Tinospora cordifolia

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Tinospora cordifolia
Tinospora cordifolia.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Menispermaceae
Genus: Tinospora
T. cordifolia
Binomial name
Tinospora cordifolia
(Thunb.) Miers

Tinospora cordifolia (common names gurjo, heart-leaved moonseed, guduchi or giloy) is a herbaceous vine of the family Menispermaceae indigenous to tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent.[1] It has been used in Ayurveda to treat various disorders, but there is no clinical evidence for the effectiveness of such treatment.

Botanical description[edit]

Fruits of Tinospora cordifolia

It is a large, deciduous, extensively-spreading, climbing vine with several elongated twining branches. Leaves are simple, alternate, and exstipulate with long petioles up to 15 cm (6 in) long which are roundish and pulvinate, both at the base and apex with the basal one longer and twisted partially and half way around. It gets its name heart-leaved moonseed by its heart-shaped leaves and its reddish fruit. Lamina are broadly ovate or ovate cordate, 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long or 8–15 cm (3–6 in) broad, seven nerved and deeply cordate at base, membranous, pubescent above, whitish tomentose with a prominent reticulum beneath. Flowers are unisexual, small on separate plants and appearing when the plant is leafless, greenish-yellow on axillary and terminal racemes. Male flowers are clustered, but female flowers are usually solitary. It has six sepals in two series of three each. The outer ones are smaller than the inner. It has six petals which are smaller than sepals, obovate, and membranous. Fruits aggregate in clusters of one to three. They are ovoid smooth drupelets on thick stalks with sub terminal style scars, scarlet or orange colored.[2]


Endophytic fungi colonize the living, internal tissues of their host without causing any harmful effects. A recent study has shown that 29 endophytes belonging to different taxa were present in the samples collected from T. cordifolia.[3]

Extracts of the endophytic fungus Nigrospora sphaerica obtained from T. cordifolia were found to have insecticidal properties against the Oriental leafworm moth (Spodoptera litura), a polyphagous pest.[4]


Tinospora cordifolia contains diverse phytochemicals, including alkaloids, phytosterols, glycosides, and mixed other chemical compounds.[1]

Traditional medicine[edit]

Although used in Ayurveda over centuries in the belief that Tinospora has medicinal properties,[5] there is no good evidence that it is effective for treating any disease.[1]

During the 2020-22 COVID-19 outbreak in India, the Ministry of AYUSH recommended use of T. cordifolia ("giloy") as a home remedy for immune support,[6] but such a practice appeared to be associated with hepatitis cases among six people in Mumbai who used boiled or capsule preparations of the plant.[6][7] Another analysis from April 2020 to July 2021 across multiple Indian states found "43 patients with acute hepatitis which had no identifiable cause other than giloy consumption."[8][9]


  1. ^ a b c "Tinospora". Drugs.com. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  2. ^ Sinha, Kirti; Mishra, N P; Singh, J; Khanuja, S P S (July 2004). "Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi), a reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: A Review". Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. 3 (3): 257–70.
  3. ^ Mishra, Ashish; Gond, Surendra K.; Kumar, Anuj; Sharma, Vijay K.; Verma, Satish K.; Kharwar, Ravindra N.; Sieber, Thomas N. (2012). "Season and Tissue Type Affect Fungal Endophyte Communities of the Indian Medicinal Plant Tinospora cordifolia More Strongly than Geographic Location". Microbial Ecology. 64 (2): 388–98. doi:10.1007/s00248-012-0029-7. PMID 22430503. S2CID 10738815.
  4. ^ Thakur, Abhinay; Kaur, Sanehdeep; Kaur, Amarjeet; Singh, Varinder (2012). "Detrimental effects of endophytic fungus Nigrospora sp. on survival and development of Spodoptera litura". Biocontrol Science and Technology. 22 (2): 151–61. doi:10.1080/09583157.2011.646952. S2CID 85075708.
  5. ^ Kumar P, Kamle M, Mahato DK, Bora H, Sharma B, Rasane P, Bajpai VK. Tinospora cordifolia (Giloy): Phytochemistry, Ethnopharmacology, Clinical Application and Conservation Strategies. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(12):1165-1175. doi:10.2174/1389201021666200430114547 PMID 32351180
  6. ^ a b Banjot Kaur (17 February 2022). "As COVID Surged, India Had a Silent Outbreak of Giloy-Induced Liver Injury". Science: The Wire.
  7. ^ Nagral, Aabha; Adhyaru, Kunal; Rudra, Omkar S.; et al. (2021-07-02). "Herbal Immune Booster-Induced Liver Injury in the COVID-19 Pandemic - A Case Series". Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology. 11 (6): 732–738. doi:10.1016/j.jceh.2021.06.021. ISSN 0973-6883. PMC 8252698. PMID 34230786.
  8. ^ Ray, Kalyan (6 March 2022). "Ayurvedic drug backed by AYUSH Ministry causes liver damage, says study". Deccan Herald. The Printers, Mysore.
  9. ^ Kulkarni, Anand V.; Hanchanale, Pavan; Prakash, Vikash; et al. (6 February 2022). "Tinospora cordifolia ( giloy)–induced liver injury during the COVID‐19 pandemic — Multicenter nationwide study from India". Hepatology Communications: hep4.1904. doi:10.1002/hep4.1904.