Updated: July 8, 2021 10:06:56 am
The Ministry of Ayush has issued a statement challenging the findings of a study that linked the herb giloy to liver damage.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology, mentioned that the “use of herb TinosporaCordifolia (TC), commonly known as giloy or guduchi, resulted in liver failure in six patients in Mumbai”.
The ministry, however, said that relating giloy or TC to liver damage would be “misleading and disastrous to the traditional medicine system of India as herb guduchi or giloy has been used in Ayurveda since long. The efficacy of TC in managing various disorders is well established”.
Relating Giloy to Liver damage is completely Misleading: @moayush
Relating Giloy or TC to liver damage would be misleading and disastrous to the Traditional Medicine system of India
Read here: https://t.co/WMbt7fbH7T
— PIB India (@PIB_India) July 7, 2021
In the statement published by PIB, the ministry further argued that the authors of the study “have not analysed the contents of the herb that was consumed by the patients”.
Elaborating on the “flaws” in the study, the statement further read, “In fact, there are many studies that point out that identifying the herb not correctly could lead to wrong results. A similar-looking herb TinosporoCrispa might have a negative effect on the liver. So, before labelling a herb, such as giloy, with such toxic nature the authors should have tried to correctly identify the plants following the standard guidelines, which they did not. Other than this, the study has many flaws. It is unclear that what dose the patients had taken or whether they took this herb with other medicines. The study has not taken into account the past or present medical records of the patients.”
Giloy, used in many herbal and ayurvedic medicines, is known to treat many health issues. It has a high nutritional content and includes steroids, flavonoids, lignans, and carbohydrates.
Benefits of giloy
Dr Vaishali Sawant Chavan, Ayurveda health expert and assistant medical director, Vedicure Healthcare and Wellness, told indianexpress.com, “Giloy can be helpful in boosting immunity. It is packed with antioxidants and can help one fight off free radicals and disease-causing germs. It is beneficial in removing toxins from the body, purifies blood, and help combat urinary tract infections and liver disease.”
Giloy also helps in controlling diabetes by improving your body’s blood glucose levels, the doctor said. “The variety of phytochemicals in its composition helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body and boosting natural insulin secretion as well. It is also a boon for people with respiratory infections,” she explained.
Talking about the other benefits of giloy, Dr Chavan added, “Giloy carries anti-inflammatory powers found in this immortal herb that can help to deal with common respiratory issues such as frequent cough, cold and even. tonsilitis. It can boost your memory, help you calm down, and tackle stress. Giloy is can enhance digestion and treating bowel-related issues. Giloy plant has anti-ageing properties that help manage dark spots, pimples, fine lines, and wrinkles. It gives you the spotless and glowing skin that you have always dreamt of.”
Almost 70 per cent of the Indian population consumed Giloy in some form during Covid-19, Dr Partap Chauhan, Ayurvedacharya and director, Jiva Ayurveda, told the outlet.
“It has been part of clinical trails conducted by various Ayurvedic institutions. If the herb had any adverse effect, then it would have been noticed. In one study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, it was found that both Giloy (Tinaspora cordifolia) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) are hepato-protective in patients who were taking anti-tuberculosis treatment,” he stated.
Can giloy cause liver damage?
There is no “concrete evidence” for this yet, Dr Chavan said. While there are no serious or potential side effects of the herb, in some cases, it can cause constipation or lower blood sugar levels, the doctor further cautioned. “Also, avoid giloy if you are pregnant or breastfeed a baby. Anything consumed in excess can be harmful to health. So, have it in the quantity recommended by the doctor,” she added.
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