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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 56-63

Guduchi (tinospora cordifolia [wild.] miers) and its therapeutic external applications: A comprehensive review

1 Department of Dravyaguna, ITRA, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
2 Regional Ayurveda Research Centre, Agarthala, Tripura, India

Date of Submission19-Apr-2021
Date of Decision28-Sep-2021
Date of Acceptance07-Oct-2021
Date of Web Publication29-Nov-2021

Correspondence Address:
Anu Joy
Department of Dravyaguna, ITRA, Jamnagar - 361 008, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijaim.ijaim_16_21

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Background: Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia [Wild.] Miers), family Menispermaceae, is widely distributed in India and is commonly known as Amrita. It is one of the most important medicinal plants used in Ayurveda. During COVID 19 pandemic situation, Guduchi gained a worldwide recognition for its therapeutic values in general and its immunomodulatory activities in particular through internal applications. Although highlighted for its external administration in various ayurvedic pharmacopoeias, information about its external applications is still lacking.
Aim: The aim of the study was to prepare comprehensive data on external applications of Guduchi recorded in various ayurvedic texts.
Materials and Methods: This review portrays external applications of Guduchi, from 25 classical texts of Ayurveda comprising 8 Samhitas (treatise), 11 Chikitsa Granthas (compendia of Ayurveda), and 6 Rasagranthas (compendia related to Rasashastra).
Results: More than 141 formulations, having Guduchi as an ingredient, are used externally to combat almost 65 varied disease conditions. Among these diseased conditions, maximum are indicated for the management of Kushtha (integumentary diseases) followed by Sotha (edema), Netraroga (various eye diseases), Vrana (wound), Bhagandara (fistula-in ano), Jvara (fever), and Slipadha (filariasis), etc. The Guduchi external formulations are in 14 dosage forms.
Conclusion: Present data may give insight to the researchers to probe into the external applications of the Guduchi which are not explored till date scientifically.

Keywords: Amrita, Guduchi, Rasayana, Tinospora

How to cite this article:
Joy A, Mansukhbhai BM, Sojeetra NH, Acharya R N. Guduchi (tinospora cordifolia [wild.] miers) and its therapeutic external applications: A comprehensive review. Indian J Ayurveda lntegr Med 2021;2:56-63

How to cite this URL:
Joy A, Mansukhbhai BM, Sojeetra NH, Acharya R N. Guduchi (tinospora cordifolia [wild.] miers) and its therapeutic external applications: A comprehensive review. Indian J Ayurveda lntegr Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 19];2:56-63. Available from: http://www.ijaim.com/text.asp?2021/2/2/56/331487

  Introduction Top

Over the centuries, herbs have served as a major source of medicines for treatment and to prevent many diseases. Guduchi is one of the most essential medicinal plants used in Ayurveda and is widely distributed in India. This drug is considered as the agryaushadi for Shamana (palliative procedure) (Sarangadhara 4/2-3) treatment.[1] It is well mentioned by all Samhitas and Nighantu Granthas for its effectiveness in various diseases. Tinospora cordifolia (Wild.) Miers is considered a botanical source of Guduchi. This plant is distributed throughout the tropical Indian subcontinent and China The plant is commonly known as Amrita, Gilo (Kashmiri), Chittamrutu (Malayalam), Gulvel (Marathi), Guluchi (Odia), Garo, Galac (Gujarati), Thippateega (Telugu), Amritavalli (Kannada), Seendilkodi (Tamil), Siddhilata, Gilo (Punjabi), Seendal, Giloe, Gurcha (Hindi), Gulancha (Bengali), Amarlata (Assamese), heartleaf, moonseed, and Tinospora (English).[2]

