Diabetes Herb Gymnema

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Wed, 06/23/2010
Diabetes Herb Gymnema

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 Sylvestre

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 may help lower sugar level

Conventional drug and herbal medicine may cause potential interactions that lead to adverse events. So get doctor’s consent before starting herbal treatment.

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.

Gymnema scientific evidence in diabetes control

  1. Gymnema Sylvestre: A Memoir. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition 2007 Sep;41(2):77-81. Gymnemic acids in Gymnema sylvestre could combat both diabetes and obesity.
  2. Gymnema sylvestre stimulates insulin release in vitro by increased membrane permeability. Journal of Endocrinology 163(2):207-12 · December 1999. Gymnemasylvestre are capable of direct actions on pancreatic beta-cells to increase the release of insulin. 
  3. Hypoglycemic activity of an indigenous drug Gymnema sylvestre in normal and diabetic persons. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 1983;27:257–261. 
  4. Gymnema sylvestre for Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 13(9):977-83 · December 2007. Given that G.sylvestre targets  several  of  the  etio-logical  factors  connected  with  diabetes,  including chronic inflammation, obesity, enzymatic defects, andpancreatic  beta-cell  function, and  no  single  oral  hypoglycemic drug presently exerts such a diverse range of effects,suggests  that  gymnema  may be  useful  in  the  management of  diabetes.
  5. Gymnema sylvestre: An Alternative Therapeutic Agent for Management of Diabetes. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science Vol. 2 (12), pp. 001-006, December, 2012. Medicinal value of this herb has become a matter of great significance particularly its antidiabetic action.
  6. Use of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract in the control of blood glucose in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 1990 Oct;30(3):281-94. 27 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) on insulin therapy. Insulin requirements came down together with fasting blood glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and glycosylated plasma protein levels. 

Herbal medicines are complex mixtures of bioactive compounds. Season, growing condition, processing method can vary the constitutions of the bioactive compound.

11 Medicinal Uses of Gymnema

Therapeutic benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre are:

  1. 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.
  2. Lower blood pressure - It has a slight diuretic effect, useful to treat water retention and may help lower blood pressure.
  3. Drops cholesterol level - It may reduce the number of triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) in the bloodstream, thus risk towards cardiac problems in reduced.
  4. Reduce cardiac risk - It is also used to refresh the cardiac activities and circulate blood.
  5. 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.
  6. Liver Tonic - This is also useful for the treatment of jaundice. The plant extract is useful as a liver tonic.
  7. 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.
  8. Weight loss - It has also suggested for herbal weight loss applications.
  9. Treat rheumatoid arthritis & gout – it is effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
  10. Antimicrobial - It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties in liquid applications.
  11. Treat respiratory infection - It is useful in the treatment of phlegm and other respiratory infections.

Gymnema dosage

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 availability

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.