Tinospora cordifolia auct. non (DC). Miers: Hook f. & Thoms.
A tall climber. Stem c. 6.5 cm in diameter, smooth, shining, lenticellate, bark light grey, papery, branches pubescent. Leaves c. 7.5-13.8 cm long, 9-17 cm broad, broadly ovate or orbicular, deeply cordate at the base, 7-nerved, subacuminate, young pubescent above, tomentose beneath; petiole 5-12.3 cm long, thickened and twisted at the base. Flowers greenish yellow in racemes 7-14 cm long, pedicels slender, usually solitary in the female, clustered in the male. Male flowers: sepals 6 in 2 series, the outer ones small, ovate-oblong, obtuse, concave, the inner large suborbicular, membranous, flat, 2.5-4 mm long, 2-3 mm broad; petals subequal, 2-3 mm long, 1.2-1.8 mm broad, clawed, membranous, smaller than the sepals; stamens 6, filaments free, 2.5-3 mm long, thickened at the apex. Female flowers: sepals and petals as in the male flowers; staminodes 6; carpels 3. Drupes 1-3, ovoid, 6-9 mm long, 4-5 mm broad, smooth, crimson, endocarp tubercled.
Type: Described from Malabar, India.
Distribution: Naturalized and cultivated throughout tropical and subtropical regions of Pakistan, India, Burma and Sri Lanka.
It contains a bitter substance, Berberine, and also yields Giloin and crude Giloinin. The watery extract “Sat Giloe” is sold in the bazar and is often used as a febrifuge under the name of “Indian quinine”. An infusion is prepared from the stem and the root which is considered to be a valuable tonic, and a cure for intermittent fever and dyspepsia.
Closely related to Tinospora cordifolia (DC.) Miers, which is perfectly glabrous, with subcordate leaves and comparatively shorter petioles (not more than 8 cm long).