Relating Giloy to Liver Damage is completely Misleading

New Delhi, July 11, 2021: The Ministry of Ayush took strong notice of a media report based on a study published in Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology, a peer reviewed journal of the Indian National Association for the study of the liver.

Here is what it said:

This study mentions that use of herb TinosporaCordifolia (TC), commonly known as Giloy or Guduchi, resulted in liver failure in six patients in Mumbai.

The Ministry feels that the authors of the study failed in placing all needful details of the cases in a systematic format. Apart from this, relating Giloy or TC to liver damage would be misleading and disastrous to the Traditional Medicine system of India as herb Guduchi or Giloy has been used in Ayurveda since long. The efficacy of TC in managing various disorders is well established

After analysing the study, it was also noticed that the authors of the study have not analysed the contents of the herb that was consumed by the patients. It becomes the responsibility of the authors to ascertain that the herb consumed by the patients is TC and not any other herb. To build upon the soundness, the authors would have taken the opinion of a botanist or would have consulted an Ayurveda expert.

In fact, there are many studies that point out that identifying the herb not correctly could lead to wrong results. A similar looking herb TinosporoCrispa might have a negative effect on the liver. So, before labellinga herb, such as Giloy, with such toxic nature the authors should have tried to correctly identify the plants following the standard guidelines, which they did not. Other than this, the study has many flaws in it. It is unclear that what dose the patients had taken or whether they took this herb with other medicines. The study has not taken into account the past or present medical records of the patients.

Publications based on incomplete information will open the door for misinformation and defame the age-old practices of Ayurveda.

It would not be out of context to state here that Scientific Evidence on medical applications of TC or Giloy as protective to liver, nerves etc. are available. It was found out that ‘Guduchiand safety, as keywords, alone has some 169 studies available in the public domain. Similarly, a quick search on T. Cordifolia and efficacy, as keywords, will show 871 results. There are other hundreds of studies on Giloy and its safe use. Giloy is one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in Ayurveda. It has proper pharmacopoeia standards in place of established safety of hepato-protective properties. No adverse event is noted in any clinical practice by pharmacovigilance or in any clinical study.

The newspaper article based its entire story on the much limited and misleading study without taking into account the voluminous peer reviewed, robust studies that speak for the efficacy of T.Cordifolia and without consulting any reputed Ayurveda expert or the Ministry of Ayush. This also is not up to the mark from a journalistic point of view.

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