As the clinical trials of vaccines for COVID-19 are going on and there are no any medicines that have been proven to prevent or cure the disease, the hope is there that the home remedies provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19. Among the many herbs used as home remedy, one of them is ‘Gurjo’. Gurjo is also known as ‘Guduchi’ or ‘Giloy’. Tinospora cordifolia is the scientific name of Gurjo and it has multiple elongated branches with heart shaped green leaves. Almost all of us have heard about Gurjo at least once after the pandemic has begun. Due to its health benefits, it has been used since ages and has been prescribed by many Ayurvedic doctors to patients with several chronic diseases. It is very important to know the appropriate amount to consume, when to consume and how to consume.
What are the uses of Gurjo ?
Although the appropriate research of Gurjo in the treatment of various diseases is yet to be done, it has been found that Gurjo has less side effects as compared to other allopathic drugs if taken in appropriate amount. It has now been of great interest to researchers across the world because of the following reported medicinal properties: Anti-diabetic, Antispasmodic, Anti-leprotic, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-arthritic, Anti-oxidative, Anti-neoplastic and can also be used in hypertension.
A review article published in Anceint science of life journal, various active components like alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, aliphatic compounds and diterpenoid lactones have been found in the stems or the roots or the whole plant of Gurjo. The stem of Gurjo is of great utility, however, roots can also be used. In the diabetic patients, the blood glucose is high either due insulin deficiency or resistance. It has been reported that Gurjo helps in insulin secretion and also inhibits gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis thereby maintaining the blood glucose level especially in Type 2 Diabetic patients. It has also been found out that it has anti-oxidative properties thereby preventing the cells of the body to die due to oxidative stress. As Gurjo shows vasorelaxant property, it dilates the blood vessels which highlights its role in hypertensive patients. Gurjo has also shown to have antipyretic effect as it has been found that it lowers the body temperature in dengue, malaria and swine flu like diseases. Gurjo is also very beneficial in treating bowel related conditions as it eases digestion.
Is Gurjo beneficial in COVID-19?
The consumption of Gurjo has been increasing in healthy people as well as people with COVID-19. Let’s review if Gurjo is really helping us to fight with COVID-19 or not.
Gurjo advertisement seen in the public (Photo: Bijeesha Budhathoki//Onlinekhabar)
Gurjo has been found to be effective to be consumed due to the following predicted reasons. But more extensive research and studies are need to validate the following findings.
One study has shown Gurjo to be effective in the prevention of the attachment of the virus to the host cell and prevent the replication of SARS-CoV-2. As it is only the pre print and peer review ongoing more trials are necessary for the validity of the research.
Fever, which is also one of the symptoms of COVID-19, Gurjo, having an antipyretic effect helps to maintain the body temperature.
Gurjo shows anti-inflammatory properties thus help prevent cough, cold and tonsillitis which are the symptoms of COVID-19.
Chewing Gurjo roots or drinking its juice have been reported to improve symptoms like shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing.
Gurjo leaves (Photo: Bijeesha Budhathoki//Onlinekhabar)
What happens if you consume Gujo in excessive amount?
Excessive amount of Gurjo consumption may have serious effect in health and the doctors have reported that the cases of Gurjo overdose are landing in the emergency of hospital.
- Gurjo shows vasorelaxant property, when it is consumed in higher doses, it lowers the blood pressure and the person becomes hypotensive and feels dizzy, nausea dehydrated, has blurred vision and might even faint. It worsens the condition if consumed by a patient who is already have low blood pressure.
- Gurjo has shown to lower the blood glucose level, the patients having less sugar might not benefit from its consumption.
- Its always wise to seek opinion with the Ayurved physician or concerned specialists regarding the ways, amount the toxic dose before consuiming it.
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The research methodology of Ayurveda needs further advancements in the development and promotion of Ayurveda. The future applications of Gurjo which have tremendous biological roles are yet to be envisioned through clinical studies and experiments. Let’s see if Gurjo can only be taken as a supplement or even as a drug that can meet the safety and efficacy standards.