The herb giloya has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. Its list of benefits makes it seem like an all-around herbal champion of well-being. Giloya has diuretic, antipyretic (reduces fever), and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also believed to purify the blood and boost our immune system.
Recently, giloya has been in the news because of a research study done at Banaras Hindu University. The scientists at Banaras found this herb to be equally effective for treating depression and anxiety as allopathic, or conventional, medications. However, you may want to put off rushing to the store for giloya since the research was conducted using rats. The experiment results have yet to be replicated with people.
The Herb Giloya
Giloya is also called giloy, guduchi, heartleaf moonseed, and more formally, tinospora cordifolia. The climbing giloya shrub is native to dry and deciduous forests in India. It has papery gray or cream colored bark, a succulent stem, and heart-shaped leaves. In June, the shrub is covered in yellow blossoms. Five months later the shrub produces a red, pea-sized fruit. Ayurvedic practitioners use the plant’s stem, roots, leaves, and flower for various healing purposes.
Giloya has been used to:
- Reduce swelling and pain owed to gout and skin diseases.
- Sharpen memory, enhance the complexion, increase overall health, and longevity.
- Lower fever, and treat inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
- Aid digestive problems such as poor appetite, hyper-acidity, sluggish intestines, stomach pain, and vomiting.
- Alleviate liver and kidney disease.
- Fortify immune systems affected by cancer treatments, auto-immune disease, or AIDS.
A Bit About The Research Study
To test giloya for effectiveness with anxiety and depression, researchers gave distressed rats either a giloya mixture, the antidepressant imipramine, or the anti-anxiety medication lorazepam. They determined the effects of each drug by observing the rats for changes in mood and behavior.
The best outcome was experienced by the rats fortunate enough to be given giloya made from small plant stems of 1 cm to 1.5 cm in diameter. The herb is often prepared for commercial markets using larger stems; however, it was discovered that the most effective giloya concentration in this study came from skinny, less mature stems.
If you have anxiety or depression and want to experiment with giloya, be sure to consult with your doctor or therapist, especially if you are on other medications. Sometimes natural substances react badly with prescription drugs, or reduce their effectiveness. Also, consider consulting with an herbalist or Ayurvedic practitioner about giloya uses and dosing.
People who are scheduled for surgery should not use giloya for two weeks prior to the procedure. Because giloya can lower blood glucose levels, individuals with diabetes need to discuss its use with their doctor. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not ingest this herb.
To learn about herbs or obtain herbal products and services in the Chicago area, contact Life Rising. They have offices in Chicago, Westbrook, and Northbrook, IL.