Vol. 12 (1), March 2020, 158-160
*Corresponding author e-mail: email@example.com
A product of Diva Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.
doi : 10.5958/0975-6892.2020.00021.0
Nutritional aspects of Tinospora cordifolia (Giloe)
Vineeta Pandey*, Jeetendra Kumar Vaishya, Padmapriya Balakrishnan and Tanuja Manoj Nesari
National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of AYUSH, Indian Red Cross Society, Annexe Building, 1st Floor & 2nd Floor, 1 Red
Cross Road, New Delhi-110001, India
Received: November 13, 2019; Accepted: March 18, 2020
Medicinal plants are considered as green gold owing to their indispensable contribution to the plant based medicines, health
care, pharmaceuticals, food supplements, cosmetics etc. Tinospora cordifolia commonly known as giloe is used in the
traditional ayurvedic medicine and Indian System of Medicine (ISM) since times immemorial. In this manuscript, the nutritional
composition of T. cordifolia along with its antioxidant activities has been highlighted. The starch obtained from the stem of
the plant known as “Guduchi-satva” is highly nutritive and digestive and used in many diseases. Tinospora can be a valuable
dietary and health supplement that can help in nutrition, holistic health, and prevention of numerous diseases.
Keywords: Tinospora cordifolia, giloe, dietary supplement, medicinal plant
Treating illness and improving health through nutritive
dietary plants supplements have been one of the oldest
interests of mankind tradition. From time immemorial, the
human beings has critically banked upon medicinal plants
as a critical nutrient supplement for improving health,
avoiding and treating diseases through use of traditional
medicinal practices. In modern times, medicinal plants are
gaining immense importance and interest as a dietary and
health supplements due to their established nutritive and
medicinal properties and low/zero toxicity as compared to
synthetic / semi-synthetic supplements and modern drugs
(Gupta et al., 2018). There is a growing global demand for
plant-based nutraceuticals, medicines, health supplements,
food supplements, cosmetics, etc. All over the world, there
exists a huge commercial interest in exploring nutraceuticals
from plant materials to replace synthetic food supplements
and drugs in order to overcome the adverse effects of the
later, and also for cost-effective production. T.
cordifolia (Thunb.) Miers, commonly known as Giloe,
Guduchi or Amrita, is an important medicinal plant of the
Indian System of Medicine (ISM). The plant is a climbing
herb that belongs to family Menispermaceae and widely
grows in tropical countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,
Myanmar, Bangladesh, etc. T. cordifolia is an extensively
used shrub in folk and ISM (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and
Sowa-Rigpa). In Ayurvedic system of medicine, Giloe is
referred to as one of the versatile rejuvenating herb used as a
tonic (Kumawat et al., 2019). The revitalizing property of
the herb earned its popular name ‘Amrita’ meaning elixir.
Ayurvedic Giloe preparations are made according to the
standard process by the practitioners (Geeta and Sharada,
Giloe is a bitter medicinal herb prescribed in fevers,
diabetes, dyspepsia, jaundice, urinary problems, skin diseases
and chronic diarrhea, heart diseases, leprosy, helminthiasis,
rheumatoid arthritis and dysentery (Kumawat et al., 2019).
The wide-spread use of Giloe in ISM preparations for overall
holistic health improvement has generated interest
inscientifically exploring Giloe as a dietary supplement in
terms of its nutritional composition and mineral content.
Studies have revealed that Giloe has high antioxidant content
and serves as a source of nutraceuticals that alleviate
oxidative stress, thereby preventing the onset of
degenerative diseases. Nutritional aspects of Giloe are of
immense value in improving health and preventing diseases.
There is a popular practice of using Giloe herb as a food
supplement to promote better health by the traditional healers
(Mahima et al., 2012).
Several publications on the medicinal properties of
Tinospora have been published (Ghosal and Vishwakarma,
1997; Singh et al., 2003; Meena et al., 2010; Patel et al.,
2013; Kaur et al., 2014; Pandey et al., 2012; Reddy and
Reddy, 2015; Kumawat et al., 2019). However, little
compilation is available on the nutritional properties of
Tinospora. The present review is compilation of an update
status of the nutritional constituents of Tinospora including
minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, along with
its antioxidant properties.
