Herbs & Plants

Tinospora Cordifolia

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Botanical Name: Tinospora Cordifolia
Family Name: Meninspermaceae
Popular Name: Gulanshe Tinospara, Gulancha Tinospara, Tinospara, Giloy,Guduchi
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Tinospora
Species: T. cordifolia

Parts Used: Stem


*South Asia: Guduchi , amrita (Sanskrit), giloe , gulancha (Bengali), giloya (Hindi), gado , galo (Gujarati), duyutige , teppatige (Telugu)

*English: heartleaf moonseed

*Indonesia: Brotowali, Andawali, Putrawali

*Philippines: Makabuhay (Tagolog), Paliaban (Bisaya), Pañgiauban (Bisaya), Taganagtagua

*Thailand: Boraphet

Habitat:Tinospora Cordifolia is indigenous to the tropical areas of India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.


The plant is climbing shrub with heart-shaped leaves. The herb plant flowers during the summer and fruits during the winter. Tinosopora Cordiofolia prefers acid, neutral or basic alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade or no shade. Requiring moist soil  and partial to full sun with moderate moisture. Tinospora Cordifolia grows without chemical fertilizers, and use of pesticides. The plant is classified as a rasayana herb: Enhance longevity, promote intelligence and prevent disease.It is a large, climbing shrub. A deciduous unknown that grows to 1.0 meters (3.3 feet) high by 0.5 meters (1.65 feet) wide .  This plant has hermaphrodite flowers.

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The stems are collected in the hot season and dried. The drug occurs in straight or twisted cylindrical pieces and in slices, averaging about 2 centimetres in diameter, some pieces being much smaller. Externally, they are covered with a thin, papery, brown cork, bearing the raised scars of numerous lenticels. The cork readily exfoliates and discloses a greenish cortex longitudinally wrinkled and marked with lenticels. The fracture is fibrous and the transverse section exhibits a yellowish wood with radially arranged wedge-shaped wood bundles, containing large vessels, separated by narrower medullary rays. The odour is not characteristic, but the taste is bitter.”

The herb has a long history in use by practitioners of Ajurvedic medicine (the traditional medicine of India), since 2000 B.C. Known by its practitioners to treat convalescence from severe illness, arthritis (or joint diseases), liver disease, eye diseases, urinary problems, anemia, cancer, diarrhea, and diabetes. Also, help remove toxins from the body. The plant is cultivated by stem cutting in the month of May-June and used in Tibetan medicine. The herb is known to have a sweet, bitter and acid taste.

Cultivation : It grows well in almost all types of soils and under varying climatic conditions.

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Chemical Constituents : Sesquiterpene tinocordifolin, Sesquiterpene glucoside tino cordifolioside, tinosponone, tinosrfioside, sordioside furanoid diterpene; The active adaptogenic constituents are diterpene compounds including tinosporone, tinosporic acid, cordifolisides A to E, syringen, the yellow alkaloid, berberine, Giloin, crude Giloininand, a glucosidal bitter principle as well as polysaccharides, including arabinogalactan polysaccharide (TSP).Picrotene and bergenin were also found in this plant.

Ethnobotanical Uses
According to the 1918 United States Dispensatory edited by Joseph Remington, Horatio Wood et al.:

Tinospora. Br. Add. 1900.—”The dried stem of Tinospora cordifolia Miers (Fam. Menispermaceae), collected in the hot season.” Br. Add., 1900. Tinospora has long been used in India as a medicine and in the preparation of a starch known as gilae-ka-sat or as palo. It is said to be a tonic, antiperiodic, and a diuretic. Flückiger obtained from it traces of an alkaloid and a bitter glucoside. The Br. Add., 1900, recognized an infusion (Infusum Tinosporae Br. Add., 1900, two ounces to the pint), dose one-half to one fluidounce (15-30 mils); a tincture (Tinctura Tinosporae Br. Add., 1900, four ounces to the pint), dose, one-half to one fluidrachm (1.8-3.75 mils); and a concentrated solution [Liquor Tinosporae Concentratus Br. Add., 1900), dose, one-half to one fluidrachm (1.8-3.75 mils). Tinospora crispa Miers (more), which is abundant in the Philippines, is used freely by the natives under the name of makabuhay (that is, “You may live”), as a panacea, especially valuable in general debility, in chronic rheumatism, and in malarial fevers. It may be prepared in the same way and given in the same doses as Tinospora cordifolia.

Medicinal Uses: It is antiperiodic, antipyretic, Alterative, Diuretic and anti-inflammatory. It is used in fever, urinary disorders, dyspepsia, general debility and urinary diseases. It is also used in treatment of rheumatism and jaundice.It is useful in burning sensation hyperdipsia, helminthiasis, dyspepsia, flatulence, gout, vomiting, skin diseases, leprosy, erysipelas, anemia, cough, asthma, jaundice, seminal weakness, uropathy and splenopathy.

According to Indian legend, the herb is known locally as giloya or “heavenly elixir”: Kept the angels eternally young. According to one animal study, Tinosporoa Cordifolia might decrease male fertility. Otherwise, no comprehensive study has been done to determine the efficacy or safety of this herb. Not advisable to be taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers. Also, individuals with severe liver or kidney disease should avoid taking Guduchi.

