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For centuries, Ayurvedic medicine has championed the use of giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) for its seemingly endless array of healing and restorative properties. But does it really work?
What are the possible benefits of giloy?
Giloy is a plant that’s been an integral part of traditional medicine and the Ayurvedic pharmacy for ages.
Its fans say that giloy contains miraculous substances that can better health and improve life expectancy. They might be right. Studies have shown giloy may provide the following potential health benefits:
- may reduce skin damage and the appearance of wrinkles
- strengthens, protects, and restores the hair
- promotes weight management
- positive effects on stress, learning, and memory
- anti-inflammatory effects
- boosts immunity
- possesses possible cancer-preventive effects
- antioxidant actions in the body
- protects against arthritis and osteoporosis
- demonstrates anti-allergic activity
- supports liver and heart protection
- helps prevent ulcers and helps digestion
- stabilizes blood sugar
- acts as a diuretic
- has effects against Hansen’s disease (leprosy)
There isn’t much research on it. But the studies out there are promising!
Also known as Guduchi, gurjo, and (more affectionately) heart-leaved moonseed, this heart-shaped, fruit-bearing plant is indigenous to the Southeast Asian region. Ayurvedic practitioners have used it to treat just about every ailment in the book.
As natural medicine and homeopathic remedies gain mainstream popularity, people are hunting down plants like giloy. But will they be disappointed when they get hold of some? Or does it do what it claims?
If this speaks to you, maybe you fancy learning about the many benefits giloy can offer for skin, hair, and weight loss.
Among the most popular of giloy’s benefits is the fortifying effects it may have on the skin.
Giloy is packed with antioxidants, which fight nasty free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage your skin cells. Translation: antioxidants work to counteract the sh*t that makes you look haggard.
According to a 2012 review, giloy extract can attack those pesky free radicals, meaning that its benefits for the skin include:
- fewer fine lines and wrinkles
- reduced pigmentation, or fewer dark spots on the skin
Besides its dewrinklifying work, the plant also contains properties you can use to treat an array of more harmful and serious skin conditions.
A 2010 paper noted that people have used giloy to treat various skin disorders for millennia because of its kushtahara or anti-leprotic properties. So, if Hansen’s disease is a concern, giloy may well help you manage some of the symptoms.
Thanks to these properties, if you’ve got the following skin conditions, maybe give giloy a whirl:
- herpes and cold sores
- various skin lesions and wounds
If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. And it’s no replacement for conventional treatment when it comes to these skin conditions, but it may help soothe your skin when used alongside what your doc recommends.
You can try giloy as a remedy by either applying some whizzed-up plant matter directly on your skin or by taking a supplement.
Overall, the antioxidant and anti-leprotic properties of giloy make the plant a viable option for radiant, youthful-looking skin and for alleviating skin rashes and disorders. And Hansen’s disease.
Similar to its skin benefits, giloy’s potential benefits for hair stem from its antioxidant content. Antioxidants nourish and shield hair in much the same way they do for skin: by working against the actions of free radicals (seriously, what is with those things?).
When munched on or applied topically, the antioxidants in giloy may benefit your hair by:
- promoting hair growth
- strengthening and protecting hair
- restoring and repairing damaged hair
- improving scalp health
With the crushing inability to go to the salon over the last year and a half, many peeps have given their hair a break from the chemicals and treatments to which they typically subject it.
Adding giloy’s antioxidants to your beauty regimen can benefit your hair by restoring its health and adding protection before you reintroduce the chemicals, dyes, and heat styling in a frantic post-pandemic fix-all.
You may be looking to shed extra weight, or you’d just like more consistency to maintain your current weight. Either way, giloy offers benefits for both weight loss and management. There are multiple components of the giloy plant that can help you out.
A 2016 review found that good ol’ giloy contains adiponectin and leptin. Huh? They’re proteins that play an important role in the body’s endocrine functions. These functions control weight and many other things like growth, development, and sex.
Supplementing these proteins could promote weight loss in two main ways:
- enhancing metabolism
- reducing appetite
Giloy also seems to work as a diuretic, meaning it helps you create extra pee-pee. So not only can the “wonder herb” support weight loss, but it might also help you rid yourself of excess water and toxins. Yay!
If you want to try giloy for weight loss, you can find supplements, or you might prefer giloy in juice form. You can take giloy daily, but the experts recommend you do so in the morning and not on an empty stomach.
Giloy contains a wealth of properties that can support your immune system. A 2019 review listed a bunch of positive effects associated with this “wonder plant,” like:
- properties that work against toxins in the body
- antioxidant properties
- properties that modulate how your glands and hormones work
- anti-inflammatory properties
These properties can work together in helping your body protect itself against invading nasties while bumping up your antioxidant levels, fighting against internal inflammation, and boosting immune function.
Ayurvedic practitioners refer to giloy as “Amri,” meaning “nectar of Gods.” This pretty glowing nickname is down to its immunomodulating and rejuvenating properties. The active compounds in this ancient herb can boost the action of phagocytes. These immune cells gobble down harmful bacteria and viruses and are essential for clearing out dying cells from the body.
In several animal studies, giloy compounds have shown they can act against tumors, stimulate immune cells, activate immune cells called T cells, and help B cells to mature so they can do their job. In short, giloy can enhance your immune response against harmful pathogens.
As with many natural and traditional remedies, there’s a lack of large-scale scientific studies to support claims of giloy’s role as a powerhouse herbal medicine. Saying that, there is some evidence that backs giloy’s health-giving properties.
Giving this traditional herb a go may turn out to may help your health, skin, and hair woes. If giloy is something you’d like to try, supplements and juices are available online.
The potential benefits of the giloy plant are numerous.
Giloy may have antioxidant, antitoxic, cancer-preventive, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving effects, as well as other properties that can support health. There are a bunch of factors that also make giloy a great option for achieving healthy skin, hair, and promoting weight loss.
When you use any supplement, it’s best to consult with a medical professional before introducing giloy to your diet or skin care routine.