Understanding the benefits of giloy for allergies and hay fever
Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia) is one of the most popular herbs used in Ayurveda to treat chronic fevers and respiratory infections. The stem of the giloy plant is packed with a wide range of bioactive compounds that strengthen your immune system and help the body fight off infections and allergies. In this blog, we are going to explore the role of giloy supplements in managing allergies and hay fever.
What is giloy?
Giloy is a climbing shrub traditionally known for its antipyretic activity (it helps to reduce fever). Also known as guduchi, giloe or amrita (literally means ‘nectar of life’), giloy is a rejuvenating herb with tremendous health benefits and anti-ageing properties. Giloy contains flavonoids, polyphenols and other compounds that make it a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune boosting herb. Not only is giloy a rich source of antioxidants that help fight against invading pathogens (bacteria and viruses) but the herb also functions as a diuretic, removes toxins and purifies the blood.
Amazing benefits of giloy for allergies and hay fever
Giloy reduces symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, stimulates the activity of white blood cells that help boost the immune system and helps block histamine. All these properties make giloy a very useful herb to strengthen immunity and offer relief from allergies. Here is a list of giloy benefits for allergies and fever:
1. Reduces symptoms of hay fever, has anti-histamine effects
Giloy has anti-histamine properties and it works as a decongestant. It supports respiratory tract health and is effective against chronic cough, cold, and asthma. It also reduces allergic symptoms associated with hay fever. Histamine is a chemical produced by the cells of your immune system. It is released when the body is responding to a pathogen, injury, allergen or toxin. While histamine release is a part of how your immune system fights off an infection or an allergic reaction, this chemical triggers symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, congestion and stuffy nose.
Healthcare practitioners usually prescribe antihistamines (substances that block or reduce the production of histamines) and corticosteroids to treat allergy symptoms but these medicines have short-term and long-term negative side effects.
A study found that giloy significantly reduced the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (commonly known as hay fever). It was also found to be well-tolerated. Hay fever is an allergic reaction that occurs when your body comes in contact with allergens such as pollen, dust mite or animal dander. It results in cold-like symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and congestion. The study found that giloy provided relief from symptoms such as sneezing, congestion (stuffiness) and itching. 
2. Anti-inflammatory properties
Giloy plant, especially the stem, contains an abundance of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Your body relies on antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. These free radicals are naturally produced as a by-product of many bio-chemical reactions taking place within the body. Many external factors such as pollution, toxins, smoking and processed food also trigger excessive production of free radicals. This results in oxidative damage and inflammation, known to accelerate ageing and increase the risk of age-related diseases. Due to its ability to reduce inflammation, giloy can be a very effective herb to reduce symptoms such as inflammatory conditions like gouty arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Boosts the immune system
Giloy stimulates the immune system by improving the activity of different types of immune cells. It has been found as very effective in dengue fever as it reduces the fever, improves platelet count and strengthens immune function. The presence of alkaloids, glycosides, steroids and other bioactive compounds is the key to its ability to boost immunity and fight infection.
4. Supports sinus health
In sinus or sinusitis, inflammation of tissues that line the sinuses cause discomforting symptoms such as stuffy or congested nose, headache, thick mucus discharge, swelling or puffiness around the eyes as well as facial pain, particularly around the ears and upper jaw. Common cold, recurrent respiratory infections, nasal polyps and hay fever can trigger sinusitis. Herbs like giloy can be extremely beneficial in reducing these symptoms such as congestion and nasal discharge as giloy is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial herb that removes mucus, relaxes bronchi or airways and prevents histamine release.
5. Promotes lung health
Giloy supports the health of your respiratory tract. It is good for asthma, cold bronchitis and frequent coughs due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that giloy can be very effective in reducing symptoms of chronic bronchitis - inflammation of the lung airways - that causes constant cough and mucus production. Giloy reduces frequent infections, improves lung functions and improves symptoms for those suffering from chronic bronchitis. Adding giloy supplements to the standard treatment can improve quality of life. 
Other Benefits of Giloy
Giloy is quite a versatile herb and offers solutions to various health problems such as obesity, diabetes [3-4], stress and anxiety. Studies show that giloy can be added with the standard anti-diabetic medications to better manage Type 2 diabetes. It reduces HbA1c levels, fasting blood glucose levels and postprandial blood glucose levels (levels after eating a meal).  We strongly recommend consulting your healthcare practitioner before you start taking giloy supplements along with your anti-diabetic medications for the correct use and dosage. Giloy can also help in lowering triglyceride levels, improving brain function and reducing stress and depression.
Is Giloy safe to use?
Giloy is a safe and well-tolerated herb with no serious side effects, although it might lead to mild constipation or stomach irritation in some circumstances. Giloy is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. People with an autoimmune condition should also avoid taking giloy supplements. If you plan to take giloy to control your blood sugar levels and are already taking any prescription medication for the same, consult your healthcare practitioner first.
Can Giloy be used as a substitute for conventional allergy treatments?
We recommend giloy under the guidance of your healthcare practitioner.
Does giloy reduce fever?
Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) boosts immunity and can help reduce fever and inflammation. It offers antipyretic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Giloy is effective in dengue fever, hay fever, allergies and chronic bronchitis.
- Badar et al. Efficacy of Tinospora cordifolia in allergic rhinitis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005
- Dr. Ratan Kumar. A Randomized Study of Effect of Tinospora Cordifolia in Chronic Bronchitis Patients. IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences. 2017.
- Shirolkar et al. Integrated omics analysis revealed the Tinospora cordifolia intervention modulated multiple signaling pathways in hypertriglyceridemia patients-a pilot clinical trial. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders. 2022
- Shirolkar et al. Intervention of Ayurvedic drug Tinospora cordifolia attenuates the metabolic alterations in hypertriglyceridemia: a pilot clinical trial. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders. 2020
- Mishra et al. Effect of Tinospora cordifolia as an add - on therapy on the blood glucose levels of patients with Type 2 diabetes. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology. 2015