Giloy – 10 Stunning Benefits of Immunity Booster GiloyDr. Surya Bhagwati
Giloy is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda and it’s one that most Indians should be familiar with it. Like many popular herbs it goes under different names, so you might also know it as guduchi or amrita. Regardless of the name, giloy is classified as a rasayana or rejuvenative herb and was regarded as an anti-aging wonder because of its immense medicinal benefits. With its long history of use, dating back over 3,000 years, giloy is still widely used in a variety of Ayurvedic medicines. Whether you plan to take a giloy supplement or any Ayurvedic medicine that contains the herb, you should get acquainted with its health benefits.
Giloy Health Benefits
1. Immune Support
Today, giloy is most sought after for its immunomodulatory effects. This is not surprising, considering the current COVID-19 pandemic. So, how effective is the herb at boosting immunity? As it turns out, ancient Ayurvedic physicians got it right.
Bioactive compounds in giloy can stimulate phagocytic and macrophage activity. This enhances the overall immune response, helping fight off infections.
2. Allergy Relief
Allergies are normally treated with antihistamines and corticosteroids, but these can have long term side effects. Giloy has therefore attracted the interest of researchers as a potent natural treatment with no risk of side effects.
Their studies have found that oral supplementation of giloy can help provide relief from allergic rhinitis, which affects the respiratory tract. The herb can provide quick relief from associated nasal blockage and sneezing.
3. Natural Decongestant
Giloy has often been used in Ayurvedic remedies to treat colds and coughs. In fact, you will still find it as an ingredient in some Ayurvedic medicines for respiratory tract problems, whether caused by allergy or infection.
A study that appeared in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that daily supplementation of giloy for 8 weeks could provide complete relief from congestion in over 60 percent of patients.
When we think of infections and immune function, we often overlook diseases caused by parasites. However, parasites like gastrointestinal worms, lice, and scabies can also be problematic and hard to treat. Of course, this problem was no challenge for India’s ancient Ayurvedic sages, who were quick to identify giloy’s therapeutic potential.
Modern research shows that topical applications containing giloy can help in the treatment of parasitic skin infections like scabies, even proving to be as effective as pharmaceutical drugs.
5. Kidney and Liver Protection
One of the most important uses of giloy in Ayurveda would be for detoxification. The herb is commonly used as an ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines that are used to treat toxicity and associated conditions. This traditional use of the herb is also supported by clinical research that suggests giloy possesses potent hepatoprotective and nephroprotective properties.
Studies have linked these effects to the strong antioxidant effect of giloy. The herb has been found to enhance levels of ascorbic acid, protein, and anti-oxidant enzyme activity. It also contains alkaloids like choline and tinosporin that are known to offer protection to the kidney and liver from toxins.
This is one of the most important emerging treatments as diabetes is a chronic condition that requires lifelong treatment. Natural medicines and herbs like giloy are of great interest as they can potentially reduce dependence on drugs. Giloy is widely used in traditional Ayurvedic diabetes medicines and with good cause.
It works as a natural anti-hyperglycemic agent, helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Research shows that it can also protect against diabetes complications like neuropathy and gastropathy.
Arthritis can include over a 100 conditions, from osteoarthritis to gouty arthritis. Regarded as a chronic inflammatory condition, arthritis causes immense joint pain that can be debilitating. Unfortunately, pain medications are known to cause severe side effects over time and this has made natural treatments so sought after. Giloy is one of the best natural treatments for arthritis, having long been used in Ayurveda for this purpose.
Extracts from the herb have been shown to have anti-osteoporotic effects and can promote an increase in joint cartilage thickness. This can reduce the severity of symptoms and may also delay further joint degeneration.
Cancer may not have been as common in ancient India as it is today, but some old cures can work for new diseases. This is certainly the case with giloy. While it may not help cure or treat cancer, it could help facilitate cancer treatment and recovery.
Studies show that it may offer radioprotective benefits, reducing the harmful side effects of conventional cancer treatments. Some research also indicates potential anti-tumor effects, which could reduce the need for chemotherapy.
9. Fitness Boost
Ashwagandha is the best known Ayurvedic herb when it comes to fitness and bodybuilding, but it is not the only helpful herb. Giloy can also be helpful at facilitating fitness goals, especially when used in combination with other herbs. You will find it as an ingredient in a number of effective Ayurvedic medicines for muscle growth.
This fitness benefit of giloy is also supported by research as some studies show that it can enhance physical performance, reducing the effects of physical stress from exercise.
Giloy’s heart health benefits are often overlooked because of its popularity as an immune booster. However, it is just as effective at protecting against heart disease and is often used as a primary ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines for heart health and conditions that threaten heart health, such as obesity.
Giloy can help lower the risk of heart disease thanks to proven hypolipidemic effects. Studies have found that the herb can reduce serum lipid levels and improve HDL levels, protecting against high cholesterol – a major risk factor for heart disease.
The precise recommended dosage of giloy can vary depending on your health and unique prakriti. Only an Ayurvedic physician would be able to provide you with personalized advice. However, most of the studies listed here have yielded benefits with a daily dosage of about 400 to 500 mg.
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