How to Use Giloy Leaves: Overview
The covid-19 virus almost crippled the entire planet. The fear and the isolation that consumed everyone also made us realize that boosting our immunity is critical if we want to survive. There are various ways to boost our immunity, with antioxidants and vitamin C being the most commonly known compounds. But, if we turn to Ayurveda, we will come across various other herbs and plants that can be term as all-cure or panacea. One such plant, as we all know, is neem or the Indian lilac. But, little was known about the heart-leaved moonseed or giloy or guduchi. When you know how to use giloy leaves, you will find this plant to be an actual miracle worker.
This article will help you understand all you need to know about how to use giloy leaves and all the giloy benefits for hair, skin, and your overall health.
Before knowing how to use giloy leaves, you need to know what giloy leaves are. The scientific name of this plant is Tinospora cordifolia. Ancient Indian texts like Ayurveda have always explicitly and in detail mentioned all the herbs that can treat various conditions. The science of homeopathy also provides various solutions and medications for one single ailment based on the exact nature of symptoms shown and signs observed. The giloy leaves find various mentions in the ayurvedic texts and have even been hailed as ‘Amrit’ for all the benefits it provides in terms of treating multiple ailments.
If you want to identify this plant in your neighborhood in order to know how to use giloy leaves, you need to look for a plant that has heart-shaped leaves and also has a reddish hue to it. It is a climbing shrub, and the flowers that bloom are of a greenish-yellow color. Ideally, the whole plant can be used to create medicines as phytochemicals that are useful for human health can be found in every cell of the plant.
In ancient India, Ayurvedic practitioners used giloy leaves to treat the following chronic conditions:
- Hansen’s disease (previously known as leprosy)
- Respiratory diseases
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Constant stress
- Liver diseases
There are studies that do indicate that people who have consumed giloy on a regular basis with a prescribed medication have managed to counter kidney diseases. When giloy is added to the paste or rasayana made from punaranava, it has effectively reduced blood urea and creatinine levels, even in advanced renal failure patients.
What are the Medicinal Constituents of Giloy?
As we see in the list mentioned above, giloy is used to treat various conditions, and you know how to use giloy leaves properly. But what makes giloy such an effective and multi-purpose herb? It is the phytochemical and nutrients present in the plant. The primary classes of biochemical agents found in the whole plant include:
Terpenoids are the reason p[lats have fragrance, color, and taste. These phytochemicals make up the latest group of chemical compounds present in all plants. Apart from providing taste and fragrance, terpenoids also are found to have antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antiviral properties.
The bitter taste that many plants or fruits have is due to the presence of alkaloids in higher concentrations. But, it is this bitter taste that highlights the medicinal effects of the compound and the plant in general. The conditions that can be treated with alkaloids are:
- High blood pressure
- Spasms of the intestines
- Pain, in general
It will be interesting trivia, but while alkaloids are known to treat various illnesses, if given at very high doses, they can act as a poison, thereby killing you.
Lignans are predominantly found in plants that are rich in fiber. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Since they are structurally similar to steroids, lignans can help counter estrogen deficiency and are also termed phytoestrogens. Other conditions that can be treated with lignans include:
- Breast cancer
- Menopausal symptoms
- Detoxifying the system to boost overall health
The steroids found in plants help with the proper and effective absorption of cholesterol, and thereby, these compounds also help in reducing weight while purifying the blood to give you glowing skin and nourished hair.
Health Benefits of Giloy Leaves
Giloy leaves are often considered a wonder worker as they provide anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-allergic, anti-spasmodic, and antioxidant properties. It has various health benefits and can help treat various severe and chronic conditions. We will highlight some of the critical health benefits of giloy leaves along with how to use giloy leaves to get the maximum benefit.
Being a great ayurvedic medicine to control blood glucose levels, giloy is naturally the first choice for treating diabetes symptoms. Hence, it is also known as Madhunashini. The chemicals present in giloy help with the better absorption of glucose in the blood, which lowers the overall concentration. In terms of consumption, giloy churna can be consumed twice daily, post meals. Here, you need to be very well-versed with how to use giloy leaves as side effects are possible.