It is an extensive climber with corky, grooved bark with adventitious aerial roots. Tinospora cordifolia became a great interest in the medical field due to its various biological actions. According to ayurvedic review, Guduchi as a single drug is indicated for 21 diseases conditions such as Jwara, Thrishna, Kamala, Daha, and Prameha.[3] Guduchi contains various biologically active compounds such as glycosides, alkaloids, polysaccharides, steroids, diterpenoid lactones, and phenolics which have been isolated from different parts of the plant body.[4] Tinospora cordifolia extracts are extensively used in various herbal preparations for the treatment of different ailments for their anti-periodic, antispasmodic, anti-microbial, anti-osteoporotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-allergic, and antidiabetic properties. It also possesses immunomodulatory, anti-toxic, anti-HIV, anticancer, and antioxidant properties.[5]

Almost all classical texts of Ayurveda, i. e. samhita, nighantu, cikitsagrantha, Rasagrantha, and samgraha grantha have reported the properties and uses of Guduchi.[5]

Details of identifying characters, properties and pharmacological action and indications of various plants including Guduchi, through both external and internal administration, have been mentioned by various nighantu granthas. To obtain maximum therapeutic effect, an appropriate route of drug administration is important. Route of drug administration can be defined as the path by which the drugs are brought into contact with the body.[6] Ayurvedic medicines are intended for internal as well as external use. The various dosage forms can be administered through different modes of administration such as Abhyanga (therapeutic massage), Lepana (anointment), Avachoornana (topical dusting powders), and Parisheka (therapeutic streaming) that are considered under external administration.

Information about various dosage forms and their uses in various disease conditions, through internal administration in different Samhita, Chikitsa grantha, and Rasa grantha, has been reported.[7] Information about its uses through external applications is still lacking. Hence, this review work was undertaken to create an exclusive database on the external applications of Guduchi from classical ayurvedic texts.

  Materials and Methods Top

In this review, information from various classical texts of Ayurveda such as Charaka Samhita,[8] Sushruta Samhita,[9] Ashtanga Samgraha,[10] Ashtanga Hridaya,[11] Kashyapa Samhita,[12] Bhela samhita,[13] Sharangdhara Samhita,[1] Bhavaprakasha Samhita,[14] Yogaratnakara,[15] Bhaishajya Ratnavali,[16] Vrinda Madhva,[17] Chakradatta,[18] Gadanigraha,[19] Vangasena,[20] Sahasrayoga,[21] Vaidya Chintamani,[22] Basavarajeeyam,[23] Vaidya Rahasya,[24] Rasamanjiri,[25] Yogatarangini,[26] ArkaPrakasha,[27] Brihata Rasaraja Sundara,[28] Rasa yoga Sagara,[29] Abhinava Navajeevana,[30] and Rasayana Sara[31] has been compiled. The method of data collection is diagramatically represented in [Figure 1]. Different paryaya (synonyms) such as Amrita, Chhinna, Chhinnruha, Somavalli, Vatsadani, Chhinnodbhava, Madhuparni, Kundali, Vayastha, Tantrika, Vishalya, Jivanti, Dhara, Devanirmita, Chakralakshani, and Chakrangi were used as keywords for searching information from above texts. Formulations containing Guduchi or its parts, as an ingredient, were critically studied and recorded in a tabular form with respect to keywords Abhyanga, Lepa, Navana, and Pichu, such as Basti.
Figure 1: Diagrammatic presentation of data collection

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English equivalent and short form of dosage forms

Equivalent English terms for various diseases and dosage forms were referred from NAMASTE portal.[32] With an aim to make the presentation short, various abbreviations were created for different dosage forms such as Gutika (pills) (Gt), Churna (powder) (Cr), Taila (oil) (Tl), Ghrita (medicated ghee) (Gr), Kwatha (decoction) (Kw), Arka (Ak), Kalka (paste) (Kl), Ksheera kalpana (Ks. K), Malahara (ML) (Ointment), and Varti (Vr).

