Gymnema is known as "the sugar destroyer" because of its unique ability to inhibit our ability to taste sweet foods.
This quality is used to combat sugar cravings in diabetics to control blood sugar levels.
It's been used for thousands of years in India for treating conditions involving "sweet urine." This is a common symptom of diabetes as sugar diffuses into the urinary tract. Old methods of diagnosis involved tasting the urine to identify a sweet taste.
Gymnema offers a variety of unique benefits towards conditions like diabetes, including changes to the pancreatic beta-cells, responsible for releasing insulin into the blood.
Gymnema is also a diuretic, helping to clear glucose from the blood through urine (in combination with plenty of water of course).
Finally, gymnema leaves inhibit the sweet sensation on the taste buds, making food taste bland and dull, which can be used to reduce the cravings for sweet (high sugar) foods responsible for maintaining the pathophysiology of diabetes and metabolic syndromes.
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Tooth infection
- Caution advised with hypoglycemic drugs
- Inreases the number of insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas
- Decreases the perception of sweet taste on the taste buds
- Inhibits peripheral utilization of glucose by somatotrophin and corticotrophin.
- Suppresses Sweet Taste
How Do I Use Gymnema?
Gymnema is mainly used to treat metabolic conditions like diabetes, PCOS, and metabolic syndrome. It's also used for dental carries, and poor digestion.
Herb Details: Gymnema
- (1:2 Liquid Extract)
- View Dosage Chart
- Southeast Asia
Constituents of Interest
- Gymnemic acids
- The Sugar Destroyer
- No adverse effects expected.
- Dull (Blocks sweet receptors on the tongue)
Duration of Use
- Suitable for long term use.
Gymnema is a member of the Apocynaceae (dogbane) family of plants.
In the past, gymnema was included in the milkweed (Asclepiadaceae) family — but has since been changed to a subfamily category.
The Apocynaceae family now contains 5 subfamilies (Apocynoideae, Asclepiadoideae, Periplocoideae, Rauvolfioideae, and Secamonoideae).
It contains 5100 species and 366 genera. There are roughly 50 different species of Gymnema — many of which are used interchangeably.
Many plants in the Apocynaceae family are trees preferring tropical environments — except for a handful of species that prefer to grow in deserts.
Clinical Applications Of Gymnema:
Gymnema is mainly used for metabolic conditions including hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, hypertriglyceridemia, and both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It's diuretic and increases the number of pancreatic beta cells.
One of the more unique effects of gymnema is its ability to inhibit sweet flavor. By simply chewing on the leaves, our ability to perceive sweet flavors gradually fades away — helping to prevent excessive sugar intake in habituated individuals.
High saponins may cause gastrointestinal upset, caution advised with high doses.
Caution advised if taking hypoglyemic medication due to agonistic interaction.
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(Updated November 2018)