Gymnema Sylvestre is a perennial tree vine belonging to the botanical family Apocynaceae that is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. The plant is also known by the common names of Gurmar, Periploca of the Woods, Gymnema, and Australian cowplant.
The Hindi name “Gurmar” means “Sugar Destroyer“. This herb has various medicinal properties and is native to Africa, tropical Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, Australia, and China and is cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes.
The leaves and extracts of this plant are rich in Gymnemic Acids, hence the botanical name Gymnema Sylvestre.
These gymnemic acids can interact directly with the flavor receptors on the tongue to temporarily suppress the sweet taste, and Gymnema plants are recognized as important vital energy components because no other herb has such properties.
Soft fur is found on the surface of the elongated-oval-shaped leaves of these plants that grow about. The plant has a small yellow umbelliferous inflorescence that grows as a perennial herbaceous plant because the inflorescence is produced year-round.
If you are struggling with sugar imbalance, the products of the Gymnema Sylvester plant will definitely give you the best solution. These sweeteners greatly help to prevent the tongue from accessing the taste buds.
The leaves of this plant, which have been used for over 5,000 years, lower insulin levels, lower blood sugar levels, eliminate sugar cravings, and accelerate weight loss.
The extract of the leaves of the Gymnema Sylvestre plant, which is used in various ancient Indian medical practices, including Ayurveda, has antimicrobial properties and can be used to treat snake bites.
Unlike other drugs that contain only one active molecule, the Gymnema Sylvestre plant contains a wide variety of bioactive compounds that have many beneficial effects on the body.
Various proven research results show that these plants, also known as “Sirukurinjan” in Tamil, have anti-diabetic properties. These medicinal plants are widely grown in the tropical forests of Central and South India and are popular for stimulating digestion.
Table of Contents
Facts of Gymnema Sylvestre
Prevents Sweet Taste Sensations
The leaves of the Gymnema plant contain chemical compounds called gurmarin, flavonols, and saponins.
Actually, gymnemic acid is a prime plant molecule that is a type of triterpenoid saponin which is biologically active and has the effect of suppressing the sweet taste on the tongue from sucrose, aspartame, xylitol, and stevia.
The sweet-blocking effect of this plant on the tongue lasts about 15 to 50 minutes, depending on its volume and severity, and the very intense juice of Gymnema is capable of producing even a multi-hour effect.
These blocks only the sweet taste but don’t affect the sour, salty, and bitter taste of the tongue in any way. And you don’t have to worry about permanent effects as the gymnemic acids in the leaves can have temporary effects.
Effects of Sugar Absorption & Insulin Secretion
The genomic acid compounds in the Gymnema plant, along with receptors in the intestinal wall, greatly reduce the absorption of sugar molecules. Stimulates insulin release and insulin secretion by reducing blood sugar absorption.
Unique Health Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre
Diseases are on the rise due to changing environmental conditions and health conditions, and it is the suggestion of many researchers that keeping the body healthy and in control is a very challenging task in such an environment.
But experts suggest that the body can be kept healthy by consuming natural foods and remedies instead of fast foods and unhealthy foods.
In that sense, everything from the root to the leaf of the tropical herb called Gymnema Sylvestre has various medicinal properties, so Ayurveda also recommends consuming it.
Here are some of the best health benefits and medicinal properties of Gymnema medicinal herb.
1. Enhances Antioxidant Levels
Gymnema Sylvestre plants contain a maximum of antioxidants, including flavonoids, so the tannic produced by it promotes various antioxidant processes in the body.
In particular, overweight people have lower levels of antioxidants in their body, which can lead to higher levels of antioxidant pressure.
Antioxidant pressure and deficient antioxidants can lead to serious risks such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and some types of cancer.
In one study, overweight mice were given a gymnemic tonic daily, and the study concluded that the rats’ body strain (due to being overweight) was reduced and their natural antioxidant systems regulated.
2. Diminishes Sugar Craving
Gymnema Sylvestre contains a chemical component of the plant called gymnemic acid, which is one of the primary active constituents. This gymnemic acid helps greatly in suppressing sweetness and reducing sugar cravings.
By consuming G. Sylvester plant leaves or tonic before consuming a sugary drink or food, the sugar absorbed by your taste buds is greatly inhibited. This sugar receptor prevention method can be very effective in controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Research shows that the juices of Gymnema leaves temporarily reduce the ability of sweet taste and also reduce the attractiveness of sweet foods.
In a study of Gymnasium Sylvestre, fasting individuals were divided into two groups, and the first group was given G. Sylvestre juices and the other group was given supplements.
In conclusion, those who intake Gymnema juice were more likely to have restricted food intake compared to those who ingested the supplement. In addition, the study demonstrated that these do not affect other flavors.
