Tinospora cordifolia, also called Guduchi is an herbaceous vine of the family Menispermaceae indigenous to the tropical areas of India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
The plant is a glabrous climbing shrub found throughout India, typically growing in deciduous and dry forests. The leaves are heart shaped. The succulent bark is creamy white to grey in color, with deep clefts spotted with lenticels. It puts out long, slender aerial roots, often growing on mango or neem trees. Flowers are yellow, growing in lax racemes from nodes on old wood. Fruits are drupes, turning red when ripe.
In herbal medicine
Tinospora cordifolia and similar species like Tinospora crispa and Tinospora rumphii Boerl are used in Ayurvedic and Jamu herbal medicine as a hepatoprotectant, protecting the liver from damage that may occur following exposure to toxins, as well as in Thailand, Philippines. Recent research has demonstrated that a combination of T. cordifolia extract and turmeric extract is effective in preventing the hepatotoxicity which is otherwise produced as a side effect of conventional pharmaceutical treatments for tuberculosis using drugs such as isoniazid and rifampicin.
According to the 1918 United States Dispensatory, the plant has a long history of use in India as a medicine and in the preparation of a starch known as gilae-ka-sat or as palo.
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