A popularly found in the Indian subcontinent and a medicinal green, the giloy is truly a magical herb. This is a very useful and herbaceous vine and is also commonly known as – Guduchi, heart-leaved moonseed.
Scientifically it is called the – Tinospora Cordifolia. Indian traditional medicine as well as Ayurveda has made use of giloy for treating various health conditions since time immemorial. The stem of the giloy plant is said to hold all the medicinal qualities that this plat is well known for.
The giloy is a deciduous green vine with long and uniquely shaped foliage as well as flowers, which spreads extensively and climbs with its long tender twines. These are indigenous to tropical climatic regions of India.
They are at times also found in tropical regions of Sri Lanka and Myanmar. In the world of medical research, naturally occurring medicines are gaining popularity over time and the giloy is one such identified medicinal herb.
Due to its numerous health benefitting properties, in the Sanskrit language, Giloy is said to be ‘amrita’ translates to – the root of immortality. It has also been recognized by the FDA (Food and Drug Association). Let us know more about this magical herb, it uses, how to grow them, and where to find them.
How to Identify Giloy Plants
The giloy is a large and deciduous vine. It has long climbing branches and grows and spreads extensively. The leaves of this vine are bright green and heart-shaped. The leaves have long petioles running up to 15cms long.
Flowers of this plant appear when the vine is rather leafless. The flowers are unisexual and the male ones appear in clusters whereas the female flowers bloom individually.
The flowers are white in color and have six sepals in two groups of three sepals along with six petals.
The vine also has fruits that are usually orange or bright scarlet in color and they blossom in clusters of many.
How to Grow Giloy at Homes and Gardens
Giloy is also a simple herb to grow at home in your gardens. It is rather similar to the money plant when it comes to growing it.
They can be grown with support from a bigger plant or tree where it can easily climb. It is easy to grow vine and also develops quickly. This can be grown using stem cuttings like the Money plants or seeds for this plant can be bought and planted.
It can also be initially grown in water and later transplanted to a soil medium for further growth, blooming, and maturation.
Propagation of Giloy Plants
The period around May to the month of July, seems to be the best time for growing and propagation a new giloy plant in your homes.
You can identify a giloy growing in the wild or on sidewalks and take a stem cutting from those already established plants or you can also buy readily available seeds from gardening stores to begin your giloy plantation.
When using seeds for propagating giloy, make sure you buy good quality healthy seeds to get a good plant. It is advised to soak the seed in cold water for a day.
Soaked giloy seeds have a 90 percent chance of shooting into a healthy stem, whereas seeds that aren’t soaked have only a 30 – 35 percent possibility of germination. This facilitates faster germination and better overall growth of the plant.
The seeds can be then planted in the soil without blocking it too deep below the soil. Regular watering in the initial days helps the seeds to germinate well. Germination of the shoot may take around 2 weeks.
Stem cuttings from this vine can be used and propagated in the same manner that money plants are grown through stem cuttings.
A fresh stem with healthy foliage can be chosen and snipped from the mother plant. The stem can be cut at an angle. It is advisable to take an 8 – 10inch long cutting. Make sure you pick the leaves off of the bottom portion of the stem and then plant it.
The soil must be readied before planting the stem. The stem should be positioned well and straight down to around an inch or two inches deep. During the initial days from planting the stem, make sure to water it thoroughly. The shoot would start to establish and bloom further.
It can also be propagated in a glass jar of water and when the shoot starts to develop roots, the stem can be then transplanted to the soil for further growth.
What are the Soil Requirements for Giloy?
Generally, any kind of soil condition for the type is suitable for growing giloy. It can easily grow even without the soil medium when placed in a water jar.
What is the Ideal Climate needed for the growth of Giloy?
These vines are versatile and can grow in varying climatic conditions. They are seen and available in several places. Different climatic conditions ranging up to an altitude of around 320 meters are suitable for the growth of giloy.
How to Water the Giloy vines?
Watering this vine is no big deal either. Watering can be carried out either weekly or once in two weeks as required. They do not require too much watering.
When grown in water, the water in the jar can be changed weekly for maintaining a fresh supply of oxygen and nutrients to the roots. Over-watering must be avoided as too much moisture can lead to rotting of the leaves and roots.
Fertilizing the Giloy Plants
When it comes to fertilizing a giloy plant, it is best to avoid chemical fertilizers. These plants can survive all by itself without the addition of extra chemical nutrients.
Adding organic manures to the soil can benefit and facilitate the growth of giloy plants. Natural manures like green manure, vermicomposting, or farmyard manures can be used for these vines.
Pesticide usage in Giloy
Using chemical pesticides on the giloy plant are to be avoided. These vines are better grown with natural substances instead of chemicals.
Weed control in Giloy plants
A lot of times, weeds can result in competition in the soil among giloy plants. It is best to pick out the weeds whenever they begin to appear. The regular tilling and hoeing of the soil can be useful in preventing the growth and rise of these weeds and in return it facilitates healthy plant growth by aerating the soil too.
