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Giloy – Keep Diabetes At Bay Naturally

Giloy or Guduchi is an herb highly regarded in Ayurveda for its rasayana (rejuvenating) properties. It reduces oxidative stress, promotes insulin secretion, and lowers blood sugar levels. It also treats diabetes-associated conditions like cataract, nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), foot ulcers, and gestational diabetes.

giloy-to-manage-diabetes
Noni-Ingredient-Kapiva

According to the world health organization 8.5% of people over 18 had diabetes in 2014. And between 2000 and 2016, the number of people dying prematurely due to diabetes increased by 5%.[1][Diabetes](https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes “Diabetes”). World Health Organization.

Diabetes is a disease where your blood sugar or blood glucose becomes too high. A hormone known as insulin is responsible for controlling blood sugar. It moves glucose from your blood into cells where it can be broken down to release energy. But in people who are diabetic either the insulin doesn’t function properly or sufficient insulin is not produced.

What Are The Types Of Diabetes?

There are mainly two kinds of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes, where your immune system destroys insulin producing cells
  • Type 2 diabetes, where cells in your body don’t react properly to insulin or you don’t produce sufficient insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is much less common than type 2. The national health service in the UK estimates that about 90% of adults with diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes. [2][Diabetes](Diabetes – NHS (www.nhs.uk)“Diabetes”). NHS,UK.

Some women also suffer from gestational diabetes, which is a condition where they have high levels of blood sugar during pregnancy and are not able to produce sufficient insulin.

Meanwhile 1 out of 3 adults in America are thought to have prediabetes, a condition where your blood sugar is higher than normal but not sufficiently enough to be classified as diabetes.[3][About Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes](About Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes | National Diabetes Prevention Program | Diabetes | CDC “About Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes”). Centers for … Continue reading People with prediabetes have a real risk of becoming diabetic in the near future. So those are really worrying numbers. Over a period of time, diabetes can lead to nerve damage, eye problems, heart disease, and kidney disease.

What Does Ayurveda Say About Diabetes?

In ayurveda, diabetes is described as Madhumeha, a condition where the affected person passes honey like urine. It is classified as one of 20 urinary disorders (prameha). But it is worth noting that any prameha can progress and turn into madhumeha if it is neglected. Excessive consumption of food that is heavy (guru), unctuous (snigdha), sour (amla) and salty (lavana) as well as excessive sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, a lack of exercise, and abstaining from purification therapy (samshodhana) are thought to cause this condition.[4][Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus)](Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus) | National Health Portal of India (nhp.gov.in) “Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus)”] National Health Portal, India.

Ways To Prevent And Manage Diabetes

Lifestyle measures such as keeping your body weight at a healthy level, being physically active, adopting a healthy diet, and giving up smoking can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. It’s a good idea to limit foods high in saturated fats like butter, bacon, pastries etc. Foods high in added sugar such as biscuits, frosted corn flakes, cola, iced cakes etc. are also best avoided.[5][Diabetes](https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes “Diabetes”). World Health Organization.

Ayurveda too recommends regular exercise and a healthy diet for managing diabetes. Tweak your diet to include foods like barley, green gram, bitter gourd, snake gourd, pumpkin etc. These are helpful in preventing diabetes. Various herbal formulations such as Nishaamalakadi Churna, Triphaladi churna, Chandraprabha vati etc. are also used in Ayurveda for managing this condition.[6][Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus)](Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus) | National Health Portal of India (nhp.gov.in) “Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus)”] National Health Portal, India. Giloy or guduchi is a plant that is valued for its anti-diabetic properties in Ayurveda.

Importance Of Giloy For Diabetes Care

Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) or Guduchi is a climber that typically grows on large trees like neem and mango. Some naturalists believe that a climber that grows on neem or neem giloy is more potent because it can absorb some of the properties of neem.[7]Upadhyay, Avnish K., Kaushal Kumar, Arvind Kumar, and Hari S. Mishra. “Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Hook. f. and Thoms.(Guduchi)–validation of Ayurvedic pharmacology through experimental and … Continue reading From an ayurvedic point of view, Giloy is recommended for diabetes due to its rasayana (rejuvenating) properties. Its tiktha rasa (bitter taste) is considered to have a balancing effect on kapha and pitta.

