People are looking for medicines that can boost up their immunity against the Covid19 virus. But till now no such medicine has been found
Can Giloy boost your immunity?
Author – Dr. Rakesh Choudhary, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), FRCS Orth (UK), MChOrth UK, Consultant Surgeon in UK.
People are looking for medicines that can boost up their immunity against the Covid19 virus. But till now no such medicine has been found which can boost immunity against this virus. Giloy has been used in some Ayurvedic medicines which claim to boost your body immunity. Therefore, I performed a literature review and some web-based research for fact-finding. Below is the synopsis of results.
Giloy, botanical name Tinospora Cordifolia, has been used in various herbal preparations for the treatment of different ailments. Giloy contains different compounds of pharmaceutical importance belonging to various groups as alkaloids, diterpenoid lactones, glycosides, steroids, sesquiterpenoid, and phenolics. These compounds possess pharmacological properties which make it anti-diabetic, antipyretic (against fever), anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, and immuno-modulatory (1,3). In a research study, eight compounds have been isolated and characterized as belonging to different classes. The pharmacological evaluation of extract, fractions, and pure molecules revealed the ethnomedicinal value of Giloy for anticancer and immunomodulatory activities (2).
In another study, seven immunomodulatory active compounds belonging to different classes have been isolated and characterized indicating that the immunomodulatory activity of Giloy may be attributed to the synergistic effect of group of compounds (3).
A scientific article from Malaysia has shown its strong immunostimulant effects on various components of the immune system and these activities were possibly contributed mainly by the alkaloids specifically magnoflorine. Giloy has the potential to be developed as an effective natural immunostimulant for the improvement of immune-related disorders (4).
Above studies have demonstrated that Giloy can play a role in boosting human immunity. Whether it can protect one from Covid19 infection is yet to be known. As Giloy does not have many side effects it may be tried safely during the pandemic period. Still unknown is its effect on immunity for those patients such as kidney transplants who are on long term immunosuppressant treatment. This should be asked from their treating physicians before consumption.
Giloy is considered safe for consumption but side effects may include constipation, low blood sugar (particularly in people who suffer from diabetes mellitus), over-stimulation of the immune system, and make it more active. This can result in an increase in symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as lupus (SLE or systemic lupus erythematosus), multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It is better to avoid Giloy in pregnancy and breastfeeding as effects on the foetus and young babies are not yet known.
Several preparations of Giloy such as powder, juice, and capsules are available in the market including online stores.
1. Curr Pharm Biotechnol, 2020 Apr 30. Tinospora Cordifolia (Giloy): Phytochemistry, Ethnopharmacology, Clinical Application and Conservation Strategies. Pradeep Kumar, Madhu Kamle , Dipendra Kumar Mahato , Himashree Bora , Bharti Sharma , Prasad Rasane , Vivek K Bajpai
2. J Ethnopharmacol, 2015 Dec 4;175:131-7. Validation of Ethnomedicinal Potential of Tinospora Cordifolia for Anticancer and Immunomodulatory Activities and Quantification of Bioactive Molecules by HPTLC. Manju Bala , Kunal Pratap , Praveen Kumar Verma , Bikram Singh , Yogendra Padwad
3. J Ethnopharmacol, 2012 Jun 14;141(3):918-26. Immunomodulatory Active Compounds From Tinospora Cordifolia. Upendra Sharma 1, Manju Bala, Neeraj Kumar, Bikram Singh, Renuka K Munshi, Supriya Bhalerao
4. Int Immunopharmacol. 2018 Jul;60:141-151. Immunomodulatory Effects of Tinospora Crispa Extract and Its Major Compounds on the Immune Functions of RAW 264.7 Macrophages. Waqas Ahmad , Ibrahim Jantan , Endang Kumolosasi , Md Areeful Haque , Syed Nasir Abbas Bukhari
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