"MedicalWebPage", "FAQPage"

Want an ad free reading experience?

Download PharmEasy App

Banner Image

Register to Avail the Offer

Send OTP

By continuing, you agree with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

Success Banner Image

Gulvel: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions & More!

By Dr Ashok Pal +2 more


Gulvel  is a medicinal plant with various properties of importance for our health. It belongs to the family  Menispermaceae  and scientifically it  is called  Tinospora  cordifolia.  It is a deciduous shrub commonly called ”Guduchi” in Sanskrit.  1  

The plant has heart-shaped leaves with greenish-yellow flowers. It grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the globe, of these the African and Asian continents are abundant with Tinospora cordifolia3 In traditional medicine, the extracts from all the parts of the plant are used including the root, stem, and leaf (aerial part) of the plant. 4  

gulvel fruit

Did you know?

  • Gulvel extract has shown potential in reducing blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. source: PubMed
  • Gulvel has been found to have hepatoprotective effects, protecting the liver from damage caused by toxins. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Gulvel has been used in traditional medicine to treat fever, respiratory infections, and digestive disorders. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Studies have shown that Gulvel can help boost the immune system and improve overall health. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Gulvel has been traditionally used in India for its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Other Names of Gulvel

It has various other names like 

  • gilo  in Punjabi
  • guluchi  in Oriya
  • gulvel  in Marathi
  •   chittamrutu  in Malayalam
  • amrita in Kashmiri
  • gulancha  in Bengali  
  • gurcha  in Hindi
  • garo  in Gujarati2  

Nutritional Value of Gulvel: 

S.H. Nile,  C.N.N.Khobragade 2009, studied nutritional data for Gulvel and found that of 100 g of T. cordifolia provides 292.54 kcal of energy.  5  The nutritional composition of Gulvel according to their study is:

Table: Percentage Value of Nutritional Components for Gulvel5

Properties  of  Gulvel:  

Gulvel has several beneficial properties which include  the following.1  

  • It may have effective property on immunity  (immunomodulatory property)  
  • It may have anti-toxin property  
  • It may anti-diabetic property  
  • It might show antioxidant activity  
  • It may have antiarthritic property  
  • It may have anticancer property  
  • It might have antimicrobial activity  
  • It may have anti-inflammatory property    
  • It may have activity protective effect on the liver.1

Based on some research, I can say that Gulvel might exhibit hepato-protective properties. Consuming Gulvel might save you from liver damage and improve liver function. Also, Gulvel might help in protecting liver damage induced by excess bile salts and antituberculosis drugs.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Potential Uses of  Gulvel:  

Gulvel  is genetically diverse with many  biologically active compounds, like alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, phenolics, aliphatic compounds, polysaccharides, and lactones,  isolated  from the roots, stem, and leaves  give it its varied potential uses:

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for the  Brain:

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for Depression:  

Depression is a disease  marked by  low mood and low levels of chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Traditionally,  gulvel  has been in use to treat depression in people.  Animal studies may have shown that the plant has antidepressant  effects. The  chemical berberine present in the plant might be responsible for this action and further research is needed for its use in people.6  

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for Learning and Memory:  

In Ayurveda,  gulvel  is referred to as ”Medhya  Rasayana” which means it might be a learning and memory enhancer. Many animal and human studies have shown benefits in improving learning and memory in studies. Children with mental disorders might have shown a response to  gulvel. This property of  gulvel  has potential for further fruitful research.7  

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for Stress:  

Traditionally, the extract from the roots of  gulvel  is used to treat stress. Many animal studies have demonstrated how the extract is effective as an anti-stress agent and more research is needed for their use in humans for the same.6  

These benefits of gulvel for brain need further studies to know the extent to which it can benefit humans. You must consult a doctor before consuming any herb for its benefits for brain related disorders.

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for  Infections:  

Gulvel might help with infections of various kinds like diarrhoea, ear infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), infection of tonsils, and tuberculosis (lung infection). In diarrhoea, it might be useful due to its antispasmodic property (relaxes gut muscles).

Apart from these actions, it might be effective in infections because of its immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties.6  However we would need further research to provide scientific evidence to prove these benefits for infections. You must consult your doctor for better advice.

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for  Fever:  

Gulvel  might be useful in treating fever due to infections owing to its immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and antioxidant properties.6,7  It is best to consult a doctor before consuming any herb for its benefits.

