Gemnema Melicida, Gimnema, Gur-Mar, Gurmar, Gurmarbooti, Gymnema montanum, Gymnema sylvestre, Gymnéma, Gymnéma Sylvestre, Madhunashini, Merasingi, Meshashringi, Miracle Plant, Periploca sylvestris, Shardunika, Vishani.
Gymnema is a woody climbing shrub native to India and Africa. The leaves are used to make medicine. Gymnema has a long history of use in India's Ayurvedic medicine. The Hindi name, gurmar, means "destroyer of sugar."
Today, gymnema is used for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, weight loss, and cough. It is also used for malaria and as a snake bite antidote, digestive stimulant, laxative, appetite suppressant, and diuretic.
How does it 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.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Diabetes. Early research suggests that taking a specific gymnema extract (GS4) by mouth, in combination with insulin or diabetes medications, can enhance blood sugar reduction in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- Weight loss. Early research suggests that taking a specific combination of gymnema extract, hydroxycitric acid, and niacin-bound chromium by mouth for 8 weeks might reduce body weight in people who are overweight or obese.
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Stimulating digestion.
- Snake bites.
- Softening the stool (laxative).
- Increasing urine excretion (diuretic).
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Diabetes: Gymnema can affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) 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.
InsulinInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Gymnema might decrease blood sugar. Insulin is also used to decrease blood sugar. Taking gymnema along with insulin might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your insulin might need to be changed.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Gymnema supplements seem to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking gymnema along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
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.
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Ananthan, R., Latha, M., Pari, L., Ramkumar, K. M., Baskar, C. G., and Bai, V. N. Effect of Gymnema montanum on blood glucose, plasma insulin, and carbohydrate metabolic enzymes in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. J Med Food 2003;6(1):43-49. View abstract.
Baskaran, K, Ahamath, BK, Shanmugasundaram, KR, and et all. Antidiabetic effect of a leaf extract from Gymnema sylvestre in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients. J Ethnopharm 1990;30:295-305.
Bishayee, A and Chatterjee, M. Hypolipidaemic and antiatherosclerotic effects of oral gymnema sylvestre R. Br. leaf extract in albino rats fed a high fat diet. Phytother Res 1994;8:118-120.
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Chattopadhyay RR. Possible mechanism of antihyperglycemic effect of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract, Part I. Gen Pharm 1998;31(3):495-496.
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Gupta SS and Variyar MC. Experimental studies on pituitary diabetes IV. Effect of Gymnema sylvestre and Coccinia indica against the hyperglycemia response of somatotrophin and corticotrophin hormones. Indian J Med Res 1964;52:200-207.
Imoto, T, Miyasaka, A, Ishima, R, and et all. A novel peptide isolated from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre - I. Characterization and its suppressive effect on the neural responses to sweet taste stimuli in the rat. Comp Biochem Physiol A 1991;100(2):309-314.
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Shanmugasundaram ERB, Gopinath KL, Shanmugasundaram KR, and et al. Possible regeneration of the islets of Langerhans in streptozotocin-diabetic rats given Gymnema sylvestre leaf extracts. J Ethnopharm 1990;30:265-279.
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Terasawa H, Miyoshi M, and Imoto T. Effects of long-term administration of Gymnema sylvestre watery-extract on variations of body weight, plasma glucose, serum triglyceride, total cholesterol and insulin in Wistar fatty rats. Yonago Acta Med 1994;37:117-127.
Tominaga M, Kimura M, Sugiyama K, and et al. Effects of seishin-renshi-in and Gymnema sylvestre on insulin resistance in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Diabet Res Clin Pract 1995;29:11-17.
Wang LF, Luo H, Miyoshi M, and et al. Inhibitory effect of gymnemic acid on intestinal absorption of oleic acid in rats. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 1998;76:1017-1023.
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Ye, W., Liu, X., Zhang, Q., Che, C. T., and Zhao, S. Antisweet saponins from Gymnema sylvestre. J Nat.Prod. 2001;64(2):232-235. View abstract.
Yoshikawa, M., Murakami, T., Kadoya, M., Li, Y., Murakami, N., Yamahara, J., and Matsuda, H. Medicinal foodstuffs. IX. The inhibitors of glucose absorption from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre R. BR. (Asclepiadaceae): structures of gymnemosides a and b. Chem.Pharm Bull.(Tokyo) 1997;45(10):1671-1676. View abstract.
Ananthan R, Baskar C, NarmathaBai V, et al. Antidiabetic effect of Gymnema montanum leaves: effect on lipid peroxidation induced oxidative stress in experimental diabetes. Pharmacol Res 2003;48:551-6. View abstract.
Baskaran K, Kizar Ahamath B, Radha Shanmugasundaram K, Shanmugasundaram ER. Antidiabetic effect of leaf extract from Gymnema sylvestre in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients. J Ethnopharmacol 1990;30:295-300. View abstract.
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Katsukawa H, Imoto T, Ninomiya Y. Induction of salivary gurmarin-binding proteins in rats fed gymnema-containing diets. Chem Senses 1999;24:387-92. View abstract.
Luo H, Kashiwagi A, Shibahara T, Yamada K. Decreased bodyweight without rebound and regulated lipoprotein metabolism by gymnemate in genetic multifactor syndrome animal. Mol Cell Biochem 2007;299:93-8. View abstract.
Persaud SJ, Al-Majed H, Raman A, Jones PM. Gymnema sylvestre stimulates insulin release in vitro by increased membrane permeability. J Endocrinol 1999;163:207-12. View abstract.
Preuss HG, Bagchi D, Bagchi M, et al. Effects of a natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss. Diabetes Obes Metab 2004;6:171-180. View abstract.
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Shanmugasundaram ER, Rajeswari G, Baskaran K, et al. Use of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract in the control of blood glucose in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Ethnopharmacol 1990;30:281-94. View abstract.
Sinsheimer JE, Subba-Rao G, McIlhenny HM. Constitents from G sylvestre leaves: isolation and preliminary characterization of the gymnemic acids. J Pharmacol Sci 1970;59:622-8.
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