Research shows that giloy has many beneficial compounds which give it

  • antioxidant,
  • antipyretic,
  • anti-diabetic,
  • anti-inflammatory,
  • immuno-modulatory, and
  • hepato-protective properties.[8]Kumar, Pradeep, Madhu Kamle, Dipendra K. Mahato, Himashree Bora, Bharti Sharma, Prasad Rasane, and Vivek K. Bajpai. “Tinospora cordifolia (Giloy): Phytochemistry, Ethnopharmacology, Clinical … Continue reading

How Does Giloy Help Manage Diabetes?

Many studies have found that giloy can be useful in treating and dealing with the damage caused by diabetes.

1. Reduces Oxidative Stress

Research indicates that giloy exerts an anti-diabetic effect by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by the presence of excessive free radicals in your body. Free radicals are formed when food is converted into energy as well as by toxins such as alcohol, pollution, tobacco etc. Oxidative stress plays a negative role in not just diabetes but other conditions such as cancer and heart disease too. But herbs with antioxidant properties such as giloy can fight the effects of free radicals.[9][Antioxidants: What You Need to Know](https://familydoctor.org/antioxidants-what-you-need-to-know/ “Antioxidants: What You Need to Know”). American Academy of Family Physicians.

2. Promotes Insulin Secretion

Giloy also promotes the secretion of insulin and inhibits the release of glucose into the bloodstream through the breakdown of food (gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis).[10]Sangeetha, Marimuthu Kannan, Hanumantha Rao Balaji Raghavendran, Veeraraghavan Gayathri, and Hannah R. Vasanthi. “Tinospora cordifolia attenuates oxidative stress and distorted carbohydrate … Continue reading

3. Lowers Blood Sugar

Alkaloids present in this valuable plant are thought to play a significant part in its ability to lower blood sugar.[11] Patel, Mayurkumar B., and Shrihari Mishra. “Hypoglycemic activity of alkaloidal fraction of Tinospora cordifolia.” Phytomedicine 18, no. 12 (2011): 1045-1052. In fact, a certain alkaloid known as berberine is present in giloy has been studied extensively for its anti-diabetic effects and has been found to have a blood sugar lowering effect that’s similar to the drug metformin which is used to treat diabetes.[12]Srinivasan, G. V., K. P. Unnikrishnan, AB Rema Shree, and Indira Balachandran. “HPLC estimation of berberine in Tinospora cordifolia and Tinospora sinensis.” Indian journal of … Continue reading [13]Yin, Jun, Huili Xing, and Jianping Ye. “Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Metabolism 57, no. 5 (2008): 712-717.

Giloy Can Treat Diabetes-Associated Conditions

Studies also show that Giloy can help with many conditions associated with diabetes such as:

Giloy For Diabetic Retinopathy And Cataract

Diabetics are prone to diabetic retinopathy, a condition which can lead to loss of vision and blindness. In this condition, sugar blocks small blood vessels going into the retina, which is the layer of tissue at the back of your eye that is sensitive to light. This may cause your blood vessels to bleed or leak fluid. New blood vessels are then formed in your eye but these don’t function properly and are liable to bleed or leak easily.[14][What is diabetic retinopathy?](Diabetic Retinopathy | National Eye Institute (nih.gov) “What is diabetic retinopathy?”). National Institutes of Health.

One animal study found that giloy can play a role in the management and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. This is due to its ability to reduce high blood sugar or antihyperglycemic as well as its anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It is also anti-angiogenic. That is, it inhibits the development of new blood vessels.[15]Agrawal, Shyam S., Salma Naqvi, Suresh K. Gupta, and Sushma Srivastava. “Prevention and management of diabetic retinopathy in STZ diabetic rats by Tinospora cordifolia and its molecular … Continue reading

According to ayurveda, Giloy can help improve diabetic retinopathy due to its rasayana (rejuvenating) properties.

