October 15, 2016

What is Gymnema?

Gymnema sylvestre is an Ayurvedic herb commonly known as Gurmarbooti, Gurmar and “destroyer of sugar”. Gymnema is a woody climbing plant with leaves that possess herbal properties that can be useful to help in weight loss.

What are the benefits of Gymnema?

Gymnema was traditionally used for:

  • diabetes
  • stomach ailments
  • constipation
  • water retention
  • liver disease

Gymnema can abolish the taste of sweetness. When the leaves of the Gymnema plant are chewed, they interfere with the taste of sweetness. This property of Gymnema sylvestre has given the plant the name “destroyer of sugar”. This property can help reduce cravings for sugary foods and make it easier to give up sweet snacks and deserts.

Gymnema is thought to help promote healthy blood sugar levels. The leaves of Gymnema have a blood sugar lowering effect (hypoglycemic effect). The hypoglycemic effect is gradual in nature and occurs by raising insulin levels. It is thought that Gymnema raises insulin level by regenerating pancreatic cells that produce and release insulin.

Although Gymnema has a hypoglycemic effect, it cannot be used in place of insulin or other diabetic medication to control blood sugar in poeple with diabetes type 1 or type 2.

Photo credit: Lalithamba

The information provided has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is intended solely for general information and is NOT to replace advice from your physician or other medical professionals and should NOT be relied upon for any diagnosis, treatment or care. Always check with your doctor before starting any new drug or alternative/natural/herbal treatments and supplements.