TINOSPORA CORDIFOLIA – THE VERSATILE DRUG OF AYURVEDA
Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi) is a unique, versatile rejuvenating climbing herb that plays a fundamental role in the medicinal system of India. Guduchi belongs to the Menispermaceae family and is a deciduous climbing shrub. It is present all over India & in parts of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and China as well. It’s an Ayurvedic drug used for Rasayan Chikitsa. Guduchi is also used as preventive and curative medicine. It is used in compound formulations and as a single drug. Famous for treating diseases such as fever, diabetes, and skin disorders. Watery plant extract is used as a febrifuge and is called ‘Indian quinine’. Lesser known is its utility in food and nutrition; leaves were used by ancient Indians as a vegetable. The present paper is a study of its therapeutic usefulness in some diseases and its value as a dietetic.
- English : Tinospora /Indian Tinospora
- Sanskrit: Guduchi, Amrita, Madhuparni, Chinnaruha, Vatsadaani, Tantrika, Kundalini, chakralakshanika
- Malayalam : Amrutu, Chittamritam
- Hindi: Giloya, Guduchi
- Tamil : Amudam, Chindil , Shindilakodi
- Kannada: Amrutaballi, Madhuparni
- Urdu : Gilo, Satgilo
- Telugu : Tippateege, Guricha
- Gujarati : Gulvel, Galo
- Marathi: Shindilakodi
- Oriya : Gulochi
Tinospora cordifolia belong to different classes of constituents such as steroids, alkaloids, glycosides, diterpenoid lactones, sesquiterpenoid, aliphatic compounds, phenolics miscellaneous compound and polysaccharides.
Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Copper, Zinc & Manganese.
Usable parts are Stem, Root and Leaves.
Action of Guduchi according to Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda Guduchi is Tikta (bitter), Kasaya (astringent) in Rasa (taste). Guru (heavy) and Snigdha (unctuous) in Guna (properties), Ushna (hot) in Virya (potency) and Madhura (sweet) in Vipaka (metabolism). Due to these properties, it alleviates all the three Doshas.
- Vayasthapana – group of rejuvenation herbs
- Sangrahini – improve absorptive power of stomach and intestines, better in diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome
- Medhya – Improves capacity to grasp, memory and recollection ability
- Balya – Improve strength
- Vrushya – Aphrodisiac
- Jvarahara – Good in fever
- Triptighna – Guduchi relieves anorexia which makes a person feel hungry or relive early satiation
- Stanyashodhana – Herbal group which cleans breast milk
- Krimihara – Helps to relive intestinal worms
- Agni Deepani – Increase digestive power
- Mehahara – Useful for the diabetes treatment, urinary tract disorder
- Chakshushya – Improves vision, good for eyes, useful in eye disorder
- Trishnanigraha – Group of herbs which alleviate excessive thirst
- Shwasa Kasahara – Useful for respiratory problems, dyspnea, cough and cold
- Hrudya – Useful in cardiovascular disorders with vata symptoms such pain
- Daha prashamana – Herbal group which reduces burning sensation
Pharmacological activities of Guduchi
- Immunomodulatory activity – Active compounds such as 11-hydroxymustakone, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-formylannonain, cordifolioside A, magnoflorine, tinocordiside and syringing has been reported to boost the phagocytic activity of macrophages, enhancement in nitric acid production by stimulation of splenocyte. They improve the concentration of melatonin in the pineal gland and increasing the level of cytokines, T&B cells and antibody which play an important role in immunity. Increased leukocyte count & bone marrow cells having a strong stimulatory impact on the hemopoietic system, showing a powerful immunomodulatory action.
- Hypoglycemic activity– Oral administration of an aqueous T. cordifolia root extract to alloxan diabetic rats caused a significant reduction in blood glucose and brain lipids.
- Anti-cancer activity- In-vitro analysis of Tinospora cordifolia alcoholic extract shows that it suppresses cell proliferation which leads to cell necrosis in a dose-dependent (25-75 μg / ml) and time-dependent (24-120 hours) way with significant cytostatic effect in the oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line. The Tinospora cordifolia polysaccharide fraction was found to be very effective in reducing the metastatic potential of the melanoma cells. Among the treated animals, indicators of neoplastic growth were considerably decreased relative to the untreated control animals. Most synthetic chemotherapy agents suffer from toxic side effects, and the effect of Guduchi extracts was comparable or better than the treatment with doxorubicin (a type of chemotherapy drug).
- Anti–Inflammatory activity- In a study, it was observed that Guduchi Ghana prepared by the classical method developed significant suppression of carrageenan-induced oedema suggesting that it prevents efflux of fluid and thus acute inflammation. This may be due to Guduchi Ghana’s ability to change the function of different chemical inflammation mediators such as histamine and 5 HT during the initial phase of inflammation by attenuating their formation or by action at the receptor level. Anti-inflammatory action-Tinospora cordifolia is very helpful in the treatment of arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis and joint pain. Tinospora cordifolia has been found to be more efficient in acute inflammation than acetylsalicylic acid. However, the drug was inferior to phenylbutazone in subacute inflammation.
- Anti-arthritic, anti-osteoporotic effects- It has been stated that Tinospora cordifolia enhances the proliferation, differentiation, and mineralization of bone-like matrix on osteoblast model systems in vitro and thus finds possible application as an anti-osteoporotic. Plant-isolated ecdysteroids have been identified in mammals as having protein anabolic and anti-osteoporotic effects. Beta-Ecdysone (Ecd) extracts from Tinospora cordifolia have been reported to induce a substantial increase in joint cartilage thickness, induce osteogenic differentiation in mesenchymal stem cells in the mouse, and to alleviate osteoporosis in animal models.