Did you know that diabetes also increases your chance of developing cataract by 2 to 5 times.[16][What is diabetic retinopathy?](Diabetic Retinopathy | National Eye Institute (nih.gov) “What is diabetic retinopathy?”). National Institutes of Health. But, a study found that treatment with a root extract of giloy for two months not only reduced blood sugar levels by 40.41% but it also had a protective effect with respect to the development of cataract.[17]Rathi, S. S., J. K. Grover, Vats Vikrant, and N. R. Biswas. “Prevention of experimental diabetic cataract by Indian Ayurvedic plant extracts.” Phytotherapy Research: An International … Continue reading Giloy may be able to protect your vision from some damage caused by diabetes.

Giloy For Diabetic Neuropathy

Over a period of time, diabetes can cause nerve damage or neuropathy. This can result in issues ranging from numbness and pain in the feet to problems with the functioning of organs like the bladder or heart.[18][Diabetic Neuropathy](Diabetic Neuropathy | NIDDK (nih.gov)“Diabetic Neuropathy”). National Institutes of Health.
Another animal study found that giloy is beneficial in preventing increased sensitivity to pain caused by diabetic neuropathy.[19]Nadig, Pratibha D., Roshni R. Revankar, Shankar M. Dethe, Sriniwas B. Narayanswamy, and Meharban A. Aliyar. “Effect of Tinospora cordifolia on experimental diabetic neuropathy.” Indian … Continue reading The researchers suggest that it does this by impacting the metabolism of glucose in people with diabetes.[20]Ramasamy, Ravichandran, and Ira J. Goldberg. “Aldose reductase and cardiovascular diseases, creating human-like diabetic complications in an experimental model.” Circulation research 106, … Continue reading Oxidative damage too plays a role in the development of diabetic neuropathy. Therefore, the antioxidant properties of giloy could also be responsible for this beneficial effect.

Giloy is classified as a herb which has vayastapana qualities in ayurveda. That is, it is rejuvenating, improves health, well being, and intellect, and is also an aphrodisiac. Therefore, it would be beneficial in diabetic neuropathy.

Giloy For Diabetic Nephropathy

It is estimated that one of three adults suffering from diabetes have kidney disease or diabetic nephropathy.[21][Diabetic Kidney Disease](Diabetic Kidney Disease | NIDDK (nih.gov)“Diabetic Kidney Disease”). National Institutes of Health. When your kidneys get damaged they are unable to filter blood properly. This leads to the build up of waste material in your body. One of the signs of kidney disease is the presence of high levels of albumin, a protein present in your blood, in your urine. This is because when your kidney is healthy it doesn’t let albumin pass into urine from your blood.[22][Albuminuria: Albumin in the Urine](Albuminuria: Albumin in the Urine | NIDDK (nih.gov) “Albuminuria: Albumin in the Urine”) . National Institutes of Health.

A study found that when diabetic rats were fed Tinospora cordifolia extracts it prevented an increase in urinary albumin levels significantly. This suggests that giloy can help prevent diabetes-related kidney damage.[23]Grover, J. K., V. Vats, S. S. Rathi, and R. Dawar. “Traditional Indian anti-diabetic plants attenuate progression of renal damage in streptozotocin induced diabetic mice.” Journal of … Continue reading

Giloy For Diabetic Ulcers

People with diabetes are also vulnerable to foot injuries. Nerve damage caused by diabetes can make you lose sensation in your feet and therefore, be insensitive to injuries. These injuries may get infected. And since diabetes can reduce blood flow to your feet, it becomes harder for infections and sores to heal.[24][Diabetes and Foot Problems](“Diabetes and Foot Problems | NIDDK (nih.gov)Diabetes and Foot Problems”). National Institutes of Health. But research indicates that giloy can be useful here, too.

One study found that it improved wound healing in people with foot ulcers. The researchers suggested that it did so by strengthening the response of the immune system. That is, they appear to enhance the activity of cells (PMN cells and macrophages) which are involved in detecting and destroying harmful microorganisms like bacteria that can infect wounds.[25]Purandare, Harshad, and Avinash Supe. “Immunomodulatory role of Tinospora cordifolia as an adjuvant in surgical treatment of diabetic foot ulcers: a prospective randomized controlled … Continue reading

Ayurveda considers it to be ideal for diabetic wound healing due to its bitter taste and tissue rejuvenation properties.