Gymnema Sylvestre is the best choice for avoiding sweet taste and lowering sugar levels, and this is great news for those in ketosis.
3. Offers Antimicrobial Properties
Phytochemical profiles are found in the extract derived from the leaves of the Gymnema plant which have antimicrobial effects on the body. Through these effects, it is possible to actively fight off staph infections, candida, and many other bacterial infections.
In addition, the various parts of this plant contain anti-fungal properties that can easily treat a number of fungus related diseases and infections.
4. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Worldwide, more than 422 million people suffer from high blood sugar (diabetes), and 1.6 million deaths occurred by diabetes, according to World Health Organization statistics. In addition, the WHO warns that this number will continue to rise, with various consequences.
A metabolic condition characterized by high blood sugar levels is called diabetes. This condition is caused by a lack of effective insulin production and the inability to use it properly.
The Gymnema Sylvestre plant, also known as Gurmar, has anti-diabetic properties, and which can lower blood sugar levels along with other anti-diabetic drugs. These plants control the sweet receptors in the gut as well as the effects on the taste buds. This will reduce sugar absorption and help control post-meal blood sugar levels.
Although many studies on Gymnema support its strong potential, it is not recommended as a stand-alone antidiabetic drug. On the contrary, it is recommended to take it in combination with various drugs, which are said to have amazing effects on the process.
Daily consumption of 200 mg to 400 mg of gymnemic acid reduces the absorption of sugar or glucose from the intestine. Studies show that they help prevent cancer by stopping the growth of free radicals in our bodies.
In general, most effects are caused by an increase in blood sugar levels after a meal. But consuming the extract of the Gymnema Sylvestre plant lowers post-meal sugar levels and over time it lowers the average blood sugar level.
This plant plays an important role in the healing of ulcers caused by diabetes.
5. Treats Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a serious illness that includes abnormal triglyceride levels, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fat around the waist.
It causes metabolic disorders and is a risk factor for many diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. The Gymnema Sylvestre plant helps to control this kind of disease which can have adverse effects.
Researchers have found that people with metabolic syndrome can significantly reduce their maximum body weight and BMI by consuming the dried leaf, juice, or tonic of Sirukurinjan for about 12 consecutive weeks.
6. Helps in Insulin Production
The Gymnema Sylvestre herb plays an important role in cell regenerative functions, plus it greatly stimulates insulin secretion and its function. Excess insulin secretion carries out the process of rapid excretion of high levels of sugar in the blood.
The patients with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes refuse to produce the insulin needed for daily movement, and when this condition persists, it’ll restrict the sensitivity of the cells. In this condition, the level of sugar in the blood gradually rises and can eventually lead to death.
Gymnema Sylvestre promotes the regeneration of insulin-producing island cells and thereby stimulates insulin production in the pancreas. The insulin production thus stimulated helps to effectively lower blood sugar levels.
Many traditional medicines prescribe Gymnema to increase sensitivity and stimulate insulin secretion. Don’t underestimate herbal medicines, Metformin was the first anti-diabetic drug to be developed from the herbal plant Galega officinalis.
7. Aids Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a spontaneous process that takes place to protect the body from the effects of infection or injury. It occurs in the body for the purpose of promoting the healing process and for protection, but chronic inflammation can lead to various health problems.
Studies in animals and humans have shown that high sugar intake is one of the main reasons for the increase in inflammatory markers in the body. So if you want to control chronic inflammation and protect the body from it you must reduce the absorption of sugar in the gut.
Gymnema Sylvestre plants greatly help in this process, which limits sugar levels and reduces sugar absorption. In addition, researchers report that G. Sylvestre has its own anti-inflammatory properties.
In particular, Gymnema plant contains beneficial plant compounds called saponins and tannins which greatly reduce the severity of inflammation. The leaves of this plant have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties and therefore act as immune stimulants.
Insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and antioxidants contribute to inflammation. So these plants give people high blood sugar the ability to fight inflammation.
8. Improves Cholesterol & Triglyceride
High levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol are both major risk factors for heart disease. Gymnema Sylvestre plants are famous for reducing sugar appetite.
Similarly, they are effective in reducing the amount of bad fats in the body and improving the quality of good fats. Excess fat and triglycerides can also affect lipid levels and fat absorption.
Mice with high LDL cholesterol triglycerides were tested and given daily Gymnema juice. At the end of the study, it was demonstrated that the accumulation of fats in the liver of rats was inhibited and their weight was significantly reduced.
Furthermore, the triglyceride levels of the rats were found to be gradually reduced. Another study demonstrates that the juice of the herb plant has an anti-obesity effect in overweight mice.
A study of Gymnema Sylvestre was conducted in which moderate-obese individuals were divided into two groups, one group was given Gymnema extract and the other group was given a placebo.
