Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), also known as Amrit, is one of the most valued herbs in the Ayurvedic pharmacy. It is described as ‘the one who protects the body’. According to myth, when the ancient gods churned the primordial ocean, they created a heavenly elixir that has saved celestial beings from old age and kept them eternally young. The nectar was named Amrit, a Sanskrit word that means “imperishable.” Although modern science hasn’t been able to confirm its immortalizing properties, its therapeutic strength lies in it’s rejuvenating and strengthening properties while also destroying and cleansing the whole system, specifically via the liver.
Guduchi and the Doshas:
A powerful nutritive tonic, Guduchi is one of the best herbs for balancing vata and pitta. It has the unusual characteristic of being heating while simultaneously removing excess pitta from the body and reducing inflammation.
It is bitter, astringent, pungent, yet heating and also sweet post-digestively. It’s bitter and astringent quality clears Pitta nd Kapha, while it’s heating energy burns ama (toxins), while its sweet effect regulates vata and gives it an aphrodisiac quality that nourishes reproductive fluid.
This heat burns accumulated natural toxins purifying the liver, kidneys, joints, and blood. It also helps soothe the skin and promotes a clear, healthy complexion.
As a rejuvenative, Guduchi strengthens the tissues, bolsters immunity, and promotes vitality while calming the mind and supporting the proper function of the nervous system. It is also traditionally used to promote longevity and to support healthy reproduction.
- Guduchi for the Liver: Liver damage, viral hepatitis or poisoning from alcohol, chemicals or recreational drugs. It is also useful in repairing fibrosis and regenerating liver tissue. 
- Guduchi for Joint Inflammation: Useful for gout, arthritis, and other inflammatory joint conditions. It acts by clearing Pitta toxins and uric acid vas the urinary system that has accumulated. It also removes ama (toxins) from the system without destabilizing any other dosha. 
- Guduchi for Immunity: Studies have shown excellent results in the use of Guduchi in all autoimmune diseases caused by inflammation. It has been used and shown benefit in degenerative diseases such as cancer, AIDS, and arthritis as it boosts the immune system. Due to its immune benefits guduchi is used as well to offset the ulcerative and toxic effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. 
- Guduchi for Skin Health: Guduchi is useful when there is high Tejas and Pitta that has burned the immune-protecting ojas (vitality) away resulting in inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, systemic lupus, and erythematosus. Skin problems from excessive alcohol, recreational drug, and pharmaceutical use may also benefit from Guduchi. Studies have shown that this herb is specific in treating burning sensations on the skin. 
- Guduchi for Digestion: Good for healing constipation, intestinal bleeding, and hemorrhoids. Studies are showing that Guduchi is useful at restoring intestinal flora imbalance with candida-like symptoms such as bloating, gas, and malabsorption. Particularly useful for strengthing digestion in Pitta types. 
- Guduchi for Metabolic Health: Helps regulate blood sugar levels via its direct effect on some of the tissues. This makes it especially useful in treating diabetes, and hypoglycemia. Guduchi is very calming to Vata and the nervous system because of its unctuous nature where it can soothe any kind of nervous irritation. 
- Guduchi for Reproductive Health: Guduchi’s affinity for clearing heat from the body is useful when there is any kind of sexual dysfunction due to hyper-heat conditions. It is often used in formulas for male sexual dysfunction caused by Pitta imbalance as its sweet post-digestive effect nourished the reproductive tissues and increases sperm count. 
Contraindications and Caution: Long-term use of any herbal supplement is usually discouraged and Guduchi is no exception. Regular use for more than 12 weeks is discouraged, so it should only be used when you need it to alleviate a certain symptom or illness or imbalance. Guduchi is safe to use for kids above 5 years of age for a period of 1-2 weeks under the supervision of your healthcare provider. It is safe to use during lactation. Avoid during pregnancy. People on an anti-diabetic treatment plan should use Guduchi with precaution and consult your healthcare provider. Guduchi Satva (bitter extract of Guduchi) like most bitter herbs, has a mild hypoglycemic activity while it does not have significant anti-hyperglycemic activity against glucose overload.
I personally love using the Guduchi and after becoming quite ill with Dengue Fever (a souvenir from my trip to Cambodia), I am using it to restore my immune system. I particularly like ‘Himalaya’s’ Guduchi, but whichever brand you buy make sure it is sustainably sourced and organic.
As you can probably tell by now guduchi is a well loved herb in Ayurveda! It’s known for the numerous health benefits listed above, and is particularly helpful in reducing inflammation. Find out more on soothing inflammation with Ayurveda in our 5 Day Anti-Inflammatory Cleanse guide.