Giloy For Gestational Diabetes

Animal studies indicate that giloy can have a beneficial effect in gestational diabetes due to its antioxidant properties. It has been found to significantly offset oxidative stress associated with diabetes.[26]Shivananjappa, Mahesh Mysore. “Abrogation of maternal and fetal oxidative stress in the streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat by dietary supplements of Tinospora cordifolia.” Nutrition 28, … Continue reading However, there is insufficient data on whether it is safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Make sure that you consult with your doctor before trying any herbal remedy if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Ayurveda does not specifically recognise gestational diabetes.

How To Use Giloy To Manage Diabetes?

1. Make Giloy Juice

  • Blend the leaves and stems of fresh giloy with water and strain
  • Combine fresh juice (5-10 ml), fresh amla juice (5-10 ml), turmeric (1-2 gms), and honey (1-2 spns).
  • This mixture can be taken early in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • You can also have 5-10 ml of giloy juice with only honey.

2. Try Giloy Kashaya

  • Mix giloy powder (2-5 gms), amla powder (2-5 gms) and turmeric powder (1-2 gms).
  • Add this mixture to 2 glasses of water and boil till the solution reduces by half.
  • Let this solution (kashaya) cool down and have it with honey (1-2 spns).
  • This should be taken early in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • You can also boil giloy powder (3-5 gms) in a glass of water till it reduces by half and take that. This solution should be taken after food.

3. Churna (powdered) Giloy

  • Can be taken after meals.

As giloy helps maintain blood sugar levels, however, it is important to schedule monthly follow ups with your doctor to adjust dosage and make required changes.

Precautions When Using Giloy

  • Research indicates that giloy is safe when used therapeutically in recommended doses. One study found that 500mg consumed in tablet form per day for 21 days was safe for healthy people.[27]Karkal, Y. R., and Laxminarayana K. Bairy. “Safety of aqueous extract of Tinospora cordifolia (Tc) in healthy volunteers: a double blind randomised placebo controlled study.” (2007): … Continue reading Dosage can vary based on individuals and condition, so it is best to consult an ayurvedic practitioner and not self medicate. Your doctor might recommend taking giloy for longer periods of time. However, you might need to consult with her on a monthly basis for adjusting the dosage as needed.
  • If you suffer from autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. it is best to avoid giloy as it can make your immune system more active. Avoid it if you’re taking immunosuppressants.
  • Since giloy can affect your blood sugar levels, avoid it at least two weeks prior to going in for surgery. You should also account for the impact that giloy will have on your blood sugar levels if you’re taking anti-diabetic medicines.

