I’m always searching for new herbs and foods that have anti-histamine and mast cell-stabilising properties. This tropical plant, native to India, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka is used in Ayurvedic medicine and has been shown to be a mast-cell stabiliser.
WHAT IS GUDUCHI?
Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia) or Heart-Shaped Moonseed (or Giloy), is an herbaceous vine with greenish yellow flowers native to the tropical regions in and around India. It has been used in Ayurvedic Medicine for centuries. Guduchi is the Sanskrit name and means, “one which protects the entire body.” The Hindi word for it is Giloe, a word that comes from Hindu mythology and refers to a heavenly elixir that was taken by the gods to keep them eternally young. So… Hey, you never know.
The whole plant can be used medicinally –leaf, stem, and even the root. Traditional use in Ayurvedic Medicine has included treatment of fever, dysentery, and diarrhea, eye disorders, bone fractures, skin diseases, pain, and poisonous insect and snake bites.
Some of its more recent reported uses and benefits include support for diabetes, spasms, inflammatory conditions, arthritis, osteoporosis, allergies (histamine), stress, leprosy, malaria, liver issues, immune imbalance, and cancer. Between its uses for leprosy and malaria and for poisonous insect and snake bites, it’s a great herb to have around if you’re exploring the jungle.
But if you’re just trying to navigate the jungle of life with histamine intolerance, this herb may also be helpful. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, anti-histamine, and immune balancing properties make it a great match for chronic inflammation and high chronically high histamine levels.
WHAT DOES GUDUCHI DO FOR HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE?
We know that those of us with histamine intolerance and mast cell disorders have chronic inflammation underlying our condition. Guduchi has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it a great addition to an already anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet.
Additionally, a clinical study of allergic rhinitis (allergies/hay fever/inflammation of the nose), Guduchi significantly decreased all symptoms, including stuffiness, sneezing, and itching. In animal studies, Guduchi decreased histamine-induced bronchospasms (tightening of airways and difficulty breathing) and helped stabilise mast cells.
Not only that, but Guduchi shows great antioxidant activity. It helps reduce free radicals and keeps the super antioxidant, glutathione, from being broken down so that it can exert its effects for a longer period of time. It’s always good to keep antioxidants working for you longer.
According to Ayurveda, Guduchi has rasayana (rejuvenating), balya (tonic), vayah-sthapana (anti-aging), aayushyaprada (increases lifespan), vrishya (aphrodisiac), and chakshusya (useful for eye disorders) properties. Sounds good to me.
WHO NEEDS COFFEE WHEN YOU HAVE GUDUCHI?
Guduchi may also help you function when sleep deprived. A study of rats found that taking an extract of the herb for 15 days prior to an “all-nighter” offset the cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, and delayed reaction time associated with lack of sleep. In fact, taking the extract of Guduchi prevented much of the brain inflammation associated with sleep deprivation and improved learning and memory. This extract was taken before sleep deprivation occurred, meaning that it is preventative rather than something you’d take after the fact (like coffee).
HOW CAN IT BE CONSUMED?
You can purchase Guduchi herbal tea, either by itself or in a blend with ginger or tulsi for enhanced antihistamine effects. It’s available with other spices as well, but watch out for high histamine spices like cinnamon. Brew up a cup with just a touch of your favourite sweetener, a squeeze of lemon, if tolerated, and relax.
Other preparations include juice from the root (giloy ras), stem “sugar” (giloy satva), stem powder (giloy churna), tablets, or syrup. Some of these preparations are combined with other Ayurvedic herbs such as amla or neem. Amla is another antihistamine Ayurvedic herb. You can read about the antihistamine properties of the Ayurvedic herb combination called Triphala here.
AYURVEDA IS FULL OF ANTIHISTAMINES
To read about other Ayurvedic antihistamine herbs I’ve written about, check out these posts:
Bacopa monnieri: Science Backs Ayurvedic Herb’s Antihistamine Properties
Solanum xanthocarpum: Got Allergies? You Need This Natural Antihistamine In Your Medicine Cabinet
Tiger Nuts: Gluten And Dairy Free Tigernut Flour Pancakes
Mishra, R., Manchanda, S., Gupta, M., Kaur, T., Saini, V., Sharma, A., & Kaur, G. (2016). Tinospora cordifolia ameliorates anxiety-like behavior and improves cognitive functions in acute sleep deprived rats. Scientific Reports, 6, 25564. http://doi.org/10.1038/srep25564
Saha, S., & Ghosh, S. (2012). Tinospora cordifolia: One plant, many roles. Ancient Science of Life, 31(4), 151–159. http://doi.org/10.4103/0257-7941.107344
Upadhyay, A. K., Kumar, K., Kumar, A., & Mishra, H. S. (2010). Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Hook. f. and Thoms. (Guduchi) – validation of the Ayurvedic pharmacology through experimental and clinical studies. International Journal of Ayurveda Research, 1(2), 112–121. http://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7788.64405