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for the  Gut:    

Gulvel  is useful in diarrhoea, dysentery, dyspepsia, bloating, flatulence, and in cases of abdominal pain due to its antispasmodic action (relaxes gut muscles). While in the case of ulcers it might make the gastric fluid less acidic which has been demonstrated in animal studies and more studies in humans are needed.6  However these benefits are not backed by proven scientific evidence so it is adviced to consult a doctor if you have any gut related conditions.

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for the  urinary  system:    

Traditionally,  gulvel  has been  used in urinary tract infections as it  has the ability to  dissolve stones, make the urine more alkaline,  and  may have a diuretic effect (that is it can increase urine formation). It  may have some effects on the immune  process, and it may possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. All these effects have been demonstrated in animal studies and have potential use in humans but this effect will need further studies to establish.7  

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for  Diabetes:    

In Ayurveda, it is used to treat high blood sugar (diabetes), as it has the property to lower blood sugar.  Animal studies have proven this property of the plant. Further studies need for its application for the same in people.6  However, serious conditions like diabetes must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Therefore, kindly consult a doctor and do not self-medicate.

Also Read: Diet For Gestational Diabetes

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for  Joints and  Bones:    

Osteoporosis is a condition where there is bone mass loss making the  person  prone to fractures. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints causing pain and restriction in movement. In animal studies,  gulvel  has showed slowing of bone loss. Owing to its anti-inflammatory property it may be used to treat osteoporosis and arthritis.6,7  However, more research is required to prove such effects of gulvel.

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for the Lungs:    

Bronchial asthma is an allergic condition where the person experiences episodes of difficulty in breathing, wheezing and cough. Due to its immunomodulatory property as demonstrated in animal studies,  gulvel  might be useful in allergies and in bronchial asthma. It may be used in hay fever, while more research is needed for its use in bronchial asthma.6,7  Gulvel consumption should be done under supervision of an Ayurvedic physician.

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  for the Liver:    

Gulvel  may have some beneficial effect  on  the liver and  is useful  in conditions like anaemia, jaundice, inflammation of the liver.  It  might help in reducing liver toxicities cause by drugs used against tuberculosis infections.6,7  You must consult a doctor for proper prescription and advice.

Also Read: 7 Signs of Liver Stress

Potential Uses of  Gulvel  in Cancer:    

Animal studies have shown that extracts of  gulvel  slow the growth of tumours and increase life span. It can offer some solutions to invasive surgeries along with radiation therapy in patients with cancer.7  Cancer is a serious condition and should be diagnosed and treated only by a qualified doctors. Please do not self medicate.

Although studies show the benefits of gulvel in different health conditions, this information is insufficient. Hence, there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of gulvel on human health. Furthermore, every person may respond differently to these herbs. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor before using gulvel for any medical condition.

In ancient Ayurveda, Gulvel is widely used to enhance cognitive functions like memory and learning in children. Additionally, in adults, it has been used for vertigo. When given, Gulvel exhibits a positive response in children showing mild to moderate symptoms of behavioural disorders and may help improve their IQ level.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Use Gulvel? 

The roots, stem, and leaves (aerial parts) of  gulvel  are used. Usually, the root is powdered and either a decoction is  made  or it  is  mixed in milk before consumption. The stem and leaves are made into a paste and then  eaten  orally as or in the form of juice.7  

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking gulvel or any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.  

Side Effects of Gulvel: 

Gulvel  is usually safe when used for short periods of time and any ill effects of long-term use  are  not known.  More studies  exploring its safety need to be done.6,9  Therefore, kindly consult a doctor and do not use it to self-medicate.

Also Read: Chirata – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Precautions to Take with Gulvel:  

Conditions that warrant caution when gulvel is to be used are as follows: 

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding  

There is a lack of evidence for safe use of gulvel in pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Therefore, avoid the use and always consult a gynaecologist before any such use. 

Autoimmune Disease  

Due to its immune-modulating property, it is seen to boost immunity. It may aggravate autoimmune diseases where the immunity is already hyperactive e.g., Grave’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.10,11 


Gulvel has blood sugar lowering properties. Therefore, caution is to be exercised before taking gulvel if a person is already on antidiabetic drugs.9 

Also Read: Chamomile – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

The following herb-drug interactions are possible:  


Due to its immune-modulating property, it inhibits the immunosuppression produced by immunosuppressants like cyclophosphamide. Gulvel should be avoided when an individual is on immunosuppressants, for example, in organ transplant patients, patients undergoing cancer therapy, etc.11 

Antidiabetic Drugs  

Due to its blood sugar lowering property it has shown beneficial effects when added along with the anti-diabetic medication. The overall blood sugar lowering effect is higher and caution must be exercised while taking gulvel.9 

Ayurvedic preparation can interact with your ongoing medications. Ayurvedic physician’s advice is to be followed thoroughly, as their prescription is based on keeping your health condition in mind. Please ensure to disclose all medications prescribed and currently being used to your doctor at the time of consultation.

