Tinospora cordifolia ( Giloy or Moonseed) : Health benefits and Side effects

Tinospora cordifolia

Tinospora cordifolia ( Giloy or Moonseed)

Tinospora cordifolia also known as heartleaf moonseed or Giloy is used in Indian Ayurvedic system because of its wide medicinal properties. It is an evergreen climbing shrub and is of extremely useful with its property of strengthening the immune system and it keeps a check on various body functions.

It is an all-rounder tonic and rejuvenator with no side effects. This herb has the capacity to cue fever, malaria, typhoid, jaundice, and tuberculosis. Detail health benefits of this herb are as follows

Health benefits of Tinospora cordifolia ( Giloy or Moonseed)

1. Antidiabetic

The main medicinal property of Tinospora cordifolia is that it is anti-diabetic in nature. Consuming around 400 mg/kg of body weight daily in water helps in reduction of blood glucose level and thus controlling diabetes(1). Alkaloid is the main component in the stems of this plant which acts as an antidiabetic drug through oxidative stress and by promoting insulin secretion and inhibits gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis(2).

In short: Water extract of the stem helps in controlling diabetes by regulating blood glucose level.

2. Improves immunity

The extract of Tinospora cordifolia helps in improving the immune system of the body. Fresh juice, infusion or any other formulation of this plant when consumed helps in detoxification of the body and strengthens the body organs and thus strengthens body’s defense system.

3. Protects liver

Tinospora cordifolia helps in vitalizing the liver tissue and makes liver more strong and healthy. It has been advised that people who drink should take Tinospora extract once in a week as it helps in strengthening the liver and filter out the toxins accumulate in the liver due to alcohol. Beside this,s the extract is also used extensively for the treatment of typhoid(3).

In short: Tinospora cordifolia water extract is good for the liver.

4. Antioxidant activity

Leaf extract of Tinospora cordifolia shows antioxidant property (4) that has the ability to reduce or inhibits the free radicals present in cells of our body. Therefore, the antioxidant property of Tinospora proves its ability to stop or slow down the degenerative diseases of the body.

5. Radioprotective activity

A study was done on mice (5) shows the radioprotective activity of Tinospora cordifolia extract. That is the survival rate of mice increased when exposed to a sublethal dose of gamma radiation.

6. Anticancer activity

The root extract of Tinospora cordifolia is effective against cancer. It helps in stopping or slow down the growth of cancerous cells. Tinospora cordifolia is more effective than most of the synthetic chemotherapeutic drugs with almost no side effects (6). Research on cancerous cell line Hela shows comparatively better performance of Tinospora cordifolia extract than that of doxorubicin treatment (7).

7. Anti HIV

The root extracts of Tinospora cordifolia shows anti-HIV property by increasing the macrophages which help in engulfing the virus, B lymphocytes and hemoglobin in the body (8).

8. Reduce stress

Tinospora cordifolia also helps in reducing the stress level of our body., Many Ayurvedic products are available in the market to have Tinospora for combating the stress. Beside this consuming Tinospora extract fresh or dry helps in relaxing the body and mellow down the stress.

9. Cardioprotective

Another property of Tinospora cordifolia is its ability to protects the heart. Tinospora cordifolia helps in lowering the lipid level especially cholesterol and LDL cholesterol of the heart and thus helps in living a healthy cardio related disease-free life.

10. Cure Anaemia

Studies show that Tinospora cordifolia leaves when taken with honey helps in curing anemia by increasing the hemoglobin level of the body.

11. Effective against allergies

Tinospora cordifolia extract is effective against many types of allergies. It helps in an allergic reaction of nose and mucous membrane by viruses, therefore helps in a significant decrease in allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and increase the tolerance level (9).

12. Improves digestion

Tinospora cordifolia extract helps in improving the digestion of the body. Studies done on mice shows that the extract helps in lowering down the pH of gastric juice thus stops the acidity. Therefore it has anti-ulcer property (10).

Side effects of Tinospora cordifolia ( Giloy or Moonseed)

  1. There’s almost no side effect of Tinospora cordifolia, but may causes an adverse effect if taken in excess.
  2. Tinospora cordifolia should be avoided during pregnancy, although there are no reports of such it will be safer if avoid during pregnancy period as it may cause low blood glucose level.
  3. If taken in excess may cause low blood glucose as it inhibits the glycolysis process.
  4. Antifertility activity: In a study done on mice it was observed that oral administration of Tinospora cordifolia causes a decrease in the size of testes and seminal vesicles (10). Therefore taking too much Tinospora cordifolia may cause infertility.

How to grow your own Tinospora cordifolia ( Giloy or Moonseed)?

The propagation of Tinospora cordifolia is mainly via two methods

  • Seeds

The plant can be propagated by seeds although it takes a longer time to grow and established.

  • Stem cutting

This is another way to propagate the plant of Tinospora cordifolia. Mother stem along with 3 to 4 nodes should be cut and potted in bags or pot with sand, mud and manure. Daily watering is necessary during initial days.  


  1. What are the health benefits of Tinospora cordifolia?

Ans: Antidiabetic, healthy liver, heart, allergy, gout, strengthen immunity and anticancer.

  1. What are the side effects of Tinospora cordifolia?

Ans: There are not so many side effects ofTinospora cordifolia. But causes low blood sugar and decrease male fertility if taken in excess.



  1. https://dx.doi.org/10.4103%2F0253-7613.100380
  2. http://www.plantsjournal.com/vol2Issue2/Issue_feb_2014/1-5-11.1.pdf
  3. http://sphinxsai.com/2016/ph_vol9_no4/2/(344-348)V9N4PT.pdf
  4. Rawal A, Muddeshwar M, Biswas S. Effects of R. cordifolia, F. creticalinn., T. cordifoliaon free radical generation and lipid peroxidation during oxygen glucose deprivation in rat hippocampal slices. Biochem Biophy Res Com 2004; 324:588- 596.
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18803246
  6. Diwanay S, Chitre D, Patwardhan B. Immunoprotection by botanical drug on experimental metastasis. J ethanopharmacol 2004; 90:223-237.
  7. Jagetia GC, Nayak V, Vidyasagar MS. Evaluation of the antineoplastic activity of guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) in cultured HeLa cells. Cancer let 1998; 127:71-82.
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20040936
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15619563



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