Quite popular for its numerous benefits, Gymnema Sylvestre also known as gurmar plant locally is quite popular among ayurvedic practitioners for its various uses. Let’s learn more about this magic plant.
What is gymnema sylvestre?
Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) is a herb in the Apocynaceae family with medicinal properties in Ayurvedic medicine. The plant is a woody annual vine native to India, Africa, and Australia’s tropical regions. Gymnema climbs and has elongated, oval leaves with short hairs on the top lip. Throughout the year, the plant produces small yellow flowers.
Gurmar, which means sugar killer in Hindi, is the Hindi name for G. sylvestre. Gymnemic acids, which are major bioactive ingredients that inhibit the taste of sugar by interfering with taste receptors on the tongue, are present in Gymnema sylvestre plants.
This temporary suppression of sugar taste has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, especially in Ayurvedic practice.
G. sylvestre is also known as a sugar destroyer because it is believed to prevent sugar absorption in the body. As a result, the plant has been studied extensively in both Western and Indian medicine to determine its efficacy in the treatment of weight loss and diabetes.
Gymnema is also known as Australian cowplant and periploca of the jungle.
Benefits in General:
Gymnema Sylvestre has been said to reduce the amount of sugar in the body while reducing its absorption rate, which may offer a double action to prevent weight gain and diabetes. Diabetes is a disease caused by the body’s inability to properly use (or produce) insulin. Since insulin is a hormone responsible for transferring glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into the cell to be used for energy, a lack of insulin—or inefficient insulin—results in high blood sugar.
Many people seem to take insulin or other blood sugar medications to help their bodies control glucose levels more effectively, but a natural plant supplement like gymnema sylvestre may be more effective.
Impressive Health Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre:
The gymnema sylvestre is a woody climbing tree native to Indian, African and Australian tropical forests.
It was a popular medicine for a number of conditions, including diabetes, malaria and snakebites. This plant has become a popular study topic in western medicine and is thought to inhibit sugar absorption.
There are 6 impressive health benefits of gymnema sylvestre. They are as follows :
- Reduces Sugar Cravings by Making Sweet Foods Taste Less Appealing
Gymnemic acid helps to eliminate sweetness and is one of the main active components in this plant. Gymnemic acid blocks sugar receptors on your taste buds if consumed before a sucrose food or beverage.
Research indicates that extracts from Gymnema Sylvestre can lower the sweetness and thus reduce cravings for sweet foods. In a study of fasted individuals, half of the gymnema extract was administered. Those receiving that supplement were less willing to eat sweets at a subsequent meal and less willing to eat than those who have not taken it.
- Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes affects more than 420 million people worldwide, according to the world health organization, and the number is expected to rise. Diabetes is a condition with high levels of sugar in the blood. It is due to your body’s inability to produce or effectively use insulin.
The antidiabetic characteristics of gymnema sylvestre help greatly. It has been used as a supplement in conjunction with other diabetes medications to help lower blood sugar levels. It’s also known as “sugar destruction”. Gymnema sylvestre can also block your intestines and thus absorb sugar, reducing the blood levity of your blood after-meal, similar to its impact on your taste buds.
According to studies, consuming 200–400 mg of gymnemic acid reduces glucose absorption in the intestine. Gymnema appeared to improve blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes patients by lowering blood sugar levels in one study.
- May Contribute to Favorable Insulin Levels by Increasing Insulin Production
Gymnema’s ability to lower blood sugar may be due to its role in insulin secretion and cell regeneration. Sugar is cleared from your blood at a faster rate when your insulin levels are higher.
If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, the body continues not to make sufficient insulin, or over time your cells become less susceptible. As a result, blood sugar levels remain consistently high.
Gymnema sylvestre may help your pancreas produce more insulin by encouraging the regeneration of insulin-producing islet cells. This can assist you in lowering your blood sugar levels.
- Improves Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels, Reducing Heart Disease Risk
Gymnema Sylvestre may reduce “bad” LDL and triglycerides in cholesterol.
While Gymnema has a reputation for reducing blood sugar and sugar cravings, research shows that it can influence fat and lipid absorption.