Also Read: Black Salt – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is Gulvel Called in Hindi? 

Gulvel is referred to as gurcha in Hindi. 

What is the Benefit of Gulvel Vanaspati? 

Gulvel is mainly used for fever, hay fever, small cuts, diarrhoea, acidity, bloating, flatulence, anaemia, jaundice, and urinary tract infections. It also has anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-depressant, learning and memory-enhancing, anti-osteoporotic and anti-arthritic properties which need more research.6,7 

Is Gulvel Safe? 

Yes, it is mostly safe but there is not enough safety data available.6,9 


  1. Soham Saha, Shyamasree Ghosh; Tinospora cordifolia: One plant, many roles. Anc Sci Life. 2012 Apr-Jun; 31 (4); 151-159. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644751/  
  1. Saeed Muhammad, Naveed Muhammad; Using Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) as an eco-friendly food supplement in human and poultry nutrition. 2020Poultry Science. 2019 October; 99();801-811. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338067841_Using_Guduchi_Tinospora_cordifolia_as_an_ecofriendly_food_supplement_in_human_and_poultry_nutrition/citation/download    
  1. Dinesh Kumar V, Geethanjali B; Tinospora cordifolia: The Antimicrobial Property of the Leaves of Amruthaballi. Journal of Bacteriology & Mycology. 2017 November; 5(5); 1-10. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-heart-shaped-leaves-of-Tinospora cordifolia_fig1_323871150  
  1. Avnish K. Upadhyay, Kaushal Kumar; Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Hook. f. and Thoms. (Guduchi) – validation of the Ayurvedic pharmacology through experimental and clinical studies. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Apr-Jun; 1(2); 112-121. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924974/  
  1. Shivraj  H. Nile,  C.N.N.Khobragade; Determination of Nutritive Value and Mineral Elements of some Important Medicinal Plants from Western Part of India. Journal of Medicinal Plants.  2009 Feb; 8 (5); 79-88. Available from:  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232042175_Determination_of_nutritive_value_and_mineral_elements_of_some_important_medicinal_plants_from_western_part_of_India      
  1. Madhav Mutalik, Maitreyee Mutalik; Tinospora cordifolia and its varied activities: what is believed and what is known. ijcrr. 2011 October; 3(12); 94-109. Available from: https://ijcrr.com/uploads/2025_pdf.pdf  
  1. Avnish K. Upadhyay, Kaushal Kumar; Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Hook. f. and Thoms. (Guduchi) – validation of the Ayurvedic pharmacology through experimental and clinical studies. Int Ayurveda Res. 2010 Apr-Jun; 1(2); 112-121. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924974/  
  1. C. Barua, A. Talukdar; Evaluation of the wound healing activity of methanolic extract of Azadirachta indica (neem) and Tinospora cordifolia (guduchi) in rats. Pharmacologyonline. 2010; 1 (); 70-77. Available from: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/EVALUATION-OF-THE-WOUND-HEALING-ACTIVITY-OF-EXTRACT-Barua Talukdar/ 3a2972eaeec8e 8d1daf3dbb31fa40f24a2e875b2?p2df  
  1. Rohit Sharma, Hetal Amin; Antidiabetic claims of Tinospora cordifolia (Wild) Miers: critical appraisal and role in therapy. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. 2014 Sep; 5 (1); 68-78. Available from: https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S2221169115301738?token=9B06115C623827B87D9D7E567297936E61F18BD47650CC8B071F151CA6D8D85F22F3CFFBD4D20B472E22DCF0A49C6ADB&originRegion=eu-west-1&originCreation=20220118132356  
  1. A. Kapil, S. Sharma; Immunopotentiating compounds from Tinospora cordifolia. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 1997 August; 58 (); 89-95. Available from: https://sci-hub.hkvisa.net/10.1016/s0378-8741(97)00086-x  
  1. P.N. Manjrekar, C. I. Jolly; Comparative studies of the immunomodulatory activity of Tinospora cordifolia and Tinospora sinensis. Fitoterapia. 2000 Jun; 71 (3); 254-257. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10844163/  

Also Read: Sarpagandha – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Disclaimer:  The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

You may also like

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments