Giloy - alias, heartleaved moonseed that is a climbing shrub and a herb with medicinal properties used in Ayurveda to treat fever, infections and diabetes and other ailments - has been used by generations of Indians.
In the pandemic, when immunity boosting foods and eating healthy suddenly gained prominence, giloy became popular even among those who had never heard of it before. The New Indian Express spoke to city residents about their experiences with this plant:
Abhimanyu Singh Dogra, 32, Civil Engineer, GR Infraprojects Ltd, Gurugram
Giloy is easily available in forests in Himachal. My family and I have been using it for more than 15 years. We use it as an immunity booster and it is also good for joints. As I live away from home, my mother makes at least two litres for me every time I visit her. I consume 15-20ml on an empty stomach every morning, mostly in winter. We usually boil 1kg giloy in two litres of water till it becomes half the quantity, and then store it in a cool place.
Hasti Singh, 29, Fitness Coach and Sports Nutritionist, Rajouri Garden
Being a health and fitness enthusiast, I look for natural methods to heal any ailment, and I have used giloy for a long time. I was introduced to this miraculous herb by my father. He used to tell me about how our 'gurus' used to rely on this herb. We have even had a giloy plant at home since I was a kid.
In winter, we keep giloy handy as it helps to curb cold and cough. During the lockdown, I consumed it in the form of juice and tablets twice a day, and used to prepare giloy, ginger and honey kadha for the family. A very simple, yet effective recipe that involves boiling all three ingredients in a pan, which is then served in a cup.
Neha Jain, 31, Teacher and Freelance Writer, Malviya Nagar
Giloy has become a household name in the wake of the pandemic, and I started using it during this time. My father-inlaw told me about it. Being a diabetic, he keeps experimenting with Ayurvedic medicines and herbs, and has been consuming giloy for the past few years. Since we don't have a plant at home, we purchased it from the Patanjali store. We take it in the form of juice once a day. Sometimes my father-in-law adds ginger, fennel seeds to the juice and brings the mixture to a boil, and we drink it after that.
Sangeeta Jain, 47, Homemaker, Paschim Vihar
I used giloy for the first time seven years back, when my elder sister suggested it for curing a long-standing fever. We had brought its stems and leaves from a local nursery, and it worked wonders. Since then, any family member who gets a fever consumes it. We even used it during the pandemic. We boil giloy stem with other ingredients like black pepper or tulsi leaves to make a kadha.
All members of the family had got mild Covid, so we made sure to drink 100ml of this magic potion every alternate day. It surely is a powerful and useful remedy when taken in moderation. Every time, we run out of stock, we get it from the nearby nursery.
Acharya Vinod Kumar Ojha, 42, Astrologer and Vaastu Consultant, Gurugram
Nature has always helped us in extreme conditions and this can be seen during the pandemic. When everyone was suffering from Corona and there wasn't a single medicine to fight in this pandemic, then the world looked towards Ayurveda. Giloy is one such boon of Mother Nature, which has helped people from cough, cold, and several other ailments.
If I talk of myself, I have been consuming it to cure ailments since my childhood and I am very well versed with its useful properties. And I even got Corona, and that herb helped me a lot in recovering fast. I have a giloy plant at my home and we use its leaves and stem to make kadha.
Pradyumna Kumar Nayak (38), GE in R to R process, IBM, Kotla
I had heard about giloy earlier through Patanjali's products but had never used it. But when we got to know about it, we used it daily, and it helped my family a lot. We have been putting giloy in kadha and drinking it twice a day since April 2020, religiously.
It's a miracle immune booster herb as per Ayurveda. We get it from a plant in a house just opposite to our house. It’s a very old plant that everyone in the neighbourhood plucks leaves from. And we were so lucky that no one in the family got Coronavirus even after two waves. I guess that was because our immunity was high.