English equivalent and short form of disease conditions

Indications of Guduchi containing formulations on various diseases as external applications are as follows: Bhagandara (fistula-in-ano), Rajayakshma (Tuberculosis), Kasa (Cough), PaitikaVikara (disorders of Pitta), Vatarakta (Gout), Vatavyadhi (Neuro-muscular anomalies), Prameha (Diabetes mellitus), Mutra Roga (Urinary tract disorders), Jwara (Fever), Vata kapha Jwara (Fever due to vata and kapha), Sarva Jwara (all type of fever), Shita Jwara, Jirna Jwara (chronic fever), Sannipata Jwara (Jwara due to three doshas), Kushtha (integumentary disease), Mukha Roga (disorders of oral cavity), Mukhapaka (inflammation of entire of oral cavity due to rakta), Netra Roga (ophthalmic disease), Timira (partial or total blindness), Shirahshula (headache), Shiro Roga (disorders of head/cephalalgia), Vataja Siroroga (disorders of head/cephalalgia due to vata), DantaRoga (tooth disorders), Yoni Roga (gynecological disorders), Yonishoola (Pain in genital region), Yonikandu, Visarpa (Erysipelas), Pittaja Visarpa (Erysipelas), Kamala (Jaundice), Sarva roga (All Disease), Vishphota (vesicles), Visha Roga (disease due to Poison), Vrana (wounds), Dadru (Eczema), Daha (burning sensation), Galaganda (goiter), Vataja Galaganda (goiter due to vata), Shlipada (filariasis), Agni Dagdha vrana (Burn injuries), Arbuda (Tumour), Balasosha (tuberculosis), Bagandhara pidika, Darunaka (Dandruff), Galavidradi, Graha roga (psychosomatic disorders), Grahonmada, Khalitya (alopecia), Krimigranthi, Kshatakshina, Rasatapa (rasa dhatu tapa), Mooshikadamsa, Pittaja bhagandara (fistula in ano due to pitta), Samyak dagdha, Sarva paithya, Sirovedana (Headache), Sotha (inflammation), Suryavartha, Talupaka (inflammation of talu), Tantra, Valmika, Vata Roga (neuromuscular anomalies), Vatavyadhi (neuromuscular anomalies), Vata Kapha roga (disease due to vata and kapha), Vatagrandhi (cyst due to vata), Visha Roga (toxicity), Vruna soola (pain in wound), and Vruna sotha (inflammation of wound).


Therapies: Rasayana (Rejuvenation), Vajikarana (Aphrodosiasis), Basti karma, and Navana.

Actions: Lekhana, Vruna Ropana, Yoni sodhana, Acchadana, Kavala, Abhyanga, Aschotana, Upanaha swedam, Pinda swedam, Patradana, Parisheka, Pichu, and Niruha basti.

Special indications: Dhatu amritikarana, Kesa sthirikrita, Kesarohana, Navaneeta raksha, and Garbhini paricharya.

Inclusion criteria

These reviews cover up the available ayurvedic texts both in printed form and e format from January to December 2020. The available data are presented in tabular format in a systematic manner with regards to its formulations, indications, and dosage forms.

Exclusion criteria

The present research study excluded all Nighantus and Rasagranthas which are in manuscript form are also excluded from the present study.

Data analysis

The repetition of a single formulation noted in more than one text was considered as one.

  Results Top

After an intense observation of a total 56 books for external formulations, we found 25 books containing Guduchi as an ingredient and used for external application. It was observed that 141 formulations in 14 various dosage forms contain Guduchi as an ingredient. These formulations are indicated in 65 disease conditions [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]. Among various dosage forms, 41 formulations are mentioned as Taila followed by 36 formulations as Lepa, 13 as Kwatha, 6 as Churna, 5 as Varti, 4 as Kalka, 2 formulations as Gutika, and one formulation for Kanda, Ghrita, Dhupa, Kshira kalpana, Pinda, Malahara, and Arka [Figure 5].
Figure 2: Disease-wise indication of external application of Guduchi containing formulations

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Figure 3: Disease-wise indication of external application of Guduchi containing formulations

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Figure 4: Disease-wise indication of external application of Guduchi containing formulations

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Figure 5: Disease-wise mode of external application of Guduchi containing formulations

