San: Amrita, Guduchi;
Mal: Amritu, Chittamritu;
Tel: Tivantika, Tippatige; Pun: Batindu Ori: Gulochi
Importance: Tinospora is a common climbing shrub which is used in medicine, usually in the fresh state, though it is commercially available in the dried state. It is probably the most useful preparation acting as a tonic and aphrodisiac. As a tonic it is best given in infusion with or without milk. It is a popular remedy for snake-bite and leprosy. It is generally prescribed in general debility, diabetes, fever, jaundice, skin diseases, rheumatism, urinary diseases, dyspepsia, gout, gonorrhoea and leucorrhoea. It is a constituent of several preparations like guduchayado churna, gududyadi kwath, guduchilouha, amritarista, sanjivanivati, guduchi taila, amiritastak kwath, etc. The juice mixed with the pulp of long pepper and honey is a house hold remedy for gonorrhoea. Several oils for external applications are prepared with amrita and applied to skin diseases, rheumatic affections and other nervous complaints. A small quantity of bruised stem soaked for three hours in half a litre of water and strained combined with ammonium acetate is administered in intermittent and milder forms of fevers. It is rendered more agreeable with cinnamon, cloves and other aromatics. (Viswanathan, 1997).
Distribution: The plant is widely seen in tropical countries like India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and in Andaman Islands. It is mostly found trailing on forest trees, fences and hedges along the boundaries.
Botany: Tinospora cordifolia (Willd) Miers ex Hk. f & Thoms. syn. Menispermum cordifolium Willd, Cocculus cordifolius (Willd) DC. belongs to the family Menispermaceae. It is a climbing shrub with rough corky bark. Leaves are glabrous, cordate 5-10cm broad, acute or accuminate. The plant is dioecious. Male flowers are in fascicles; sepals oval; petals half the length of sepals. Female flowers are usually solitary, having ovary on the fleshy receptacle. Fruits are red when ripe.
Agrotechnology: Giloe requires a warm humid tropical climate. It thrives well in deep fertile soils which are rich in organic matter. It is propagated vegetatively by stem cuttings. About 10-15cm long stem cuttings having at least 2 nodes are planted in the field or polybags. Treatment of cut ends with hormones gives better results. The usual planting time is with the onset of monsoon in May-June. Usually it is planted along boundaries or nearby tall trees and allowed to trail on the trees or hedges and hence regular spacing is not followed. While planting, adequate amounts of organic manure are applied. Once the plant is established no much management is needed. The stem is the most economic part. Harvesting can be commenced after one year and usually partial harvesting is followed depending on the necessity. The stem and root should be collected in hot season when the concentration of the bitter principle is the highest. A full grown well ramified plant may give 2-3kg vines, which are cut into smaller pieces and traded either fresh or after drying.
Properties and activity: The plant contains cordifol, tinosporidine, tinosporide, perberilin, heptacosanol, – sitosterol, cordifolone, tinosporon, tinosporic acid, tinosporol, cordifolide, tinosporine, magnoflorine and tembetarine (Husain et al,1992).
The plant is antigonorrhoric, stomachic, antispasmodic, antiinflammatory, stimulant, diuretic, emetic, antidiabetic, aphrodisiac, antiperiodic, antileprotic antirheumantic and tonic. The root is an emetic in large doses. The tincture and extract are alterative and tonic and in a less degree antiperiodic and diuretic. (Dey,1980).