In the end, participants who ingested Gymnema juice were lowered 20.2% of triglycerides, 19% “bad” LDL cholesterol, and increased 19% in HDL cholesterol. Gymnema Sylvestre lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.
9. Promotes Weight Loss
Gymnema Sylvestre plant extracts accelerate the weight loss process not only in humans but also in animals.
Overweight mice were given Gymnema juice for approximately 3 consecutive weeks, in the end, the weight of mice was proven to be decreased. In a study with 60 moderate-obese individuals, they were given Gymnema juice daily in the morning.
The study concluded that their weight was reduced by 5% to 6% in a single week and that LDL fats were eliminated from their body. In addition, their food intake was found to be significantly lower.
In addition, its process of inhibiting the sweet receptors leads to the habit of consuming less sugary foods, which leads to lower calorie intake. These plants help to reduce excess weight without stimulating the central nervous system and help improve health markers associated with being overweight.
Unlike over-the-counter weight loss medications, these do not alter cortisol levels, increase stress, or disrupt sleep. It is also recommended to take it with a ketogenic diet for the weight loss process.
Gymnema Sylvestre greatly assists in overcoming the adverse effects of consuming excessive carbs diets and provides an alternative to low carb intake.
Research done with Gymnema
- In 2004
- A study on moderate-obese people has claimed that the extract prepared from the Gymnema reduces the bad cholesterol level (LDL) by 20% and raises the good cholesterol level (HDL) by 22%.
- In 2010
- Participants with type-2 diabetes patients were given 500 mg of Gymnema per day for three months. The Study found that, it decreases the symptoms of diabetes, including fatigue and thirst; lowers the blood glucose levels; reduces glycated hemoglobin (hemoglobin that bound to glucose) and It increases the lipid or fat levels.
- In 2017
- A study says that intaking 200 to 400mg of gymnemic acid will decrease the absorption of glucose in the intestines.
- In 2017
- A study found that people who were given a tablet with gymnemic acids will eat 44% fewer sweets than people who took a placebo.
Scientifically unproven benefits
- Snake bites
- High cholesterol
Dosage of Gymnema Sylvestre
- Mix about 5 g of Gymnema Powder in about 100 ml of water and boil it for a few minutes. Once the water is heated, the contents should be filtered and taken separately. Drink this water before breakfast and after dinner.
- Consume 2 to 4 grams of the dried leaf powder of Gymnema Sylvestre daily, and continue this process for about 5 to 6 consecutive months to treat Diabetes Mellitus.
- Ingesting this powder regularly in the same ratio may help to regenerate Beta cells by eliminating excess sugar through the urine.
- Mix 5 to 7 grams of Gymnema Sylvestre leaf powder with pure cow milk, then consume the content. This effectively treats Sexual dysfunction, Pyuria, and Diabetes Mellitus.
- Boil the fresh leaf of Gymnema Sylvestre and drain the water from this content. Consume this distilled water twice a day for 3 to 4 weeks, thereby you can get better relief from Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypercholesterolemia, etc,.
- Make the fine paste by grinding the leaf of Gymnema, then apply this on wounds and insect bites (including snake bite). This provides a cooling effect on wounds and discharges the toxin in the blood.
- The seed separated from the fruits of Sirukurinjan should be dried well and ground them as a fine powder. Utilize this powder as the remedy for Asthma, Rhinitis, and Cough.
- Ingesting the leaf powder of this medicinal herb can cure gastrointestinal disorders, stomach ulcers, gas trouble, constipation, and so on.
Possible Side Effects of Gymnema Sylvestre
Some side effects may happen due to the Gymnema blood sugar reducing properties such as:
Usually, Gymnema Sylvestre is safe for use, but sometimes there are situations in which this supplement should not be taken.
- During Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is no sufficient information about the safety of consuming Gymnema in the Pregnancy or breastfeeding period. So, avoid using it during that time.
- Diabetes: Gymnema Sylvestre can reduce the blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. So, be careful while using Sylvestre and monitor the blood sugar level.
- Before Surgery: Gymnema will affect the blood glucose levels, and that may interfere with the blood sugar control during the surgical procedures. So better stop using Gymnema for two weeks before having surgery.
- For children and infants.
- While intaking other blood glucose-lowering medications.
Gymnema Sylvestre should not be consumed along with insulin and anti-diabetes drugs.
Insulin may increase the power of blood sugar, and reduce the effect of Gymnema Sylvestre. So better consult with the medicinal advisor.
Taking the Gymnema herbal supplement with anti-diabetes medications might result in low blood sugar levels.
It is found in medications such as Amaryl, insulin, Diabinese, Glucotrol, Orinase, DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, and Micronase (glyburide).