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These formulations are administered by various methods such as 41 as Lepana karma followed by 25 as Basti, 6 as Kabala, 5 as Parisheka, 5 as Abhyanga, 4 as Anjana, 3 as Navana, Avachoornanam, Parisechana, 2 as Acchadana, Upanaha, Pragarshana, and only one formulation as Sweda, Pichu, Dhoopan, Oushada dharanam, Pratisarana, Patraachadanam, Patradana, Prakshalana, Niruha Basti, Aschyotana, Dhavana, Gandusha, and Aschotana [Figure 6].
Figure 6: Dosage forms of Guduchi containing formulations

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Dosage forms


Maximum 41 formulations, in taila dosage form, are mainly indicated for 26 various disease conditions. Among them, 7 formulations are indicated in Kushta followed by 4 Vataroga/Vatavyadhi, 3 in Vrana, Vatarakta, 2 in Jirna jvara, Yoniroga, and one each in Bala sosha Kesarohana, Galavidradi, Kesasthirikrita, Darunaka, Sarva jvara, Seeta jvara, Yonisula, Paithikavikara, Sarvapaithya, Siroroga, Sirovedana, Vatika sirovedana, Mutraroga, Jvara, Dantaroga, kasa, Rajayakshma, Prameha, and Khalitya. Among these, 32 are used as abhyanga, 3 formulations for Basti, 2 formulations for Nasya/Navana, 1 formulation for Pichu, and 1 for parisheka [Table 1] and [Figure 7].
Table 1: Guduchi containing formulations recommended for application in Taila dosage form

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Figure 7: External applications of Guduchi containing Taila formulations

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Thirty-six formulations are recommended for application in Lepa in 22 disease conditions. Out of these, 3 formulations are indicated for Bhagandara, Vatajagranti, and Visarpa, followed by 2 formulations each for Galaganda, Vatajagalaganda, Slipada, Valmika, Kushta, Vatarakta, and Pittajavisarpa, and one formulation each indicated for Pittaja bhagandara, AgnidagdhaVrana, Vataroga, Daha, Rasatapa, Bhagandara pidika, Mushikadamsa, Visphotaka, Samyakdagdha, Visharoga, Vrunasotha, and Vrunasula. One malaharam is also mentioned [Table 2].
Table 2: Guduchi containing formulations recommended for application in lepa dosage form

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Basti (Kashaya and sneha)

There are 19 kashaya and sneha basti formulations which contain Guduchi as an ingredient are indicated in 9 diseases. Out of these, maximum of 5 formulations are mentioned for Vata roga/Vatavyadhi, followed by 3 formulations for Vatarakta, 2 for Pittaroga/Paithikaroga, and only one formulation for Vatakapharoga, Sarvaroga, Kshatakshina, Kamala, Jvara, and Kushta. Some special indications such as Rasayana, Vajeekarana are also indicated [Table 3].
Table 3: Guduchi containing formulations recommended for application in Basti dosage form

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Guduchi containing 12 formulations are recommended for application in 7 different disease conditions. Among them, 2 formulations are indicated for Yonisula, Netraroga, Mukharoga, and Yoniroga, followed by one formulation each in Mukhapaka, Talupaka, and Yonikandu. Another special indication in kwath dosage form is for dhatu amritikarana. Among these, 3 are used as Parisheka and 2 as Kabala, parisechana, followed by one as Prakshalanam, Aschyotana, Dhavana, and Gandusha [Table 4] and [Figure 8].
Table 4: Guduchi containing formulations recommended for application in kwatha dosage form

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Figure 8: External applications of Guduchi containing Kwatha formulations

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Churna, Varti, Kalka, Upanaha, and Pinda

Guduchi too recommended for external application through Churna dosage form in 5 disease conditions through 6 formulations. One formulation each mentioned for Dadru, Kushtha, Danta roga, Visha roga, and Tandra. Among 2 used as Avachoornana and Alepana, one used as Pragarshana, Nasya, Kavala, and pratisarana. A total number of 5 formulations are mentioned in 5 various disease conditions as per varti dosage form. Maximum of 4 formulations, in kalka dosage form, are mainly indicated for 3 various disease conditions. Among them, 2 formulations are indicated for slipada, followed by one formulation for Arbuda and Bhagandara. Modes of application by kalka are kavala and lepana forms. Maximum of 2 formulations are indicated for Netra roga, followed by one formulation for Vrana ropana, Yoni sodhana, and Timira. Mode of application mentioned in varti dosage is anjana. As in upanaha dosage form, a total of 2 formulations are mentioned in 2 disease conditions, one mentioned in Netra roga and another in Valmika [Table 5].
Table 5: Guduchi containing formulations recommended for application in Churna, Varti, Kalka, Upanaha, Pinda dosage forms

