Curcumin, Guggul & Guduchi – Best Alternatives to Azathioprine (AZA)


Immunosuppressant drugs are those drugs which inhibit the action of the immune system. These drugs inhibit cellular or humoral or both immune responses and have a major role in autoimmune diseases, anticancer treatment and in organ transplantation. These drugs are class drugs which suppress or reduce the strength of the body’s immune system. Some names of the immunosuppressants are Azathioprine, Methotrexate, Cyclosporine, Cyclophosphamide, Prednisolone etc. So in this article we are going to discuss one of the commonly used drugs in IBD that is Azathioprine and its alternative in Ayurveda.


Azathioprine is an Immunosuppressive drug. It comes under the class of immunosuppressant. Azathioprine is a cytotoxic drug which is mainly used in cancer chemotherapy which exhibits prominent immunosuppressant action. It mainly prevents the clonal expansion of T and B lymphocytes. Azathioprine is a purine antimetabolite which is commonly used in IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). This acts as a purine synthase inhibitor after getting converted into 6-mercaptopurine. It also suppresses inflammation and along with corticosteroids as it has steroid sparing effect means it overcomes the effect of steroids. This drug is not used along with Methotrexate. This drug now comes to play an important role in long term treatment of IBD. But there are risks on chronic use of this drug.

Azathioprine (AZA)


As said above, it is a purine antimetabolite which is converted to 6-Mercaptopurine and which may inhibit synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins and interferes with cellular metabolism. It is well absorbed orally. Its t-half life is 1-2 hours. It is metabolized in the liver. It is eliminated through urine and mechanism of action is prolonged in the patients of end stage renal disease.


  • 1.0-1.5 mg/kg/day


  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • IBD
  • IBS
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Organ transplantation


It is contraindicated in

  • Pregnancy and lactating women
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Do not use this drug with methotrexate

Adverse effects

The most common adverse effect of this drug is bone marrow suppression. Chronic use of Azathioprine is very harmful in patients. It can increase the risk of cancer in IBD patients by chronic use of azathioprine. It can cause renal damage for those who are already suffering from kidney disorders.  Increase risk of infections and also cause hepatotoxicity. It can also cause alopecia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, steatorrhea, thrombocytopenia etc. So it is harmful to use this drug for a longer period of time as it causes bad effects in our body.


This is the best to use Ayurveda medicines instead of allopath to get good results without any side effects. Now we are going to discuss best alternative Ayurvedic medicine in place of azathioprine and those are

  1. Curcumin
  2. Guggul
  3. Guduchi

1. Curcumin

It is also called Turmeric in English and Haldi in Hindi. Its botanical name is Curcuma longa. Its Raspanchak (Ayurvedic medicinal Properties) is as follows

  • Ras (Taste) – Tikta (Bitter) and Katu (Pungent)
  • Guna (Property) – Ruksha (dry) and Laghu (Light)
  • Virya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
  • Vipaka (Post digestion effect) – Katu (Pungent)
  • Dosha Shamak – It pacifies Pitta dosha
  • karma (uses) – skin disorders, cancer, (infections, blood disorders, Ulcers etc.

2. Guggul

This is known as Commiphora mukul. Commonly this is known as Indian bedellium tree. Guggul Raspanchak (Ayurvedic medicinal Properties) is as follows

  • Ras (Taste) – Tikta (Bitter) and Katu (Pungent)
  • Guna (Property) – Ruksha (dry), Laghu (Light), sukhsham (Minute)
  • Virya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
  • Vipaka (Post digestion effect) – Katu (Pungent)
  • Dosha shamak – It pacifies all three dosha i.e. vata, pitta and kapha
  • karma (uses): inflammation, high cholesterol, pain reliever, helps in wound healing, infections, IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, worm infestation ulcers etc.

3. Guduchi

This is also known as Amrita as it is used in most of the diseases. Botanically this herb is known as Tinospora cordifolia. Guduchi raspanchak (Ayurvedic medicinal Properties) is as follows

  • Ras (Taste) – katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter) and kashay (Astringent)
  • Guna (Property) – Guru (Heavy) and Snigdha (Unctuous)
  • Virya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
  • Vipaka (Post digestion effect) – Madhur (Sweet)
  • Dosha shamaka – It pacifies all three dosha i.e. vata, pitta and kapha
  • karma (uses): Low immunity, Inflammation, High grade fever, Cough, Gout, rheumatoid arthritis and all other autoimmune disorders.  

Herbal products in place of Azathioprine

Herbal Remedies for Azathioprine

Herbal Remedies for Azathioprine

Planet Ayurveda provides herbal products which are beneficial in place of Azathioprine. This is a herbal manufacturing company which manufactures various herbal products and those products are 100% pure and natural. They do not provide or cause any side effects to the body. These products are made under the expert Ayurvedic physician and products are made using the standardized extracts of potential herbs. Planet Ayurveda provides following herbal products in the name of Curcumin and Guggul

  1. Curcumin Capsules
  2. Guggul Capsules
  3. Giloy Capsules

1. Curcumin

This is a single herbal remedy. It is nature’s answer to pain, inflammation and cancer. This is made from the standardized extracts of Curcumin (Curcuma longa). This herb works as best adjuvant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It purifies blood and is antiseptic in nature. It helps to stop the spread of many cancers and controls the spread of cancer. It is rich in natural antioxidants and protects from free radicals damage. This herb also has anti-inflammatory properties and is helpful in pacifying inflammation.

2. Guggul

These capsules are made from the single herb that is Guggul. Its botanical name is Commiphora mukul. This is an effective herb in high cholesterol levels. It provides strength to the joints, nervous system and also helps in various inflammatory and wear and tear conditions and hence useful in IBD condition. Guggul is a gum resin obtained from the Guggul tree.

3. Guduchi

This is a single herbal formulation and is used in enhancing immunity. This herb is best for providing strength to the body. It is beneficial in lowering the high grade fever. It has anti-inflammatory actions too. This herb provides strength to fight against various infections. It is also helpful in Gouty arthritis. It pacifies all three dosha.

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At last we concluded that Azathioprine is not the safest drug for a longer period of time. This drug provides very harmful effects to the body. The most common side effect is bone marrow suppression that leads to decrease in the production of cells which are responsible for providing immunity and also those cells which are responsible for normal blood clotting. Also as the name suggests that it is an immunosuppressant  it suppresses the immunity of the body which further leads to various infections. So at last I can say that it is better to avoid Azathioprine and use Ayurvedic herbal products for treatment. These herbal products are free from any side effects and also do not cause any harm on longer uses. So it is better to take Ayurvedic treatment rather than Modern medicines.

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an expert Ayurveda consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.