Friday, April 9, 2010

Giloi: The nectar of the gods

Giloi has a long history in use by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine since 2000 B.C. Giloi is known by its practitioners to treat convalescence from severe illness, fever, viral infections, and liver disease.

Common names:
Giloi: Giloya, Guduchi, Gulancha, Gunchi (Hindi); Amritaballi, Madhuparne (Kannada); Amritavalli, Amudam, Sindilakodi (Tamil); Tellatipattige, Tipattige, Iruluchi (Telugu); Amrytu, Sittamrytu (Malayalam).

Latin name:
Giloi: Tinospora cordifolia

Giloi is an indigenous, common shrub found in the Himalayas, tropical regions of India and particularly abundant in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh. Giloi is a creeper with grayish stem and tubercles (small warts) on the surface. The leaves are broad and heart-shaped. The plant bears minute yellow flowers.
According to ancient mythology soon after the great war between Rama and Ravana, the vanaras (monkey warriors) of Rama's army who had died in the war were brought back to life by Indra, the king of the gods by showering nectar from the heavens. A few drops of this nectar fell on the ground and they sprouted to become the Giloi plant.
According to the ayurvedic texts, Giloi is referred to as Amrita (nectar) because of its potential to impart youthfulness, vitality and long life to its user. As a medicinal plant Giloi holds pride of place in the Indian system of ayurvedic medicine. It is known to have a range of medicinal benefits, chief among them being its ability to enhance the immune system. Modern research shows that Giloi is a strong immune-stimulant and immune-booster/builder and has a potentially important role in building the immune system which in turn can help prevent the occurrence of diseases - from the common cold/cough to fever, diabetes and cancer. It is this unique ability of Giloi to work at the cellular level and enhance immunity that has earned it its exalted place in the traditional system of Indian medicine.

A number of scientific studies and trials have established the immunomodulator (ability to modify and enhance the immune system of the body) properties of Tinospora cordifolia (TC), i.e. Giloi. In a study conducted at the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, India, it was established that the substance G1-4A/PPI (partially purified immunomodulator) present in GILOI exhibits not only an immunomodulator effect but also an antioxidant effect thus preventing free radical induced cell-injury1.

A summary of important scientific studies conducted on Giloi and the results are summarized in the table below:

Sl No.
Study details
Study results
Giloi + Chloroquine administered to patients suffering from malaria related complications who were not responding satisfactorily to treatment with chloroquine alone2
Significant improvement seen in 45–69% of patients.
Giloi is effective in malaria and other fevers where conventional treatment has proved ineffective
Study to determine ability of Giloi to enhance immune response using an aqueous extract of Giloi3
Improvement was seen in antibody production and immune response and also phagocutosis. This study concluded that the multifaceted immunomodulatory effect of Giloi needs to be judiciously exploited by modern medicine
75 patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (stuffy/running nose due to allergy) were treated with Giloi or placebo (an inactive but harmless substance) 4
The group treated with Giloi showed significant improvements with complete relief:

·         83% patients from sneezing
·         69% from nasal discharge
·         61% from nasal obstruction
·         71% from nasal pruritus (itch)

Giloi used as adjuvant therapy (i.e. along with standard medicines) in treatment of diabetic foot ulcers5
·         Patients had significantly better wound healing
·         Immunomodulation property of Giloi provided beneficial effects on foot ulcer healing

1.     Desai RV, et al. Proc Indian Acad Sci. 2002; 114 (6):713-719.
2.     Singh RK. J Vect Borne Dis. 2005; 42:36-39.
3.     Ranjith MS, et al. Afr J Biotechnol. 2008; 7(2):81-85.
4.     Badar VA, et al. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005; 96(3):445-449
5.     Purnadhare H, Supe A. Indian J Med Sci. 2007; 61(6):324-325.


  1. We have had excellent results with Giloi. In fact we have been using B. V. Pundit's Giloi-T regularly for the last 6 months and none of us has come down with cold/cough/fever. Earlier this used to be a regular occurrence especially during winter or after a long day driving through dusty Bangalore roads

  2. It is an excellent medicine for cold, cough and fever especially during the viral season. My family (wife, 6yr old son and mother) used Giloi brew for 3 months during this winter i.e.Nov 09 to Jan 10. We didn't have any respiratory infections at all whereas the family would experience about 2-3 bouts on an average per member. The brew is slightly bitter but one can add honey for the kids.

  3. The same brew was taken by a lot of teaching staff and their families I know in Punjab bcos of my professional association with a couple of schools. Their feedback reflected a similar experience as my family. Absolutely zero incidents of cold, cough or viral fever last winter. It can be used in any season though.

  4. I can vouch for the immunity Giloi-T provided to my entire family during the severe cold we confronted in the North this year. No incidents of cold, cough, fever recorded with a continuous use of Giloi-T twice a day. We are continuing using Giloi-T even in the summer months also.

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  8. I had not heard about giloi before amazing information about it.Keep helping people by writing such excellent information.

    Thanks for sharing this article, great job!!

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  9. Dear Friend
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