LIVER: Liver damage, viral hepatitis or poisoning from alcohol, chemicals or recreational and medicinal drugs. Useful in repairing fibrosis and regenerating liver tissue.2 Applied in all conditions of aggravated ranjakapitta and pitta in the blood.
BONE/JOINTS: Gout (vatarakta), arthritis (amavata) and other inflammatory joint conditions.2 It acts by clearing pitta toxins and uric acid via the urinary system that have
accumulated in raktavahasrotas. It also removes ama toxins from the system without destabilising any of the other dosha.
IMMUNITY: All auto-immune diseases causing inflammation. Applicable in degenerative diseases such as cancer, AIDS and arthritis as it boosts the immune system. Use to offset the ulcerative and toxic effects of chemo-radiotherapy. Useful in ridding the body of both garvisha (xenobiotics – chemical residues of, e.g., chemortherapy, etc.) and amavisha.
SKIN: Supperative and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus. Useful when there is high tejas and pitta that has burnt immune protecting ojas away resulting in inflammatory skin conditions. Skin problems from excessive alcohol, recreational drug and pharmaceutical drug use may indicate the use of Guduchi. Specific for burning sensations on the skin (daha).
GASTROINTESTINAL/DIGESTIVE: Guduchi heals a bowel affected with constipation, intestinal bleeding, haemorrhoids, dyspepsia or dysentery. Useful at redressing intestinal floral imbalance with candida-like symptoms (krimi, grahani) such as bloating, flatulence and malabsorption. Its bitter yet heating qualities are used to stimulate raktadhatvagni and strengthen digestion in pitta types.
METABOLIC: It regulates blood sugar levels via its direct effect on rakta and medas-dhatu thus benefiting diabetes and hypoglycaemia. Guduchi is very calming to vata and the nervous system via its unctuous nature soothing nervous irritation. Useful in fevers.
REPRODUCTIVE: Its ability to clear heat is applied when sexual dysfunction is caused by a hyper-heat condition. It is often used in formulas for male sexual dysfunction caused by pitta imbalance as its sweet post-digestive effect nourishes shukradhatu.
INFECTIOUS: Useful in recurrent infections, and a specific for Hansen’s Disese (Leprosy.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: None. Only short-term use in low doses during pregnancy.
SAFETY: No known drug interactions.
DOSAGE: 1–15 g./day in a decoction or 3–15ml/day of a 1:3@25% tincture. (Some texts specify 1 – 3 g. powder daily)
PHARMACOLOGIC ACTIONS: Alternative, Analgesic, Anodyne, Anti-allergic, Anti-bacterial, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiparasitical, Anti-periodic, Anti-pyretic, Anti-Rheumatic, Anthelmintic, Aphrodisiac, Bacteriostat, Bitter, CNS Depressant, Cholagogue, Detoxicant, Diuretic, Emetic (root only), Hepatoprotective, Hypoglycemic, Immunomodulator, Immune tonic, Microbicidal, Nervine, Stomachic
AYURVEDIC ACTIONS: Amavataghna (Reliever of gout/arthritis), Amanashaka (Destroys toxins), Balya (Increases strength), Dahaprashaman (Reduces burning sensations)
Deepaniya (Increases appetite), Jwarahara (Reduces fevers), Kushtaghna (Alleviates skin disorders), Medhya (Nerve tonic), Raktashodhana (Cleans the blood), Rasayana (Rejuvenative), Sukrashodhana (Purifier of sperm), Tridoshahara (Reduces all three dosha), Trishnanigrahan (Quenches thirst), Vajikarana (Increases sexual potency), Vayasthapana (Increases life span). [*Note that Guduchi is one of the extremely few herbs that have both Amanashaka (detoxifying) as well as Rasayana (restorative – nutritive) properties.]
COMMENTARY: Guduchi is described as ‘the one who protects the body’. One of its names,‘Amrita,’ means ‘divine nectar’ referring to the life restoring drops that Lord Indra sprinkled from heaven to bring life back to the devotees of Lord Rama after they were slain in battle. This is a virile creeper that grows throughout the forests of India. Those growing up the side of Neem trees are said to be the best as the synergy between these two bitter plants enhances Guduchi’s efficacy. Its therapeutic strength lies in its rejuvenating and strengthening properties while also detoxifying and cleansing the whole system, specifically via the liver.
Guduchi is seful in controlling/ameliorating liver damage. Immunomodulator, good for augmenting immunity. Good for clearing excessive heat from reproductive system. Guduchi is useful in chronic diarrhea, and to remove urinary stones. Considered the best herb for clearing the microcirculatory system and other bodily channels (Srotas). Guduchi also has a direct Medhya Rasayana effect, which means that it enhances all aspects of mind power, including comprehension (Dhi), memory (Dhriti) and recollection (Smriti). Guduchi balances and purifies fat tissue, to make fats easier to break down. Guduchi aids all other aspects of metabolic (all 13 Agnis) and promotes efficient digestion, assimilation and proper formation of all seven Dhatus. It aids in detoxification of the urinary tract and intestines, by balancing lubrication (Shleshaka Kapha) and the downward energy of the body (Apana Vata).
It has very interesting and complex energetics. It is bitter, astringent, pungent, yet heating and also sweet postdigestively. Its bitter and astringent quality clears pitta and kapha, its heating energy burns ama whilst its enduring sweet effect regulates vata and gives it an aphrodisiac quality that nourishes reproductive fluids.
Its prabhava is to clear toxins (ama). Specific for clearing ama; + Ginger for amavata, + Pippali for amakapha, + Neem for amapitta.
+ Manjishta, Bhumiamalaki, Pippali in hepatitis and liver degeneration.
+ Guggulu, Myrrh, Ginger, Turmeric, Ashwagandha in arthritic amavata conditions.
+ Kutki and Chiretta in immuno-deficiency.
+ Coriander, Neem, Sandalwood in sannipata fevers involving all three dosha.
+ Neem, Gotu kola, Manjishta, Bakuchi in inflammatory skin conditions.
+ Gurmar, Tumeric, Amalaki, Shilajit in Diabetes
+ Amalaki, Licorice in hyperacidity and imbalanced agni in pitta types.
+ Ginger and Aloe vera in gout and arthritis.
+ Gokshura, Shatavari, Kapikacchu, Safed musali in male reproductive problems.
Herb of the Month:
Guduchi (Tinospora cordiflia)
PART USED: Stem and Root (some texts add ‘Leaves’)
Rasa: Bitter/Astringent/Sweet, (some tets add ‘Pungent’)
Dosha effect: VPK=
Gunas: Light, Unctious
TROPHISMS: Liver, Spleen, Pancreas