How This Helps

Gymnema Sylvestre is considered among the plants with powerful anti-diabetic properties. This plant can also be used for controlling obesity and weight problems in the form of Gymnema tea. It's been a traditional remedy for a variety of ailments, including diabetes, malaria, and even snakebites. This herb is believed to inhibit glucose absorption and consequently, has become a favorite research subject in Western medicine. Its leaves are used from the ancient Indian medicinal practice Ayurveda for centuries.

The active compound of this plant is a group of acids termed as gymnemic acids. It's been found that there may be a possible link between obesity, Gymnemic acids, and diabetes. Find out more about the plant in addition to the science linking the frequent medication to many common metabolic disorders. Gymnema is fascinating since it functions as a multifaceted path towards maintaining healthy blood glucose. Additionally, it helps support healthy pancreas functions. By working directly on the amount of the blood (rakta), it will help balance the glucose levels. It blocks the capacity to taste sweet in the mouth and assimilate candy in the tiny intensive in doing this. It functions on the fat cells in the body to help regulate how fatty and sweet foods are metabolized.

A key benefit of Gymnema is its ability to lower the experience of cravings for sweet foods and modulate an excessive appetite generally. It may play a game-changing part in a weight balancing routine and may be used with Shilajit for boosting energy levels.

Gymnema Sylvestre in Ayurvedic medicine

Gymnema Sylvestre is a very potent Ayurvedic medicine that has shown its benefits in treating a variety of diseases. Ayurveda describes this plant as a sugar destroyer. So, people suffering from hyperglycemia, obesity, or diabetes can benefit from consuming this herb. Gymnema and Ayurvedic herbs may be used traditionally for treating diabetes. It possesses numerous other benefits in treating problems related to digestion, urinary tract problems, obesity, and hypoglycemia. 

The components of Gymnema Sylvestre include saponins, anthraquinones, alkaloids, steroids, and cardiac glycosides. The triterpene saponins called gymnemic acids are responsible for producing anti-sweet property. The saponins found in the leaf and root extract help dissolve oily substances like fat that can be beneficial in treating various diseases. Gymnema extracts are also used in the preparation of pharmaceutics, cosmetics, and food additives.

See: Herbs That Lower Blood Sugar

Gymnema Sylvestre health benefits

Benefits of Gymnema

Gymnema Sylvestre also is known as Gurmar, is believed to have a variety of benefits. The extracts of this plant aid in weight loss and possess antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, lipid-lowering, and antiallergenic properties. Few common health benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre are mentioned below:    

1. Gymnema Sylvestre in diabetes type 2

Gymnema Sylvestre contains gymnemic acids, which not only suppress the taste of sugar in the body temporarily but also used to treat diabetes and related disorders.

1.    Insulin secretagogue effects of Gymnema - Gymnema extracts has shown to promote insulin secretion from pancreatic cells by activating insulin pathways. It promotes insulin release through modulating the protein kinases. Also, it helps maintain a steady level of insulin stores by synthesizing the preproinsulin a precursor in insulin synthesis from pancreatic Beta cells.1.

2.    Promotes regeneration of Beta cells- Oxidative stress and other stressors are known to damage the beta cells of the pancreas. This can cause decreased insulin secretion or insulin resistance leading to hyperglycemia and diabetes. Gymnema extracts have shown a regenerative capacity for pancreatic beta cells by exerting antioxidant effects.2.

3.    Gymnema increases glucose utilization - G. Sylvestre therapy promoted glucose utilization by increasing the activities of the enzymes through insulin-dependent pathways. It also improves glucose homeostasis by controlling the gluconeogenic enzymes.3.

4.    Inhibits the glucose absorption from intestine - Gymnema Sylvestre leaves are known to suppress the elevated blood glucose levels by inhibiting the glucose uptake from the intestine.4.


2. Gymnema in weight loss

Gymnema decreases cravings for sweets and reduces food intake. Consuming less food can lead to a decrease in calorie intake and thus helps in weight loss. Gymnema extracts also help diminish the absorption of glucose and fat from the gut.3.

 

3. Managing cholesterol levels - Higher levels of cholesterol in blood enhance the risk of heart and various other circulatory diseases. Gymnema Sylvestre, with its antioxidant properties, tends to avoid the absorption of this harmful cholesterol and triglycerides in the intestine. The saponin contents of gymnemic acids may dissolve the greasy cholesterol and promotes its excretion from the body.4.

Gymnema helps in reducing the excessive cholesterol levels from the body in many ways like by 

1.    Reducing the elevated serum triglycerides

2.    Decreasing the absorption of fats from the gut.

3.    By Increasing the excretion of natural sterols and acidic steroids.4.

 

4. High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure may result due to various factors like obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels, even oxidative stress can cause an increase in the systolic blood pressure. All these factors tend to activate the angiotensin II enzyme, which is responsible for increasing the blood pressure. The extracts of Gymnema Sylvestre can suppress the levels of leptin, lipids, insulin, reduce the levels of oxidative stress damage, and blocks the activities of the angiotensin system II. This action aids in the reduction of high blood pressure.5.

