A new study conducted by scientists at the Indira Gandhi Medical College in Nagpur in India revealed that the herb Tinospora (Tinospora cordifolia), helped in calming the associated symptoms experienced by people with allergic rhinitis – hay fever.
In the study, 71 people with allergic rhinitis were investigated, wherein participants took 300mg of Tinospora or a placebo thrice a day for 8 weeks. On recording the associated symptoms such as sneezing, nasal discharge, itchiness and congestion they experienced towards the end of study, it was found that 83% of the tinospora group had stopped sneezing, while more than two-thirds said their noses had stopped running and cleared completely. Another 71% said their noses were no longer itchy.
In the placebo group, just 11% reported less sneezing. While sinuses had cleared in 17%, only 12% recorded itch-free sniffers. On the whole, pre- and post-research blood tests and nasal swabs confirmed that allergic response had calmed in those taking tinospora.
In fact, an earlier lab study conducted at Miami Children’s Hospital showed that tinospora contains a special polysaccharide or carbohydrate that triggers activity of macrophages, the white blood cells that play key role in immunity.
Tinospora is a climbing shrub with heart-shaped leaves, native to the Indian subcontinent. Locally known as giloya or heavenly elixir, these herbs are thought to promote longevity, intelligence, and prevent diseases.
Ayurvedic relevance of the herb: In Ayurvedic practice, Tinospora is classified as a ‘Rasayana herb’, which means, ‘circulation of the nutrient’ in Sanskrit. Tinospora, popularly known as ‘Guduchi or Amrita’ is an important Ayurvedic drug and has been mentioned in various classic ayurvedic texts in treatment of diseases such as Jaundice, fever, diabetes, dyspepsia, urinary problems, chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, and skin diseases. It is also considered useful in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The starch obtained from its stem is considered highly nutritive and digestive and is used in treatment of several diseases.