15 Jul 2021: Is giloy harmful for the liver? An expert weighs in
The Ministry of AYUSH has refuted a study that has linked the Ayurvedic herb giloy to liver damage. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology, states that giloy or guduchi has caused liver failure in six patients in Mumbai. While the debate surrounding this topic is catching steam, Dr. Smita Naram, Co-Founder of Ayushakti, shares her views on the same.
Ministry of Ayush: Here's what the Ministry of AYUSH had to say
Elaborating on their statement, the Ministry has said that not identifying the herb correctly can lead to wrong results and that a similar-looking herb TinosporoCrispa might have a negative effect on the liver. The statement further read that the study was concluded by not taking into account the medical records of the patients and the dose consumed by the patients is unclear.
Benefits: Giloy is an immunomodulator that is used in Ayurveda products
Giloy, meanwhile, is a rather common herb used in regular Ayurveda products and has multiple benefits. The herb helps in boosting immunity and is proved to be an immunomodulator - which implies it balances the immune system naturally. This means that giloy helps enhance immunity for those on the lower immunity side, but also calms it down if you have hyper immunity.
Studies: Studies suggest that Guduchi helps protect the liver
As per the 3000+ years old research, published by the scientific community worldwide, including trials on humans, in vivo (on mice) and scholarly articles - it is proven that Guduchi protects the liver and also reverses liver damage. Further, Dr. Naram says that she has observed patients who were suffering from auto-immune diseases and those who consumed herbal formulations containing Guduchi have recovered.
Expert: The herb must be consumed only after consulting an expert
Dr. Naram further states that Guduchi must be consumed only under expert supervision and the herb should not be handpicked by the patient themselves. This is because the Giloy herbs are of various types and each one is consumed in a different manner. The formulations many contain alkaloids, active compounds and hence, it is important to consume the medicines in the right quantities.
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