 

5. Managing PCOS symptoms

PCOS is a metabolic syndrome that results due to obesity, defects in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, impaired insulin secretion, and dysregulated ovarian function. It has been validated through several studies that insulin resistance not only causes diabetes but also promotes PCOS by increasing the production of androgen in theca cells. Studies have also enumerated the beneficial role of Gymnema Sylvestre in treating PCOS by enhancing insulin sensitivity, promoting insulin secretion and thus decreasing the production of androgen.6,7

 

6. Anti-cancer activity

Studies have shown that ethanolic extract of Gymnema Sylvestre exhibited antiproliferative effects by effectively scavenging the nitrite radicals that damage the cells or lead to abnormal growth of cells. Gymnema, apart from exerting antiproliferative effects, also showed potent anti-inflammatory activity and acted as natural antioxidants do. It has been found beneficial in preventing the oxidative stress-related degenerative diseases.8

 

7. Immunomodulatory effect

Gymnema Sylvestre modulates the immune system through various immunostimulatory activities which include

•    Increasing the phagocytic function of human neutrophils. 

•    Enhancing the levels of myeloid and lymphoid components of the immune system. 

•    By increasing the Nitric oxide (NO) and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) stimulation, which in turn promotes macrophage activity.9.

 

8. Anti-ulcer effect

Various components of Gymnema Sylvestre, like saponins, resins, tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, and sterols, were found to produce anti-ulcer effects. The extracts of Gymnema may improve the impaired gastric emptying and intestinal transit while also reducing the free acid content, gastric volume, and total acidity. It also neutralizes the acid content of the stomach by increasing the pH of gastric juice.9. 

Ayurveda describes the leaf extracts of G. Sylvestre to be bitter, and acrid which serves it function as a digestive aid, liver tonic, thermogenic compound, and as an anodyne. The active components of Gymnema are known for its various pharmacological activities such as anti-oxidative, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-metastatic, and lipid-lowering properties. Further research studies need to be carried out in larger populations to evaluate the efficacy of Gymnema and its properties.

See: Keto diet benefits for weight loss, diabetes & PCOS

Best ways to take Gymnema Sylvestre

1) It's easy to get as a nutritional supplement or tea and can be taken daily with meals. Bear in mind, however, that the supplement should only be utilized as a part of a well managed healthy lifestyle pattern. Consult your doctor before taking new supplements.

Locate a nutritional supplement with at least 25% gymnemic acid. If you begin taking Gymnema for any reason, you'll require a high-quality supplement. Start looking for one which is 25-75% gymnemic acid. This should be stated clearly on the supplement's label. A higher proportion of Gymnema in a supplement does not necessarily provide more advantages.

Search for 200 mg to 400 mg supplements. Most clinical trials for Gymnema utilized 200-400 mg to find success. Start looking for a supplement in that range. Since Gymnema can cause upset stomachs, it's highly recommended to not take a more powerful supplement unless directly instructed to do so. Try to have a low dose of about 200 mg, and increase it only if needed.

2. Take your Gymnema supplement with meals. Gymnema has been proven to cause some stomach pain, therefore it's recommended that you take your supplement immediately before a meal. If this isn't possible, consider dividing your Gymnema intake to 4 small doses during the course of your day.

3. The best way to eat a natural herb is to boil it in warm water. You can pour a cup of boiling water over the leaves of Gymnema to generate the tea. Cover and simmer it for ten minutes prior to drinking it. Other tea leaves, such as green tea, can be added for flavor. The joint effect could also help with weight loss. It's not a good idea to take Gymnema Sylvestre tea on an empty stomach because it might cause a mild upset stomach.


See: Green Tea Benefits

Possible side effects

While its effects on blood glucose are somewhat favorable, combining Gymnema Sylvestre with other blood-sugar-lowering drugs can cause an unsafe drop in your glucose levels.

This may cause unwanted effects, such as headache, lightheadedness, shakiness, and nausea. Cautions: Gymnema isn't to be used by people experiencing hypoglycemia, and patients on drugs for diabetes are advised to use caution, monitor their glucose levels, and talk with their health care provider when thinking of a program that integrates Gymnema.

Gymnema Sylvestre supplements shouldn't be taken at precisely the exact same time as blood-sugar-lowering drugs, including insulin shots. Make sure to speak with your doctor about the best time for taking this supplement.

The supplement should also not be taken with the herb St. John's Wort, because this may increase Gymnema's blood-sugar-lowering consequences. Always consult with your doctor and health team prior to taking any herbal supplements.

See: Diabetic Shock or Severe Hypoglycemia

References

1. Characterization of the insulinotropic activity of an aqueous extract of Gymnema Sylvestre in mouse beta-cells and human islets of Langerhans.

2. In vitro callus and in vivo leaf extract of Gymnema Sylvestre stimulate β-cells regeneration and anti-diabetic activity in Wistar rats.

3. Suppression of glucose absorption by some fractions extracted from Gymnema Sylvestre leaves.

4. Hypolipidaemic Effects of Gymnema Sylvestre on High Fat Diet-Induced Dyslipidaemia in Wistar Rats

5. An experimental study on Wistar rats to see the effect of Gymnema Sylvestre on blood pressure 

6. Regulation of Estrous cycle using a Combination of Gymnema Sylvestre and

7. Pergularia daemia in Estradiol Valerate induced PCOS rats

8. Anti-cancer effect of Gymnema Sylvestre Leaf Extracts against MG63, Human Osteosarcoma cell line - An in vitro analysis.

9. Comprehensive Review on Phytochemicals, Pharmacological and Clinical Potentials of Gymnema Sylvestre

10. Ota A, Ulrih NP. An Overview of Herbal Products and Secondary Metabolites Used for Management of Type Two Diabetes. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:436. Published 2017 Jul 6. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00436

See: Type 2 Diabetes Diet - One Day Meal Plan Suggestions

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