The Filipinos and Malays in general consider this vine as a universal medicine. It is the most popular of local medicinal plants. Makabuhai, the common Tagalog name; means, “to give life”. It is commonly prescribed as an aqueous extract in the treatment of stomach trouble, indigestion, and diarrhea. It is the basis of a popular preparation, which is used as a cordial, a tonic, or an ingredient in cocktails. It is also an effective remedy in the treatment of tropical ulcers. In powder form, it is prescribed in fevers. A preparation with coconut oil is an effective cure for rheumatism and also for flatulence of children (kabag). The preparation is made by chopping the makabuhai stem into pieces of 1 or 2 inches long, placing them in a jar with coconut oil, and “cooking” them under the sun. The jar is then put aside and not opened until a year has elapsed. A decoction of the stem is considered an effective cure if used as a wash for tropical ulcers. Father de Sta.Maria includes makabuhai in his book, “Manual de Medicinas Caseras,” and says that it is given the decoction or powder from as a febrifuge. The decoction of the stem is also an excellent vulnerary for itches, ordinary and cancerous wounds. Guerrero reports that internally it is used as tonic and antimalaria; externally as a parasiticide.
Traditionally used in Thai medicine, Tinospora crispa is one ingredient in Thai folk remedies for maintaining good health. A decoction of the stems, leaves and roots is used to treat fever, cholera, diabetes, rheumatism and snake-bites, an infusion of the stem is drunk as a vermifuge, a decoction of the stem is used for washing sore eyes and syphilitic sores, the crushed leaves are applied on wounds and made into poultice for itch. Also it reduces thirst, internal inflammation, and increases appetite.
The drug (stem) is registered in the Thailand Pharmacopoeia, and commonly used in hospital to treat diabetes.
In Vietnam the southern pharmacopoeia was developed and adapted in the 14th century by the monk Tue Tinh, to treat Vietnamese for diseases common to the tropics, while keeping the principles of Chinese medicine and blending into it the qualities of southern plants known to traditional popular medicine. To treat Malaria they use the Tinospora crispa.
In general folklore, the stem decoction is considered antipyretic, useful as an antimalarial and a wash for skin ulcers. Traditionally an infusion is used to treat fever due to malaria and also in cases of jaundice and for use against intestinal worms. The antimalarial effect was confirmed in a study. A decoction of the stems, leaves and roots is used to treat fever, cholera, diabetes, rheumatism and snake-bites. An infusion of the stem is drunk as a vermifuge. A decoction of the stem is used for washing sore eyes and syphilitic sores. The crushed leaves are applied on wounds and made into poultice for itch.
A decoction of the fresh root mixed with pepper and goat’s milk is given for rheumatism, where the dose is half a pint (in doses of two to four ounces according to another author under chronic rheumatism and syphilitic cachexia) every morning. It is said to be laxative and sudorific. When under this treatment the natives make a curry of the leaves, which they recommend to their patients. The leaves when agitated in water render it mucilaginous and is then sweetened with sugar and drunk when freshly made (half a pint taken twice-a-day). This is given for the cure of gonorrhea and is said to soothe the smarting and scalding. It is also used externally as a cooling and soothing application in prurigo, eczema, impetigo, etc.
If allowed to stand for a few minutes, the mucilaginous parts separate, contract and float in the center Leaving the water clear, and almost tasteless.
Decoction of the root in combination with ginger and sugar is given in cases of bilious dyspepsia and in cases of fevers with other bitters and aromatics. Roots rubbed with bonduc nuts in water are given for stomachache, especially in children.
Indonesians use an infusion of the stems to treat fevers and malaria. They can also be used to treat stomachache and jaundice. The infusion is also useful in fevers caused by smallpox and cholera. Another popular use of this infusion is in a mixture for treating indigestion.
In India, the leaves are made into a calming or soothing drug mainly for children that acts by relieving pain and flatulence. The juice of the leaves coagulates in water and forms a mucilage which is used externally as a cooling and soothing application in prurigo, eczema, impetigo etc.  Decoction of the root (1 in 10) mixed with long-pepper and goat’s milk is given in doses of two to four ounces in chronic rheumatism and syphilitic cachexia. Roots rubbed with bonduc nuts in water are given for stomachache, especially in children.

Modern use in herbal medicine
Tinospora cordifolia and similar species like Tinospora crispa and Tinospora rumphii Boerl are used in Ayurvedic and Jamu herbal medicine as a hepatoprotectant, protecting the liver from damage that may occur following exposure to toxins, as well as in Thailand, Philippines. Recent research has demonstrated that a combination of T. cordifolia extract and turmeric extract is effective in preventing the hepatotoxicity which is otherwise produced as a side effect of conventional pharmaceutical treatments for tuberculosis using drugs such as isoniazid and rifampicin.
Click to see :->Health Benefits and Uses of tinospora cordifolia

Andawali (Tinospora crispa) – a review

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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2 replies on “Tinospora Cordifolia”



The second image is not of Tinospora cordifolia as predicted leaves are not heart shaped. It is Stephania glabra kindly change the image.

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