Treating Hay Fever
Hay fever or allergic rhinitis may not always be critical, but it certainly is frustrating. The worst part is that avoiding hay fever in a country like India is almost impossible. So, if you suffer from pollen allergies and see the symptoms of hay fever, you can consume giloy leaves twice daily, post meals, to help manage the condition.
Treating Liver Diseases
Giloy leaves are known to provide hepatoprotective and immunomodulatory effects on people. If you have been an alcoholic and suffer from liver injuries or liver diseases, you can consume giloy to counter the harmful effects and restore liver health. Being rich in antioxidants, the leaves help rescue the free radicals in the body that can further aid the functioning of the liver. You can make a mixture of giloy juice and water taken in the 1:1 ratio and drink it every morning on an empty stomach.
Treating High Cholesterol
Giloy has antioxidants that remove free radicals from the body. This results in the purification of the blood and controlling the production and absorption of cholesterol. Giloy also improves metabolism, aids in weight loss, and helps control the cholesterol levels in the blood. You can add 2 to 3 teaspoons of giloy juice to 250 ml of water and have it on an empty stomach every morning.
Treating Hair Problems
Giloy is known to purify blood and improve blood circulation. It can also promote the production of blood platelets. When the blood is cleansed, your overall health is also improved, and that includes tackling multiple hair problems. Hence, the giloy benefits for hair stem from its antioxidant properties. You can consume giloy as you normally do, or you can make a paste using giloy leaves and water and apply it to your hair for better and quick results.
Side Effects of Using Giloy Leaves
Nothing is ever hundred percent good. While giloy leaves are known for their plethora of benefits and even have proven to be effective in providing immunity from the coronavirus, if you do not know how to use giloy leaves properly or even if you should consume the leaves at all, you might end up suffering from its side effects.
The potential side effects include:
One of the common side effects of many Ayurvedic plants is that it can lead to constipation. While giloy is known to help boost the immune system, overconsuming can cause constipation in certain people. The real reason behind this is still unknown. But, if you suffer from constipation, you can try consuming giloy with lukewarm water. If the problem continues, you should immediately consult your doctor.
Lowering of blood sugar:
Giloy is known to help lower blood glucose levels. People suffering from diabetes are often advised to eat giloy, but if you are on diabetic medications, you should not consume giloy. One of the medications should be stopped, which should be done only after you consult with your doctor. If you are a patient of diabetes insipidus, then you should avoid taking giloy at all costs.
Triggering of autoimmune disorders:
Giloy leaves to boost the immune system. If you are suffering from an autoimmune disorder, you should never consume giloy as it will trigger more allergic reactions, as your immune system will go into overdrive.
Giloy leaves are known as Amrit in the ayurvedic world. The texts even say that gods themselves consume this plant to stay healthy and live longer. There are various benefits of giloy for hair, skin, immune system, heart, and all other vital organs. But, these benefits would manifest when you know how to use giloy leaves properly and stick to the dosages prescribed by your doctor. If you try and overconsume the leaves or supplements extracted from the whole plant, you might end up suffering from the side effects. Hence, always consult your doctor and get yourself thoroughly tested to know if you have any underlying conditions that can be triggered by the usage of giloy leaves. This article will help you to know how to use giloy leaves for effective results.
How to prepare giloy leaves juice?
Adding giloy to your morning diet can help your body detoxify, and you can also give your immune system the much-needed boost along with losing those extra pounds. If you want to add giloy leaves as a form of juice to your diet, all you need to do is chop the plant into small bits and blend it into a paste with a little amount of water. Once the paste is made, add it to a wok along with turmeric and boil it until it becomes a thick juice. You can drink this every morning.
Can giloy be consumed by kids?
If your kids suffer from chronic fever and appetite loss, you can give them giloy leaves, but it is better to consult with a doctor first. Also, you can try giloy supplements that strain the harmful phytochemicals so your kids can consume this tablet for as long as needed. Hence, by knowing how to use giloy leaves properly, you will actually be helping your kids grow stronger.
Can giloy treat autoimmune disorders?
If you are suffering from conditions like systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis, or any such autoimmune disorders, you need to consult your doctor before you start a course of giloy. This is because in conditions where the immune system is attacking your own body, strengthening the said immune system will not be a great idea.