Gymnema Sylvestre traditionally nicknamed as a destroyer of sugar; it supports the pancreas for insulin production. Thus, it is beneficial for both diabetes (type 1 & 2).
Gymnema (Gymnema Sylvestre) is native to the tropical forests of central and southern India. Nearly for two millennia, Indians using it as a natural diabetes treatment, they nicknamed it as a destroyer of sugar. Additionally, it reduces the taste of sugar. Thus you can use it for fighting sugar cravings.
Gymnema commonly known as Meshashringi or Gurmar, means “sugar destroyer,” because it masks the body’s sense of taste to sugar.
It supports the pancreas in insulin production in type 2 diabetes. It improves the ability of insulin in lowering glucose level in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it decreases cravings for sweet. It is a substitute for oral blood-sugar-lowering drugs in type 2 diabetes.
Other common names for Gymnema are Gokhru (Unani), Gurmar (Hindi), Meshashringi (Sanskrit), Sirukurinjan (Tamil), Vishani (Sanskrit).
Gymnema lower sugar level
The hypoglycemic action of Gymnema leaves slow in nature; instead, the prescribed hypoglycemic drugs have the rapid effect. It raises insulin production by regeneration of the pancreas cells. It improves glucose uptake by the cells by increasing the activity of the glucose utilizing enzymes and stops adrenaline from stimulating the liver to produce extra glucose, thereby controlling blood-sugar levels.
Gymnema leaves can be additionally useful in lowering serum cholesterol and triglycerides. It also reduces the taste of sugar and craving for sweets. The leaf extracts contain gymnemic acid, which inhibits hyperglycemia and acts as a cardiovascular stimulant.
11 Medicinal Uses of Gymnema
Therapeutic benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre are:
- Destroys diabetes – It has been in use for thousands of years as an herbal treatment for diabetes. It can block the absorption of glucose from the intestines and helps to reduce cravings for sugar. Chewing the leaves or taking capsule can alter the taste of sugar and reduce the sweetness.
- Lower blood pressure – It has a slight diuretic effect, useful to treat water retention and may help lower blood pressure.
- Drops cholesterol level – It may reduce the number of triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) in the bloodstream, thus risk towards cardiac problems in reduced.
- Reduce cardiac risk – It is also used to refresh the cardiac activities and circulate blood.
- Improves digestion – It is useful to treat stomach ailments. The extract is also used to kill the worms. It is useful as an appetizer. It gives comfort in colic pain and cures dropsy.
- Liver Tonic – This is also useful for the treatment of jaundice. The plant extract is useful as a liver tonic.
- Increased energy – It reduces fat storage from carbohydrates and increases the amount burned for energy. It leads to a reduction in fat stores and increases in energy available.
- Weight loss – It has also suggested for herbal weight loss applications.
- Treat rheumatoid arthritis & gout – it is effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
- Antimicrobial – It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties in liquid applications.
- Treat respiratory infection – It is useful in the treatment of phlegm and other respiratory infections.
General suggested dosage is 400 to 600 mg daily of an extract standardized to contain 24% gymnemic acid. Dose: 500mg/ml or 30 drops (tincture). Otherwise, you can take as an infusion of dried leaf of 6 to 10 grams per day.
Gymnema is commercially available as dried leaves, leaf tea bags, dip tea bags, powder, extracts, tablets, and capsules.
How do you take Gymnema?
Gymnema Sylvestre is very much better in taste difficult to consume so you can boil leaves along with green tea and filter it. If needed, sweetened it with stevia and flavored it with any herbals such as cardamom. Have a very nice cup of medicinal tea that lower blood-glucose.
Bioactive constituents of Gymnema
Bioactive constituents of Gymnema Sylvestre are oleanane-type of triterpenoid saponins called gymnemic acids. Gymnemic acid contains several acylated tigloyl, methyl butyryl derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid (DAGA) which is 3-O-glucuronide of gymnemagenin (3, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28-hexahydroxy-olean-12-ene) 2. The individual gymnemic acids (saponins) include gymnemic acids, I-VII, gymnemosides A-F, and gymnemasaponins. Gymnemic acids have anti-diabetic, anti-sweetener, and anti-inflammatory activities.
Possible side effects of Gymnema
When taking an appropriate dosage, Gymnema is safe, although extensive studies have not performed. One obvious risk is that if Gymnema is successful, it may lower blood sugar levels too far, causing a dangerous hypoglycemic reaction. For this reason, medical supervision (with frequent blood glucose monitoring) is essential.
Gymnema scientific evidence in diabetes control
A study titled “Gymnema Sylvestre for diabetes mellitus” conducted by J Altern Complement Med. 2007;13(9):977-983. This study result shows that Gymnema targets several of the etiological factors connected with diabetes. It includes chronic inflammation, obesity, enzymatic defects, and pancreatic β-cell function. There is no single oral hypoglycemic drug presently exerts such a diverse range of effects. Gymnema may be useful in the management of diabetes and the prevention of associated pathological changes, says the author.
A study titled “Gymnema Sylvestre: A Memoir” conducted by Kanetkar P, Singhal R, Kamat M. published in J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2007 Sep;41(2):77-81. This study result show, the active compound of the plant is a group of acids termed as gymnemic acids. It has observed that there could be a possible link between obesity, Gymnemic acids, and diabetes. This review will try to put forth an overall idea of the plant as well as present a molecular perspective linking the medicine to the most common metabolic disorders.