Guduchi: Ayurvedic Elixir of life

Guduchi: Ayurvedic Elixir of life

The word 'Guduchi' literally translates to- one which protects and guards our body from diseases. It is one of the most treasured herbs of Ayurveda, commonly known as Giloy. It is a climber, growing mostly on mango, neem, and banyan trees. It is characterized by it’s green heart shaped leaves. Among all the integrations, Neem-Giloy is the most potent one, because it gains all the good qualities of Neem plant too. It’s sacred origin has also been described in ancient Indian texts, for example, in Ramayana, where Lord Rama asked Lord Indra to resurrect the monkeys who had died during the war, and Indra sprinkled Nectar from the heaven over the bodies of dead monkeys, which gave them life again, and from the drops which fell on ground, originated the sacred herb, Guduchi. Guduchi is highly valued for its detoxifying, rejuvenating, immune-boosting, and anti-rheumatic properties. 

Botanical name- Tinosporsa cordifolia

Family – Minispermeaceae

Synonyms of Guduchi:

Amrita: Nectar of God,
Amrita-valli: Creeper with Nectar,
Jivanti:  Life-giving,
Chinnodbhava : Able to grow even if cut,
Chakrangi, Chakralakshana: Wheel-like appearance in transverse section of stem,
Chandrahasa : Moon like appearance of the transverse section of the stem.

Ayurvedic Composition:

Rasa (Taste)- Kashaya (Astringent), Tikta (Bitter)
Guna (Qualities)- Laghu (Light to digest), Snigdha (Oily)
Veerya (Potency)- Ushna (Hot)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion)- Madhura (sweet)
Effect on Tridosha: Tridosha-hara (Balances Tridoshas- Vata, Pitta and Kapha)

Classical categorization:

Charaka Samhita:

Vayasthapana – Group of rejuvenative herbs.
Daha prashamana – Group of herbs that reduces burning sensation.
Trishna nigraha – Group of herbs that mitigates excessive thirst.
Triptighna – Relieves early satiation.
Stanyashodhana – Group of herbs that cleanses breast milk.
Deepana- Boosts digestive fire.
Jwaraghana- Alleviates fever.
Medhya Rasayana – Among the four brain tonics.

Sushruta Samhita:

Guduchyadi varga
Patoladi varg, Kakolyadi and Aragvadhadi group of herbs, Valli Panchamoola.

Bhavaprakasha Nighantu :

Guduchyadi group of herbs.

Kaiyadeva Nighantu:

Aushadha Varga
Chaturbhadra – Ativisha, Shunti, Musta and Guduchi

Priya Nighantu:

Pippalyadi Varga

Part Used:

  • Guduchi Stem
  • Guduchi Root
  • Guduchi Leaves
  • Guduchi bark

Chemical composition:

 Berberin, Phenylpropane, Disaccharides, Choline, Tinosporin, Tinosporonn.

Formulations made from Guduchi:

  • Guduchi powder
  • Guduchi capsule
  • Guduchi decoction
  • Guduchi juice
  • Guduchi satva ( purest powder form of Guduchi)

Health Benefits of Guduchi:

  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Effective in all types of fever.
  • Used in dengue fever, because it increases the platelet count due to its anti-pyretic properties
  • Diuretic effect by eliminating excess uric acid and toxins present in body.
  • Brain tonic, ethanol present in it helps to relax our nerve cells.
  • Reduces level of cholesterol, thus helpful in getting rid of fat deposition in different sites of body.
  • Gives relief from inflammatory signs, like- swelling, redness, burning sensation, itchiness, etc.
  • Emetic effect, i.e., it induces therapeutic vomiting which is helpful in treating gut related ailments.
  • Pacifies excessive thirst, indigestion, hyperacidity, etc.
  • Helpful in skin disorders, like leprosy, tenderness, puffiness, etc.
  • Supports liver function.
  • Beneficial in infertility.
  • Helps in arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory & anti-arthritis properties..
  • Anti-cancer effect, regenerates new cells.
  • Anti-diabetic effect.

According to Ayurveda, it maintains balance between our dosha, dhatu and mala.

How to take Guduchi:

  • Add ¼- ½ teaspoon of Guduchi powder to 1 glass of lukewarm water and mix well. Consume it after lunch and dinner to reduce digestion related problems such as- indigestion, hyperacidity and flatulence.
  • Take 2-3 teaspoons of Giloy juice and add 1 glass of water. Drink this regularly for improving the metabolism and reducing high cholesterol level.
  • Take 2-3 teaspoons of Giloy juice. Add the same quantity of water to it and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning once a day for proper liver functioning.
  • Add ¼- ½ teaspoon of Giloy powder to 1 teaspoon honey, mix it, and have it after lunch and dinner in case of allergic rhinitis.
  • Grind Giloy leaves with buttermilk, take 2 to 3 times daily with honey, for help in managing Jaundice.
  • Giloy along with castor oil is useful in relieving gout.
  • Make a decoction out of it by cutting 4-5 cm of it’s stem into small pieces, crush a bit, and add to 2 glasses of boiling water. Boil until reduced up to ¼ of a cup. Filter it and drink it 2-3 times a day in case of fever and for improving immunity.
Note: Always consider taking prescription from an Ayurvedic doctor before taking any medication.

    Author: Dr. Monika Mittal
    Editor: Debleena Chatterjee


    • Charaka Samhita of Agnivesha, Sutra Sthana, Ch.4
    • Sushruta Samhita of Sushruta, Sutra Sthana, Ch. 1
    • Sushruta Samhita with ‘Nibandha Sangraha’. Dalhanacarya.
    • Bhavamishra, Bhavaprakasha Nighantu, guduciyadi varg

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    Photography: Anirudh