Amruth (tinospora cordifolia) is one of the most versatile Ayurvedic herbal supplements. Also known as guduchi or giloy, it literally means ambrosia, nectar, or “that which protects” because of its immunomodulatory and rasayana—or rejuvenating—properties. It is a well-known anti-inflammatory, hepato-protective, antioxidant, antipyretic, anti-rheumatic, and adaptogenic herb in Ayurveda, also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and being studied in modern medicine for its efficacy.
Guduchi pippali and guduchi ghana vati are part of clinical trials by the government of India for prophylaxis and as an adjunct to standard care in an integrative approach for Covid-19. Sri Sri Tattva USA includes amruth and Shakti Drops (which contain amruth as well) in its Immunity Kit for immune support, detoxification, support of the liver, joints, muscles and a healthy fat and sugar metabolism.
Legend has it…
In ancient mythology, Amruth was the rasayana (rejuvenator) used by celestial beings to ward off old age; when the Vanara Sena (army of monkeys fighting for the Gods) in the Epic Ramayana died in battle, the King of Heavens, Lord Indira is said to have used nectar to revive them; wherever it fell on land, the herb Amruth sprung forth. Acharya Susrata, considered by many as the Father of modern surgery and father of plastic surgery, who enumerated 100’s of surgeries around 800 BC used the roots of amruth to suture wounds because of their strength and healing properties.
Ayurvedic Properties of Amruth
- Rasa (taste)—Astringent and bitter.
- Vipaka (post digestive effect)—Sweet.
- Gunas (properties)—Light, unctuous, and soft.
- Veerya (potency)—Heating.
- Karma (action)—Balya (strengthening), Rakta shodhak (blood purifier), Javarghna (antipyretic), Rasayana (rejuvenator), Medhya Rasayana (brain tonic that alleviates stress, aids memory, cognition and intellect), AgniDeepana (enhances Agni) and AmaPachana (detoxifier). It strengthens all Dhatus or tissues as an alterative.
- Prabhava or specific action: Although amruth has a heating potency, it pacifies pitta dosha.
- Amruth is tridosha pacifying (pacifies vata, pitta and kapha, all three energy principals) which explains its wide application.
- Immunomodulator and rejuvenator with antioxidant properties. Amruth enhances ojas (vitality) and vyadhikshamatwam (immunity).
- Helps with digestive disorders. Amruth aids digestion through supporting agni (digestive and metabolic fire), promotes detoxification by helping get rid of endogenous and environmental toxins or ama, prevents both constipation and diarrhea; helps with GERD, deworming and nausea.
- Antipyretic. Used for reducing fever; it is particularly helpful in intermittent fevers and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Amruth is commonly used in dengue fever and malaria.
- Respiratory support. Alleviating symptoms of allergies, allergic rhinitis, common cold, chronic cough, bronchitis and asthma.
- Adaptogen. Amruth helps in relieving stress, anxiety and depression and enhancing memory and cognition.
- Cardioprotective. Amruth is useful in various heart conditions and improves blood circulation.
- Hormone regulator. Helpful with hormone regulation, PCOS, sexual health, impotence, ejaculation problems and spermatorrhea.
Anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory; useful in joint disorders like osteoarthritis, rheumatism, gouty arthritis.
- Hypoglycemic. Helpful in diabetes or prameha and improves glucose tolerance and metabolism; alleviates symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
- Hepatoprotective. Useful in jaundice, hepatitis and enhancing liver function), bleeding disorders and anemia.
- Chronic skin disorders. Like eczema and psoriasis. Amruth paste can be applied locally in such cases as well.
- Urinary disorders. Used in urinary disorders like dysuria, urinary stones, urinary tract infections and as a diuretic, in edema.
- Conditions of debility. Like chronic fatigue and HIV.
- Other Uses. Eye disorders, pain management, used in post Panchakarma Rasayana (rejuvenation). Amruth is radio-protective, reducing the adverse effects of chemotherapy.
Method of Use and Dosage
Amruth is recognized by its heart shaped leaves. The herb is indigenous to South East Asia and grows wild as a vine, particularly on neem and mango trees. Its stem, leaves, and sometimes roots are used in herbal preparations. Amruth is available in powder, paste, decoction, and tablet form (from Sri Sri Tattva and other manufacturers). The adjunct or anupana with which it can be taken is warm water and ghee in vata conditions, sugar in pitta conditions and honey in kapha aggravations.
Sri Sri Tattva USA mentions ‘suggested usage’ as 1–2 tablets twice per day, or as directed by a health practitioner. For pediatric dosage refer to the Sri Sri Tattva USA webcast “Building Immunity through Ayurveda,” by Senior Vaidya Dr Lokesh Raturi.
Take herbal formulations as advised by an Ayurvedic Practitioner. Since amruth lowers blood sugar levels, you need to monitor your blood sugar if you’re on medication for diabetes (and may need to adjust your medication dosage as advised by your physician). If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, have an autoimmune condition or plan to undergo surgery, let your doctor know about any herbal regimen you’re on.
Herbal Formulations Containing Amruth
Amruth is used in many key herbal Ayurvedic formulations like Amrutharishtam, Patolakaturohinyadi Kashayam, Guduchyadi Ghritam, Guduchyadi (Guluchyadi) Kwatham, Amruth Tailam, Siva Gulika and Mushalyadi Churna. Giloy Sattva is a bitter herbal extract that helps with pitta disorders and cardiac debility.
Amruth, named after the “heavenly elixir,” is accorded the highest status in Ayurveda; it is a nitya rasayana (daily renewal tonic) that is effective for all constitution types. Indeed, it is nature’s armor as a versatile herbal tonic which fortifies immunity and nourishes and protects the digestive, respiratory, circulatory and other systems.