Nutrient composition of Tinospora
T. cordifolia is rich in nutrients, like carbohydrates, proteins,
fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and other essential nutritional
elements (Sivakumar and Dhana, 2011). Traditionally, people
consume the plant in the crude form as a prophylactic measure
and for remedial purposes in several ailments. All parts of
Tinospora, like, leaves, stem, fruits, and roots are being used
as a nutraceutical. The practice of using stem and leaves
directly as a dietary supplement promotes health and
additionally serves as both curative and preventive agents.
The whole plant of Tinospora is a rich source of nutrients
and essential macro- and micro-nutrients, and several
phytochemicals. Being a rich source of nutrients and
phytochemicals, it is used as a healthy dietary supplement
for the human beings as well as for animals. The nutraceutical
agents present in the plant are responsible for its renowned
immunomodulation, hepato-protection, anti-inflammatory,
antipyretic, antispasmodic and memory-boosting properties
(Nagarkatti et al.,1994; Singh et al., 2003; Chauhan et al.,
2017; Jan et al., 2018).
Compared to the stem and roots, the leaves are rich sources
of vitamin C, minerals and phytochemicals (Chauhan et al.,
2014). The starch obtained from the stem core is known as
‘Guduchi-Satva’ in Ayurveda and is highly nutritive,
digestive, and used in curing various diseases (Sinha et al.,
2003; Gaur et al., 2014). Similarly, Geeta et al. (2013) has
reported that ‘Guduchi-Satva’ formulation is rich in nutrients,
i.e., fat (0.14 g/100 g), protein (0.64 g), dietary fibers (0.16
g/100g), energy contents (288.8 cal/100 g), Ca (70 mg/100
g) and Fe (9.7 mg/100 g). Due to its usefulness in the various
diseases and fever, Guduchi-Satva is known as ‘Indian
Quinine’ (Mishra et al., 2002). Guduchi-Satva, when used
with ghee (Ghrita) or oil (Taila) is referred to as ‘Guduchi-
ghritam’ and ‘Guduchi taila’, respectively (Vaghamshi et al.,
Tinospora leaves are rich in protein calcium, and
phosphorus (Meshram et al. 2013). Kavya et al. (2015) also
reported that high carbohydrate and protein contents present
in Giloe helps in the release of essential energy components
yielding 292.54 cal/100 g. Nile et al. (2009) also reported
that rich protein and dietary fiber contents found in Giloe
have significant levels of major and minor elements viz.,
Zn, Mn, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Br, and Sr that acts as
micronutrients for health restorative purposes, and also play
an important role in boosting the desired enzymatic
Another study done by Harbinger (1994) revealed that
Giloe contains high fiber (15.9%), protein (4.5%-11.2%),
carbohydrate (61.66%), and low fat (3.1%), high potassium
(0.845%), high chromium (0.006%), iron (0.28%) and
calcium (0.131%), which are important in various regulatory
functions of the body for a sound health.The above elements
also help in the production of energy by helping the
breakdown of carbohydrates, protein and fat, which are
necessary for the growth and maintenance of tissues and
release of energy.
Tinospora has potential applications in food systems as
an antioxidant and also has the ability to scavenge free
radicals generated during aflatoxicosis (Reddy et al., 2015).
In another study, Ilaiyaraja and Khanum (2011) demonstrated
the potential antioxidant activities of Tinospora leaf and
stem and concluded that thus this plant can be used as a
source of natural antioxidant for health benefits through
dietary supplements. The studies conducted by Priti and Rani
(2017) and Premanath and Lakshmidevi (2010) supported
the claim that Giloe leaf extract exhibits good antioxidant
activity which indicates the potential of the leaves as a source
of natural antioxidant.
The nutraceutical properties of Tinospora suggest that it
is a rich source of nutrients (macro and micro),
phytochemicals, antioxidants for general nutrition and
capable of boosting the immune response of the body.
Tinospora can be a valuable dietary component that can
help in nutrition, holistic health, and prevention of numerous
diseases including those related to geriatrics. The use of
Tinospora stems and leaves in the diet is advisable and
Medicinal Plants, 12(1) March 2020
Nutritional aspects of Tinospora cordifolia (Giloe) 159
Medicinal Plants, 12(1) March 2020
Vineeta Pandey et al.
beneficial for maintaining and improving health. Tinospora
can be considered as a potential source of natural antioxidants
and as a vital dietary supplement. Tinospora could be a rich
source of nutrition for bodybuilding and boosting the
immune system of humans and livestocks. The stem of T.
cordifolia is a potential source of novel natural antioxidants
for pharmaceutical use with prospective applications in food
industry as an antioxidant.
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