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Other dosage forms

There are 11 other dosage forms which are indicated for 10 different disease conditions. Among them, one each formulation indicated in Visarpa, Netraroga, Shirasoola, Grahonmada, Vatarakta, Krimigrandi, Vrana, Graharoga, Mukharoga, and Suryavarta. Some other conditions also can be seen such as 2 formulations for Aushada dharana followed by one formulation for Dhupa and Arka. Mode of applications is Acchadana, Anjana, Lepana, Dhupana, Kabala, and Parisheka [Table 6].
Table 6: Formulations mentioned in other dosage forms

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Tribal claims

  • Paste or juice of Guduchi (T. cordifolia) leaves and Sarsapa beeja churna (seed powder of Brassica campestris) is applied locally in case of Daha (Burning sensation).[33]
  • Two drops of leaf juice of allied species of Guduchi are dropped in the ear for the treatment of Karna Shula (pain in ear) by the local people of Patiyala (Punjab).[33]

  Discussion Top

Observed 141 formulations which contain Guduchi as an ingredient are indicated 65 different disease conditions through external applications. Reported pharmacological activities by in vivo experiments of Tinospora cordifolia extracts and different ayurvedic claims observed during this study. Maximum number of formulations are indicated for the treatment of Kushta, that is 11 in number. Recent studies show that Guduchi have antibacterial and antifungal activity,[37] which may be helpful in managing the skin diseases through local application. Second maximum formulations are indicated for Vatarakta which is mainly pain predominant. Guduchi is reported for its analgesic and anti inflammatory activity[35],[36],[38] which will helps us to understand the effect of external application of Guduchi on Vataraktha. Methanolic extract of Guduchi shows antineoplastic activity in HeLa cells.[39]

[Table 7] shows the traditional uses of Guduchi and its scientific validation.
Table 7: Traditional uses of Guduchi with its scientific validation by in vivo experiments

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Guduchi is used as an ingredient in formulations with 14 different dosage forms. Used in multiple dosage forms is one of the criteria for the selection of a good drug [Caraka Samhita 9/7]. 41 formulations are mentioned as Taila followed by 36 formulations as Lepa, 13 as Kwatha, 6 as Churna, 5 as Varti, 4 as Kalka, 2 formulations as Gutika, and one formulation for Kanda, Ghrita, Dhupa, Kshira kalpana, Pinda, Malahara, and Arka. In the field of conventional medicine, new dosage forms are evolving continuously which aim to increase the bioavailability of medicine and increase the maximum therapeutic effect. It is already proven that topical drugs can be absorbed percutaneously in sufficient amounts and produces systemic effects.[41] The amphiphilic molecules used for the preparation of these compounds have similarities with biological membranes and have been used for improving the efficacy and safety of different drugs. Some researches concluded that the changes in the dosage form of drug changes the therapeutic efficacy also.[42] Taila is the most recommended dosage form for external applications. It is already proven that taila has more extractive values than that of Gritha. The TLC values also recommend the same.[43] Hence, during external application, taila suites more to various diseases.

  Conclusion Top

Guduchi finds a wide range of formulations through external application in various diseases. A total of 141 formulations are indicated for 65 diseases being noted in 25 classical texts (Samhita, Chikitsagrantha, Rasagrantha) of Ayurveda. Among all dosage forms, Guduchi is advised to be administered maximum through Taila form. Guduchi through external application is recommended maximum in Kushta followed by Vatarakta, Bhagandara, and Vatavyadhi. This study will be a good scope for researchers as well as practitioners to do more in external applications with Guduchi.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
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  [Full text]  


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]


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