Gymnema extract helped maintain weight and suppressed the accumulation of liver fats in one study of rats on a fat diet. Animals were fed with the extract and had shown lower triglyceride levels in a normal fat diet. Another study has shown gymnema extract to have a high-fat diet anti-obesity effect on animals. Blood fat and “bad” LDL cholesterol have also been reduced.
Extracts of gymnema sylvestre were shown in animals and humans to help with weight loss. Due to water extract gymnema sylvestre, one three-week study showed reduced body weight in rats. In another study, rats fed a high-fat diet gained less weight after being given a gymnema extract.
In addition, a study of 60 moderately obese people taking an extract from gymnema has shown a 5 to 6% reduction in body weight and reduced consumption of food.
Gymnema sylvestre can cause you to eat less sweet foods and consume fewer calories by blocking sweet receptors in the buds. A consistent deficit in calories can lead to loss of weight.
- Helps Reduce Inflammation Due To Its Tannin And Saponin Content
Physicians state that inflammation is essential to your body’s healing process. Some infections are beneficial, such as when they protect your body from harmful organisms after an injury or infection. Other times, the environment or the food you eat can cause inflammation. Chronic low-grade inflammation, however, can lead to different health problems.
Excessive sugar consumption was linked to increased inflammatory markers in animals and humans in studies. It may also decrease swelling caused by excess sugar intake due to gymnema sylvestre’s ability to reduce sugar uptake in your intestines.
Dosage And Preparation:
Gymnema sylvestre dosage, like other herbal supplements, is determined by a variety of factors. These factors include age, overall health, the condition being treated, and others.
Despite numerous studies, the precise, safe, and effective dose of gymnema sylvestre has yet to be determined. On all herbal supplements, including gymnema sylvestre, always follow the directions of the prescribing healthcare provider and the package insert.
Gymnema sylvestre has traditionally been used by making tea or chewing on the plant’s leaves. It’s also available as an extract or as a leaf powder. A tea is commonly made for the purpose of controlling one’s appetite and, more specifically, for the treatment of obesity.
There are now additional tablets and capsules available (particularly for use in western medicine). This ensures more precise dose control, which is critical, especially in clinical research studies.
When taken in the recommended dosages of 200 to 400 milligrammes (mg) per day, gymnema sylvestre is thought to be potentially safe. However, high doses can be toxic.
The following are some of the most commonly used dosages:
- Tea: Boil the plant’s leaves for about 5 minutes and steep them 15 minutes before consuming the tea in the boiling water.
- Powder: Begin with 2 grammes of powder and gradually increase to 4 grammes as tolerated.
- Take 100 mg capsules three to four times per day.
- Take Gymnema sylvestre supplement 5 to 10 minutes before eating high sugar foods for sugar blocking effects.
Side Effects And Contraindications Of Gymnema Sylvestre:
Some adverse effects can be caused directly by the blood sugar reduction effects of gymnema, including:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Despite the fact that gymnema sylvestre is usually considered safe for most people, there are certain cases (referred to as contraindications) in which it should not be used, these include:
- During the course of pregnancy
- In infants and young children
- For diabetes patients (unless approved by a professional healthcare provider)
- When you’re breastfeeding
- If you’re taking other blood sugar-lowering drugs (unless under the supervision of the healthcare provider)
- Before the operation (Gymnema sylvestre can lower blood sugar levels, which could interfere with blood sugar control during surgery; discontinue the use of gymnema sylvestre at least two weeks before having a planned surgical procedure)
A Word to Conclude:
While early research has shown great promise for gymnema sylvestre’s effectiveness in reducing blood sugar and promoting weight loss, further studies are still necessary in order to demonstrate its safety and effectiveness in the treatment of diabetes.
This may involve double-blind placebo trials with many people, for a number of years (sometimes called longitudinal studies). Medical research should show that the medication is safe and consistently effective, not just for a small sample of people, within a short time period.
Failure to provide adequate evidence in medical research means that Gymnema Sylvestre is not secure or does not help encourage healthy levels of blood sugar and reduce sweet cravings. Before taking gymnema sylvestre or any other herbal medicine, a professional healthcare provider should be consulted.