swine flu. It boosts white blood cells (leukocytes, macrophages) to fight microorganisms and foreign bodies from different diseases. That means faster recovery times. It also reduces hay fever and rhinitis symptoms so there’s less mucus, sneezing and itching.

Precautions when Taking Giloy

For the most part, giloy doesn’t show a lot of side effects, precautions or contraindications. However, one Mumbai study found that it may cause liver toxicity as it affects the auto-immune system. Short-term use might be fine but always ask your medical doctor about long-term usage as you don’t want to overuse this herb.

As with any herb, plant or supplement that you want to introduce into your diet, always consult a physician first. While safe for most people, it’s not recommended for those who are breastfeeding or pregnant. Always read the instructions for any contraindications.

One area that’s a cause for concern is that diabetics on insulin may not want to take giloy as it might result in a severe blood glucose drop. It might also adversely affect those with an autoimmune disease so speak with your doctor. Because it boosts the immune system, it might affect those with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn’s disease.


What is the benefit of giloy?

Giloy is used to treat different types of viral fever, asthma, diabetes and digestive disorders. It’s also useful for treating eye problems, gout, arthritis, and inflammation. It can help reduce acne and help with skin disorders and treat hair loss. It’s also helpful for those with constipation, urinary problems or flatulence.

Can giloy be taken daily?

Yes, giloy comes in pill, tincture, tablet and raw stems.You’ll also find giloy juice as an immune boost. It’s best to take giloy short-term. It’s also available as a lotion to treat skin disorders if you don’t want to make your own DIY giloy cream. If you want to start taking it, speak with your doctor about whether it’s fine for juicing or if you want to take it in a powder form. Don’t take it long-term as you might overtake this powerful herb.

Is there any side effects of giloy?

Giloy can help to boost your immune system but is not recommended for those with diabetes who are currently on insulin. Taking it along with your diabetes medication might result in your blood sugar level dropping too low. Hence, speak to your doctor about taking it beforehand.

Does Giloy increase blood pressure?

No. Giloyhas several medicinal qualities that help it clear out blood vessels for better blood flow. When there are too many waste compounds in the blood vessels, it’s harder for the heart to push blood throughout the body. However, giloy includes an alkaloid compound called Berberine. It has similar effects to certain medications used to treat LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), high blood glucose and high blood pressure.

Is Giloy harmful for the liver?

More testing needs to be done as it relates to liver function when taking giloy. A Ministry of AYUSH study found that it did damage the liver. In their study it showed liver failure in 6 Mumbai patients. Liver toxicity may have occurred as an auto-immune response where the immune system in a person’s body attacks its tissues and cells instead of foreign bacteria and viruses. However, more studies need to be done to show efficacy rates.