- Antipyretic activity- In a study of Guduchi Ghrita formulations in albino rats, it was observed that the Guduchi Ghrita samples showed very significant dose-dependent antipyretic activity, and the effect observed was nearly identical to that in paracetamol. Many authors attributed T cordifolia’s antipyretic properties to the presence of berberine or other bitter substances.
- Hepatoprotective activity- Animal analysis of Tinospora cordifolia stem and leaves extract on rats was performed in the liver damage caused by carbon tetrachloride, significantly decreased serum levels of ALT [Alanine aminotransferase], AST [Aspartate aminotransferase] and ALP [Alkaline phosphatase] in rat cirrhosis caused by paracetamol. Tinospora cordifolia helping to prevent fibrosis and promoting hepatic tissue regeneration. This benefits tremendously in the fatty liver.
- Hypolipidaemic activity– An aqueous extract of 2.5 to 5.0 g/kg body weight Tinospora cordifolia roots for 6 weeks resulted in a substantial decrease in serum and tissue cholesterol, phospholipids, and free fatty acids in alloxan diabetic rats.
- Anti-stress activity- Tinospora cordifolia’s anti-stress behavior studied in rats by the Cold Water Swim Stress System. Tinospora cordifolia extract decreases the stress induced by lipid peroxide and greatly raises the amount of plasma glutathione relative to the well known Diazepam antistress agent.
- Cardio-protective activity- Tinospora cordifolia alcoholic extract in an in vivo rat study of surgically caused myocardial ischemia. Results of this research showed a dose-dependent decrease in infarction size and serum and cardiac tissue concentrations of lipid peroxide was observed for 7 days with prior treatment of Tinospora cordifolia with specific doses relative to control animals.
- Anti-HIV effects- Anti-HIV effects reported by eosinophil count reduction, stimulation of B lymphocytes, macrophages, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes and hemoglobin percentage thus revealing its promising potential of application in disease control.
- Anti-microbial activity- Tinospora cordifolia methanol extracts have been identified as having potential against microbial infections.The anti-bacterial activity of Tinospora cordifoliaextracts has been assayed against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhi, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella paratyphi, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter aerogene, and Serratia marcesenses (Gram-positive bacteria).
- Anti-Leprotic activity– Tinospora cordifolia has been identified for its anti-leprotic activity along with widespread use in eczema (Kandu) and other skin disorders such as erysipelas (visarpa) and has been shown to have anti-leprotic activity in addition with Swertia chirata, Achyranthes aspera, Acacia catechu, Lawsonia inermis, and Nerium indicum.
- Anti-Oxidant Activities: Methanolic stem sample of T. cordifolia , Anti-oxidant activity has been identified, increasing the erythrocytes membrane lipid peroxide and catalase action. This also lowers SOD, GPx activity in diabetic rats that are caused by alloxan. The free radical scavenging properties of T. cordifolia were observed. Tinospora cordifolia’s direct and indirect antioxidant activity is likely to act in corroboration to manifest the overall radio-protective effect.
- Diuretic activity- Tinospora cordifolia has been shown to have a diuretic function in a study on rats and human volunteers. It has also been found involved in morphology modulation and some development of gluconeogenic enzymes in diabetic rat kidneys.
- Anti-toxic Activities- Due to the presence of antioxidants against the free radicals produced during aflatoxicosis, an aqueous extract of T.cordifolia has already been confirmed to exhibit scavenge activity. Certain T.cordifolia alkaloids such as choline, tinosporine, isocolumbin, palmetine, tetrahydropalmatine, and magnoflorine demonstrated resistance against aflatoxin-induced nephrotoxicity.
- Memory enhancing activity- Tinospora Cordifolia plant was being clinically tested and it has been found to produce a positive reaction in children with a moderate degree of behavioral problems and mental deficit. It has increased the I.Q greatly. In Ayurveda, it serves as Medhya Rasayana or brain tonic by increasing the strength of mind such as memory and recollection. Studies have shown that Guduchi helps in cognitive enhancement by immunostimulation and synthesis of acetylcholine. Thus contributing to increased choline level which shows that it has memory enhancing property.
- Antispasmodic activity- Tinospora cordifolia dry barks perform the antispasmodic activity.
- Anthelmenthic Activity- Tinospora cordifolia increases the resistance of intestine to intestinal parasites.
- Rejuvenative effect- In a study Guduchi as Rasayan, the life span of Drosophila melanogaster is enhanced which validates the Rasayan theory. Increasing the life span of Drosophila’s F‐1 generation is indicative of Guduchi Churna’s Rasayan effect even prevailing to the next generation. There was a significant increase in the lifespan of the flies at a lower concentration of Guduchi Churna. Higher concentrations significantly dramatically decreased the life span of flies. Characterized by its high antioxidant properties, immunomodulatory activity, the increased lifespan of flies due to Guduchi Churna can be attributed. Therefore Guduchi should be consumed daily in proper quantity to get all the benefits of Rasayana in one’s life.
Guduchi or Tinospora cordifolia is an important herb for the treatment of various diseases in ayurvedic medicine. While there are many herbal plants in the world, it is believed that Guduchi has a higher medicinal value. The pharmacological actions reported in Ayurvedic texts to Tinospora cordifolia provide proof that this drug has tremendous potential in modern pharmaco-therapeutics. While studying the chemistry of various sections of Tinospora cordifolia, quite a substantial amount of work has already been carried out over the last few years. As provided in this, study the biological and medicinal properties of Tinospora cordifolia and its products for better economic and therapeutic use.