Harvesting and Uses of the Giloy
The giloy plant stops growing during the time of August and September. During these months, the leaves from the vine start falling off. This is the time for harvesting the medicinal stem from this plant for various health-related uses.
Once the leaves from the vine have fallen off, the stems are cut off the vine from around 30cms above the ground. The stems appear like a dried and pale shade of green and this means they are good to be harvested.
Once the stems are ready, they are harvested and cut into small pieces. These stems are then dried to make them fit for further use. These stems have great medicinal value and are thus sent to various places to be used to manufacture into medicine. The market value of giloy is respectably good according to its herbal properties.
12 Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Giloy
This magical herb has been used in Ayurveda and Indian medicine since time immemorial and it still is one of the very useful ingredients in Indian medicines when it comes to treating a variety of diseases.
Both, the root as well as the stem have exceptional medicinal values and are incorporated to convert into easily accessible and edible medicine.
Usually, this herb is made available in the form of capsules, powders, tablets, and juices for easy consumption. The amazing and versatile benefits of this herb have been recognized by the Food and Drug Association as well.
Following are the well-known advantages and health benefits derived from giloy:
1. Giloy boots immunity when taken regularly. The numerous goodness of this herb fights various free-radicals in our body, gets rid of diseases, keeps our cells and systems healthy, and makes us overall less vulnerable to harmful health conditions.
It contains many antioxidants that are great for the human body to get rid of germs and disease-causing microbes, harmful toxins, etc. It is also known to purify the blood in our body and fight liver diseases as well as infections of the urinary tract. It also works wonders in treating heart diseases and infertility issues.
2. Giloy juices are considered miraculous for curing digestive problems. It is also helpful in the treatment and curing of constipation. Daily consumption of this juice or powder can improve results.
3. It also treats diabetes in the human body by reducing blood sugar levels. It is popularly a used cure for type 2 diabetes.
4. Giloy medicines help to cure recurring fevers.
5. It also has antipyretic qualities which help in reducing the vulnerability of the human body towards diseases like malaria, dengue, and swine flu.
6. The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb are said to work wonders in curing respiratory problems like cold, cough, and tonsils.
7. Patients who suffer from Arthritis can also be benefitted from the use of this vine’s medicine. Using the stem in boiling milk along with ginger and consuming it can be a remedy to treat the several symptoms of Arthritis.
8. Giloy is also said to increase memory strength. It also has a calming effect on the mind and reduces anxiety as well as stress in the body, thus acting as an ultimate health tonic. A combination of this herb with other medicinal plants that have a relaxing effect on the mind is an ideal way of treating many mental health-related issues.
9. This versatile herb is excellent when it comes to treating vision-related issues as well. The paste of this plant when applied to the eyes claims to have medicinal advantages and boosts the clarity of vision. The paste is to be applied over the eyelids. To make a paste, the giloy powder can be boiled in water and used once it is cool.
10. Apart from being used to cure a cold and cough, the root of giloy and the juice from the stems, both are considered to be useful when it comes to treating a more serious respiratory condition of asthma in patients.
11. This herb also has in it the goodness of anti-aging qualities. Consumption of giloy juice or application of the giloy paste to the skin helps treat pimples, reduce dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines on the skin, making the skin appear more glowing and flawless.
12. Giloy also works in curing and healing wounds because it assists in the production of collagen and facilitates the regeneration of the skin.
4 Side Effects of Giloy
Along with the numerous health benefits of giloy, it also tends to have certain side effects if not consumed or used properly. Side effects of Giloy include:
1. Pregnant and breast-feeding women must avoid the consumption of giloy as this may lead to negative effects.
2. When using giloy to accompany your diabetes treatment, make sure to use it in proper dosage as it can reduce blood sugar levels and thus, must be maintained well.
3. As the usage of giloy hampers levels of blood sugar, it must not be used before or after 2 weeks of surgery.
4. Improper consumption of giloy can also lead to constipation. Thus, the correct dosage is very necessary to avoid this.
Where to buy Giloy online?
You can buy high-quality Giloy (Tinospora) plants from this seller on Etsy, with free shipping.
If you are from India, you can get Giloy plants from this seller on Amazon.
Many medicines and pharmaceutical companies engage in using giloy to produce various types of medicine. Indian Ayurvedic medicine brands like Patanjali, Sri Sri Tattva, etc. sell juices, tablets, and powders of giloy which can be either bought from stores or online shopping sites.
Online shopping sites such as Flipkart, IndianJadiBooti, Snapdeal, etc. sell these products at easily available prices straight to your homes for use. In a lot of these sites, you can also get dried giloy stems which you can use according to your wish.
Gardening sites such as NurseryLive and other shopping platforms also sell giloy seeds which you can get to grow your giloy plant at home. You can even buy this vine in a potted form from online shopping sites like Amazon and Flipkart.
Whether you grow your own giloy in your homes and gardens or buy giloy products online, this bittersweet herb and its medicinal properties can enrich and nourish your health with its several magical health benefits.