Giloy: The Ayurvedic herb popularised by COVID-19 has side effects too

Giloy: The Ayurvedic herb popularised by COVID-19 has side effects too
Giloy can reduce your blood sugar levels abnormally. Be cautious about having it along with your diabetes medicines.

Giloy, an ayurvedic herb used for centuries for various medicinal properties including immune-boosting effects, has become all the more popular in the pandemic scenario. But it comes with its own set of side effects.

Written by Saswati Sarkar |Updated : August 31, 2020 9:37 AM IST

Giloy, scientifically known as Tinospora cordifolia, is popularly called 'Amrita' in Sanskrit. This Sanskrit word means immortality. The epithet that this traditional Ayurvedic herb has earned for itself is justified because of the plethora of health benefits it offers. Starting from improving your digestion and lung function to boosting your memory, giloy does it all for you. It is also known for its immune-boosting properties which have made this herb all the more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, the Food and Drug Administration, US, has also approved the use of giloy for remedial purposes. Ayurvedic experts use its stem and roots for the treatment of various ailments. You can have it in the form of capsules, powder or juice. However, this medicinal herb comes with its own set of side effects too. Here is a low-down on them.

Your blood sugar levels may shoot down abnormally

Giloy is known to bring down your blood glucose levels. If you take it alongside your diabetes medicines, you may experience hypoglycaemia, a condition in which your blood sugar levels become too low. Discus with your diabetologist or Ayurveda expert about the dosage if you are on medication for diabetes.

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You may experience constipation

Giloy is known to be effective in improving your digestive health. However, in some cases it may lead to constipation, a condition characterised by infrequent bowel movement and hard, dry stool. Consult a doctor if you experience this digestive disorder after having giloy in any form.

Your immune system may become overactive

In some cases, giloy may over stimulate your immune system. This may increase the severity of autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If you are suffering from any of these conditions, you need to consult your doctor before taking giloy.

Your surgery may be affected

IF you need to undergo any surgery, your blood sugar levels need to be under control. But giloy can affect your blood pressure levels. So, it's best to stop taking this herb before your surgery. Consult your doctor before starting to use it again after your surgery.

Should pregnant women use giloy?

The impact of giloy on pregnant women isn't yet known. You should know all about its side effects. However, experts are of the opinion that it's best to stop taking this herb during the gestation period to be on the safer side.

How much giloy should you have?

As already mentioned, you can have this herb in the form of powder, tablet and juice or extract. Typically, package instructions for capsules suggest that adults can have 2 tablets a day, kids above 10 years of age can take one a day while children up to the age of 5 are allowed to one capsule on a daily basis. However, it's best to consult a doctor for the right dosage, especially for kids. As far as giloy juice is concerned, you having a glass a day should be fine while it's okay to have to 1 teaspoon of the powdered version every day.