- Author: Daniel Patrick
- Published: May 6, 2022
The giloy plant, also known as Guduchi and gurjo, is believed to offer many health benefits. All parts of the plant can be used for medicinal purposes, but the stem has the most beneficial compounds.
Giloy is used in traditional Indian medicine and has been for hundreds of years. It’s becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world, too, as more people learn about its potential for treating and improving general wellness.
You can read more about this plant, including how to grow it at home, in our giloy plant guide. Here, I focus on the health benefits and medicinal uses associated with giloy. These include improving immunity, reducing symptoms of arthritis and joint pain, and increasing energy levels.
Important: There have been few formal studies into the medical effects of giloy on humans. You might want to consult your doctor before taking giloy, especially if you have any significant health conditions.
Beneficial Compounds in Giloy
One of the main reasons why giloy can be beneficial for our health is its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties come from several beneficial compounds in the plant.
The four primary compounds in giloy are as follows.
Alkaloids are what give some plants a bitter taste. They’re used in many prescription medicines and have proven medical benefits, including lowering blood pressure and relieving pain.
Terpenoids are among the most common type of compounds found in plants. They affect plant characteristics such as fragrance and color, and have various medical benefits.
Lignans serve as defensive compounds in plants, to fight off pests and diseases. As well as having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial to humans, research has shown they can slow the growth of cancer cells.
Steroids help with plant growth and development. For humans, plant steroids can help reduce cholesterol, heal wounds, and improve cardiovascular health.
These beneficial compounds are most prevalent in the stem of the giloy plant but are also present in the roots, leaves, and flowers.
How to Use Giloy for Medicinal Purposes
There are a few ways to use giloy for medicinal purposes.
- Add it to food or drink
- Chew on the stem
- Drink the juice of the plant
- Take it in supplement form
- Apply it to the skin
One of the most popular ways to use giloy is drinking it as tea. You can make giloy tea by boiling the stems or adding dried giloy powder to a cup of hot water.
Another popular option to enjoy the medicinal benefits of giloy is by chewing on the stem directly or adding it to your food. Some people also like to crush the leaves and mix them into smoothies or juices, or even drink pure giloy juice.
You can also take giloy supplements. These are available at many health food stores and pharmacies and typically come in capsule form. You can also buy dried giloy powder and giloy juice. The optimal use of these supplements can vary, so always read the label before consumption.
There are a few methods for applying giloy to the skin. The most common is to make a paste by mixing dried giloy powder with water. There are also some manufactured giloy creams and lotions on the market.
Top Health Benefits of Giloy
There are many potential health benefits associated with giloy. Here are some of the best-researched and commonly reported ones.
- Improved immunity
- Reduced symptoms of arthritis and joint pain
- Better digestion
- Boosted energy levels
One of the main health benefits of giloy is that it can help boost the immune system, meaning it’s an excellent natural remedy for fighting infections and preventing disease. Research has shown that giloy can stimulate the production of specific immune cells, such as macrophages and helper T cells.
The best way to boost immunity using giloy is to take it regularly. You could try mixing two or three teaspoons of giloy juice into a drink each day.
Reduced Symptoms of Arthritis and Joint Pain
Giloy is also thought to be an effective natural remedy for reducing symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. This is because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which can combat stiffness and swelling.
I found several sources that suggest taking giloy powder mixed with warm milk to relieve joint pain.
Another of the top health benefits of giloy is that it can help improve digestion and alleviate a range of digestive issues. Vomiting and diarrhea can both be treated with giloy, too.
To get the full digestive benefits from giloy, try taking a supplement or drinking giloy tea regularly.
Boosted Energy Levels
Giloy can help improve energy levels and reduce fatigue. This is likely because of its beneficial effects on the circulatory system and metabolism.
If you want to increase your energy using giloy, taking it in supplement form is one of the easiest options.
Other Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits
According to various resources on Ayurvedic medicine, other potential uses and benefits of giloy include the following.
- Treating asthma, coughs, and colds
- Improving skin health and reducing acne
- Reducing allergies
- Treating liver disease
- Fighting cancer
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Cure recurring fevers
- Improving memory function
- Reducing anxiety and stress
As you can see, there are many potential benefits of giloy for your health and well-being. Are they any downsides or side effects, though?
Downsides and Side Effects of Using Giloy
There are no proven risks associated with taking giloy. However, I should reiterate that there has not been a huge amount of academic research or testing on its effects on humans. I recommend that you avoid using giloy if you are pregnant or have a severe health condition.
I should also point out that there is not much scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of Ayurvedic medicine in general. With that said, the use of giloy for its health benefits has spread well beyond Ayurvedic medicine and continues to grow in popularity.
The most widely-reported side effect of giloy seems to be an upset stomach from regular use. It can also cause problems for those with an autoimmune disease, due to its stimulation of the immune system. As it lowers blood sugar, it can be harmful to anyone who suffers from hypoglycemia.
Should You Use Giloy?
My research leads me to believe that using giloy can improve your overall well-being. If you are looking for a natural herbal remedy with a wide range of health benefits, giloy is definitely worth considering.
However, the lack of scientific evidence to support the benefits of giloy means that you should be cautious. I recommend that you don’t take giloy regularly or in large doses without first speaking to a doctor or healthcare professional.
I further recommend that you only use reputable sellers when buying giloy supplements.