Gurmar or Gymnema Sylvestre is a tropical plant that is indigenous to India and grows wild in the tropical forests of central, western and southern parts of the country. The medicinal herb also grows in the tropical areas of Africa, Australia, and China. Known for its Ayurvedic properties, gurmar has proven to be beneficial in managing various ailments like diabetes, malaria and even snake bites and digestion issues. Due to the presence of flavonoids, cinnamic acid, folic acid, and ascorbic acid, gurmar leaves are high in antioxidants.
According to WebMD, “Gymnema contains substances that decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestine. Gymnema may also increase the amount of insulin in the body and increase the growth of cells in the pancreas, which is the place in the body where insulin is made.”
How does Gymnema work?
Gymnema contains substances that decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestine. Gymnema may also increase the amount of insulin in the body and increase the growth of cells in the pancreas, which is the place in the body where insulin is made.
Dosing considerations for Gymnema.
The appropriate dose of gymnema depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for gymnema. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Are there safety concerns?
Gymnema is POSSIBLY SAFE when used appropriately for up to 20 months.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking gymnema if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: Gymnema can affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use gymnema.
Surgery: Gymnema might affect blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using gymnema at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Gurmar is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medical system of India, for treating diabetes, constipation and minor digestive complaints. It is also used to facilitate weight loss.
Studies of gurmar are primarily from India. The focus of these studies is on certain compounds found in the herb, called gymnemic acids, which have been shown to decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestines. These compounds may also increase insulin levels in the body. One study using 400 mg of a water-soluble fraction of gurmar leaves for 18 to 20 months found that patients with diabetes were able to decrease their dose of prescription diabetes medication due to reduction in blood sugar. Five of the patients were able to discontinue use of conventional diabetic medicine entirely, and maintain their healthy blood glucose levels.
It is said that having one teaspoon of powdered gurmar leaves with water half an hour after lunch and dinner may help regulate the absorption of carbohydrates in the body.