Tinospora cordifolia

Tinospora cordifolia, also called Guduchi is an herbaceous vine of the family Menispermaceae indigenous to the tropical areas of India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Synonyms: Guduchi , amrita (Sanskrit), giloe , gulancha (Bengali), giloya (Hindi), gado , galo (Gujarati), duyutige , teppatige (Telugu), heartleaf moonseed (English)

According to the 1911 British Pharmaceutical Codex, "Tinospora or Gulancha consists of the dried stem of Tinospora cordifolia, Miers (N.O. Menispermaceae), a climbing shrub indigenous to tropical India. The stems are collected in the hot season and dried. The drug occurs in straight or twisted cylindrical pieces and in slices, averaging about 2 centimetres in diameter, some pieces being much smaller. Externally, they are covered with a thin, papery, brown cork, bearing the raised scars of numerous lenticels. The cork readily exfoliates and discloses a greenish cortex longitudinally wrinkled and marked with lenticels. The fracture is fibrous and the transverse section exhibits a yellowish wood with radially arranged wedge-shaped wood bundles, containing large vessels, separated by narrower medullary rays. The odour is not characteristic, but the taste is bitter.


The active adaptogenic constituents are diterpene compounds including tinosporone, tinosporic acid, cordifolisides A to E, syringen, the yellow alkaloid, berberine, Giloin, crude Giloininand, a glucosidal bitter principle as well as polysaccharides, including arabinogalactan polysaccharide (TSP).

Ethnobotanical Uses

According to the 1918 United States Dispensatory edited by Joseph Remington, Horatio Wood et al.:
Tinospora. Br. Add. 1900.—"The dried stem of Tinospora cordifolia Miers (Fam. Menispermaceae), collected in the hot season." Br. Add., 1900. Tinospora has long been used in India as a medicine and in the preparation of a starch known as gilae-ka-sat or as palo. It is said to be a tonic, antiperiodic, and a diuretic. Flückiger obtained from it traces of an alkaloid and a bitter glucoside. The Br. Add., 1900, recognized an infusion (Infusum Tinosporae Br. Add., 1900, two ounces to the pint), dose one-half to one fluidounce (15-30 mils); a tincture (Tinctura Tinosporae Br. Add., 1900, four ounces to the pint), dose, one-half to one fluidrachm (1.8-3.75 mils); and a concentrated solution [Liquor Tinosporae Concentratus Br. Add., 1900), dose, one-half to one fluidrachm (1.8-3.75 mils). Tinospora crispa Miers (more), which is abundant in the Philippines, is used freely by the natives under the name of makabuhay (that is, "You may live"), as a panacea, especially valuable in general debility, in chronic rheumatism, and in malarial fevers. It may be prepared in the same way and given in the same doses as Tinospora cordifolia.

Modern use in herbal medicine

Tinospora cordifolia is used in Ayurvedic herbal medicine as a hepatoprotectant, protecting the liver from damage that may occur following exposure to toxins. Recent research has demonstrated that a combination of T. cordifolia extract and turmeric extract is effective in preventing the hepatotoxicity which is otherwise produced as a side effect of conventional pharmaceutical treatments for tuberculosis using drugs such as isoniazid and rifampicin.


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