References

References
1, 5 [Diabetes](https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes “Diabetes”). World Health Organization.
2 [Diabetes](Diabetes – NHS (www.nhs.uk)“Diabetes”). NHS,UK.
3 [About Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes](About Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes | National Diabetes Prevention Program | Diabetes | CDC “About Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes”). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
4, 6 [Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus)](Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus) | National Health Portal of India (nhp.gov.in) “Madhumeha (Diabetes mellitus)”] National Health Portal, India.
7 Upadhyay, Avnish K., Kaushal Kumar, Arvind Kumar, and Hari S. Mishra. “Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Hook. f. and Thoms.(Guduchi)–validation of Ayurvedic pharmacology through experimental and clinical studies.” International journal of Ayurveda research 1, no. 2 (2010): 112.
8 Kumar, Pradeep, Madhu Kamle, Dipendra K. Mahato, Himashree Bora, Bharti Sharma, Prasad Rasane, and Vivek K. Bajpai. “Tinospora cordifolia (Giloy): Phytochemistry, Ethnopharmacology, Clinical Application and Conservation Strategies.” Current pharmaceutical biotechnology 21, no. 12 (2020): 1165-1175.
9 [Antioxidants: What You Need to Know](https://familydoctor.org/antioxidants-what-you-need-to-know/ “Antioxidants: What You Need to Know”). American Academy of Family Physicians.
10 Sangeetha, Marimuthu Kannan, Hanumantha Rao Balaji Raghavendran, Veeraraghavan Gayathri, and Hannah R. Vasanthi. “Tinospora cordifolia attenuates oxidative stress and distorted carbohydrate metabolism in experimentally induced type 2 diabetes in rats.” Journal of natural medicines 65, no. 3 (2011): 544-550.
11 Patel, Mayurkumar B., and Shrihari Mishra. “Hypoglycemic activity of alkaloidal fraction of Tinospora cordifolia.” Phytomedicine 18, no. 12 (2011): 1045-1052.
12 Srinivasan, G. V., K. P. Unnikrishnan, AB Rema Shree, and Indira Balachandran. “HPLC estimation of berberine in Tinospora cordifolia and Tinospora sinensis.” Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences 70, no. 1 (2008): 96.
13 Yin, Jun, Huili Xing, and Jianping Ye. “Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Metabolism 57, no. 5 (2008): 712-717.
14, 16 [What is diabetic retinopathy?](Diabetic Retinopathy | National Eye Institute (nih.gov) “What is diabetic retinopathy?”). National Institutes of Health.
15 Agrawal, Shyam S., Salma Naqvi, Suresh K. Gupta, and Sushma Srivastava. “Prevention and management of diabetic retinopathy in STZ diabetic rats by Tinospora cordifolia and its molecular mechanisms.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 50, no. 9 (2012): 3126-3132.
17 Rathi, S. S., J. K. Grover, Vats Vikrant, and N. R. Biswas. “Prevention of experimental diabetic cataract by Indian Ayurvedic plant extracts.” Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives 16, no. 8 (2002): 774-777.
18 [Diabetic Neuropathy](Diabetic Neuropathy | NIDDK (nih.gov)“Diabetic Neuropathy”). National Institutes of Health.
19 Nadig, Pratibha D., Roshni R. Revankar, Shankar M. Dethe, Sriniwas B. Narayanswamy, and Meharban A. Aliyar. “Effect of Tinospora cordifolia on experimental diabetic neuropathy.” Indian journal of pharmacology 44, no. 5 (2012): 580.
20 Ramasamy, Ravichandran, and Ira J. Goldberg. “Aldose reductase and cardiovascular diseases, creating human-like diabetic complications in an experimental model.” Circulation research 106, no. 9 (2010): 1449-1458.
21 [Diabetic Kidney Disease](Diabetic Kidney Disease | NIDDK (nih.gov)“Diabetic Kidney Disease”). National Institutes of Health.
22 [Albuminuria: Albumin in the Urine](Albuminuria: Albumin in the Urine | NIDDK (nih.gov) “Albuminuria: Albumin in the Urine”) . National Institutes of Health.
23 Grover, J. K., V. Vats, S. S. Rathi, and R. Dawar. “Traditional Indian anti-diabetic plants attenuate progression of renal damage in streptozotocin induced diabetic mice.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 76, no. 3 (2001): 233-238.
24 [Diabetes and Foot Problems](“Diabetes and Foot Problems | NIDDK (nih.gov)Diabetes and Foot Problems”). National Institutes of Health.
25 Purandare, Harshad, and Avinash Supe. “Immunomodulatory role of Tinospora cordifolia as an adjuvant in surgical treatment of diabetic foot ulcers: a prospective randomized controlled study.” Indian Journal of Medical Sciences 61, no. 6 (2007): 347-355.
26 Shivananjappa, Mahesh Mysore. “Abrogation of maternal and fetal oxidative stress in the streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat by dietary supplements of Tinospora cordifolia.” Nutrition 28, no. 5 (2012): 581-587.
27 Karkal, Y. R., and Laxminarayana K. Bairy. “Safety of aqueous extract of Tinospora cordifolia (Tc) in healthy volunteers: a double blind randomised placebo controlled study.” (2007): 59-61.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.

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