Giloy: Nature’s Gift for our Immune System
We are rediscovering some natural immunity boosters out of desperation to fight the pandemic. One such name with which we have become familiar again is giloy. However, this humble climbing vine grows in almost all states of India and it has done so for centuries. Called guduchhi in Hindi and gulancha (following the older Sanskrit name) in Eastern Indian states, giloy is part of Ayurvedic and community medicine systems. Many of us have thrown it away from our gardens with weeds, but giloy can work as a natural soldier for our immune systems.
It’s an important part of our kadhas at The Pahadi Story, and we have written about the benefits of giloy before. Today we will dive deeper to see just how giloy boosts our immunity.
How does giloy boost immunity?
The contents of giloy give it some unique properties. In Ayurvedic texts, gulancha extract has been called ‘amrita’ or nectar of immortality. Modern research makes it no less important.
- Antipyretic - Giloy is antipyretic, i.e. it reduces fever. When you have it under normal circumstances, it increases the activity of cells called microphages within our body that fight harmful organisms. So giloy is strengthening your immunity system against fever so that you don’t get infected, and if you do, you recover earlier
- Fights hay fever – Many European countries traditionally used Giloy to reduce Hay Fever. When you consume giloy, your leukocytes (white blood cell) count goes up, and these cells fight infection
- Controls respiratory diseases – Giloy reduces cough, cold, chest congestion, asthma and clears the nose when it’s blocked or runny. Its antibacterial properties make it a natural shield against respiratory disorders
- Anti-inflammatory – This is one of the most beneficial properties of giloy. Ulcers, wounds and kidney damage might be controllable or at least reduced with consuming the magic herb. Giloy reduces the production of cytokines in our body – these are molecules that promote swelling – and that makes it effective in fighting arthritis
- Antioxidnt – Since giloy improves the level of antioxidant enzymes, it lowers cholesterol levels in the liver, improves metabolism, and curbs digestion related problems like indigestion, hyperacidity, and flatulence. In short, giloy just might give you a better, toxin-free stomach and lower stress levels
- Anti-proliferative – Giloy can arrest the growth or proliferation of some cells, including breast cancer. While this finding is still under clinical trial, it certainly is a ray of hope
[Image of giloy and other ingredients for kadha]
How to consume giloy?
Giloy is such a wonderful plant, but which part is the most beneficial? Interestingly, it’s not the attractive red fruit, but the simple green stem that is most healthy. Giloy’s juice or nectar is extracted from its stem. Sometimes, the stem can be used in infusion. Check out our 100% organic and Ayurvedic Immunity Herbal Infusion, which combines the goodness of giloy with 11 potent herbs. Apart from the stem, the roots can also be used. Some traditional medicine suggests boiling the leaves too.
Packaged giloy juices are available in the market. However, make sure you choose one that is entirely without additives, preservatives and artificial flavouring. The effectiveness of natural immunity boosters depend on the purity, freshness and quantity you consume. Talk to your doctor once before making packaged juices a daily habit.
Giloy vines are not rare. But if you gather it, you would need to consult a doctor again to fix how much to consume. Clean the stems thoroughly, cut and boil to make a simple infusion. You may want to combine it with herbs and tinctures, read what Ayurveda says about using these.
FAQs on Giloy
- What part of giloy is best? The stems are the best. Roots are also usable, but the stems hold maximum nutrition and are strong immunity boosters
- Can I have giloy every day? You can, under normal circumstances. But consult your doctor once, and ensure the dosage
- Can I make giloy kadha? This is not advised. Simply cutting the branches and trying out something new might get you into unforeseen trouble. Cleaning the stem, choosing the right portions and measuring the amount is best left to a good Ayurvedic doctor
- Is giloy safe for children? It is safe for kids above 4, but ask your doctor. If they allow it, start it as a good habit. A strong immunity system is a great gift from any parent
- Can I cook giloy leaves? Not a good idea. Nutrients won’t be preserved in a curry, and trying out a new saag might end up in a stomach upset instead of anything beneficial.
Do you have a question on a specific health issue? Please send it to us at [email ID] and we will respond ASAP with the opinion of an experienced Ayurvedic doctor and the right dietary suggestion for you.