Guduchi – The Immune ModulatorManjiri Nadkarni
If there is one Ayurvedic herb that displays immune, anti-inflammatory properties as well as serves as a tissue tonic, it is Guduchi; latin name Tinospora Cordifolia. Often referred to as ‘Amruta’ or divine nectar, Guduchi is one of the most powerful herbs in the Ayurvedic pharmacy.
There is an interesting story, how this wonderful herb originated on the earth as mentioned in BhavaprakashNighantu. The Asura (demon) King Ravana, the King of Lanka, abducted Sita, the wife of Lord Rama and carried her to his kingdom of Lanka. Lord Rama, accompanied by his huge army of Vanaras or monkey men travelled all the way to Lanka, to rescue her. A huge battle was fought between Lord Rama and Ravana where thousands of Vanaras sacrificed their lives leading to victory for Lord Rama and thus rescuing Sita. Indra, the king of Gods, was so moved by the Vanaras sacrifice, that he showered ‘Amrut’ or divine nectar on their bodies to revive them. Wherever on the earth, this nectar fell, sprang Guduchi, having divine nectar like properties, who bears the name Amruta, Devamruta (nectar of the Gods) or Amrutasambhava (she who originated from divine nectar).
Guduchi is bitter to taste, warming in potency and helps balance all three doshas, while has strengthening, anti-inflammatory, digestive, and diuretic properties. The stem is the main part used as well as the starch prepared from the stem, known as GuduchiSatva
Some of the health benefits of Guduchi are as below
- Rasyana (rejuvenator) and Vayasthapana (anti-aging)
- Guduchi helps build all 7 bodily tissues right from Rasa Dhatu (plasma) to ShukraDhatu (semen)
- Guduchi cleanses Rasa Dhatu and is useful in the treatment of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis etc.
- Guduchi is known to detoxify as well as support the function of liver as well as the secretion of bile and is thus successfully used in liver conditions like hepatitis, jaundice etc.
- Guduchi holds a special significance in todays era, as auto-immune conditions are a known malaise. Guduchi being a strong anti-inflammatory and immune balancer can be successfully used in the treatment of auto-immune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, Hashimotos disease.
- Guduchi Satva or starch is used in the Pitta disorders like burning sensation of hands and feet, nasal bleeding, gastro-intestinal bleeding etc.
Guduchi is one potent herb that can be used to treat diseases of different doshas just by changing the Anupana (carrier)
- For vata disorders use Guduchi with ghee
- For Pitta disorders use Gudchi with cane sugar
- For Kapha disorders use Guduchi with honey
- Guduchi given with jaggery helps relieve constipation
- In case of gout, Guduchi should be used along with castor oil
- In the treatment of Amavata or rheumatoid arthritis, Guduchi should be used with Shunthi or dried ginger