02/15/2016 Mind-Body Health
Guduchi, one of the most valued herbs in the Ayurvedic pharmacy, is considered an effective treatment for a wide range of ailments—everything from the common cold to skin conditions. Discover how you can use it.
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), also known as amrit, is one of the most valued herbs in the Ayurvedic pharmacy. According to myth, when the ancient gods churned the primordial ocean, an ambrosial nectar was created that would grant immortality to any who drank it. The nectar was named amrit, a Sanskrit word that means “imperishable.”
Although modern science hasn’t been able to confirm its immortalizing properties, a growing number of studies support guduchi’s role as an adoptogen, a potent herb that increases the body’s resistance to stress, anxiety, and illness.
The shrub is native to India, and its root, stems, and leaves are used for healing.
The Potential Health Benefits of Guduchi
Guduchi has been used for thousands of years in India but is only just beginning to be available in the West. It is commonly used for:
- Allergies and symptoms of hay fever
- Arthritis and inflammation
- Chronic skin disorders such as psoriasis or eczema
- Gout and rheumatic disorders
- Hepatitis and jaundice (helps protect the liver from exposure to toxins)
- Immune system enhancement
- Preventing colds and flu
- Reducing the side effects of chemotherapy drugs
Guduchi and the Doshas
Amrit contains the bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes. Although it’s traditionally used to remove accumulated Pitta, guduchi can balance all the doshas.
How to Use Guduchi
Guduchi is usually available in powdered form, and the standard dosage for immune enhancement is 1 teaspoon, twice daily. It can be taken on an ongoing basis if you are facing a persistent health challenge such as cancer. At the onset of a cold or flu, taking guduchi for a week may help to fight off the infection.
Combined with other herbs: Guduchi can be combined with shatavari or ashwagandha as a general tonic, or with aloe vera juice for the purposes of detoxification.
As a paste: Guduchi can also be used in the form of a paste and applied directly to chronic skin irritations, such as eczema and psoriasis.
One precaution to note: Although studies have shown no significant adverse side effects, guduchi can be slightly constipating if taken for long periods by those prone to sluggish bowels.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.