It’s said, “A healthy outside starts from the inside.” One of the Ayurvedic herbs that stands out to accomplish the same is Giloy. It is a climbing shrub that thrives on other trees for support. The plant is native to India but also found in China and some parts of Australia.
The word Giloy pertains to a heavenly elixir that keeps celestial beings youthful and hence also called ‘amrita’.
Benefits of using Giloy: The stem of the plant is known to possess the most beneficial compounds, however, leaves and roots are also used. It has a plethora of uses :
1. As a Prebiotic : The Giloy plant promotes the growth of good bacteria in the human gut and establishes a healthy microbiome.
2. As an Immunobooster : It strengthens the immune system by improving the phagocytic activity of White Blood Cells which serve as the soldiers of the body.
3. As a nutraceutical : Giloy is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids which are known to be excellent anti-oxidants. Regular consumption of giloy helps in prevention of degenerative diseases.
4. As a promoter of Bone Mineralization : Giloy stimulates the growth of bone-forming cells and helps in deposition of calcium salts to improve bone strength.
5. As a Skin Rejuvenator : Being an excellent source of flavonoids, Giloy reduces cell damage and improves cell repair. It enhances the production of collagen which in turn tightens and nourishes the skin.
6. As an Antipyretic : Giloy is used from ancient times for the treatment of recurrent fevers like in dengue, swine flu and malaria.
7. As a controller of Diabetes : It functions like a hypoglycemic agent and stimulates insulin secretion from the pancreas which in turn lowers the blood sugar levels.
8. As a manager of Heart Health : Giloy modulates the fat metabolism. It increases the levels of good cholesterol and brings down the levels of bad cholesterol. This protects the heart against infarction and ensures sound heart health.
After appreciating the multitude of benefits, it becomes essential to know about its side effects.
How to use Giloy?
- Get some freshly cut stems of the giloy plant and blend them well with water in a mixer to obtain the giloy paste. Then filter it through the sieve to obtain the giloy juice.
- The Giloy stems can also be boiled to prepare a herbal concoction tea.
- Giloy can also be taken in powdered form or tablets.
Offshoots of Giloy usage : While Giloy is a safe natural remedy, in certain cases its overuse can cause constipation. The hypoglycemic nature of Giloy may lower blood sugar levels below normal. Also, pregnant and breast-feeding females should avoid the use of Giloy.
The extensive uses of Giloy justifies its name as the ‘Nectar of the Immortal’. This ready-to-use and inexpensive herb can be used to develop a strong immunity and stay disease free.