Gymnemma Leaf

Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) is a woody climbing shrub that’s native to the tropical forests of India, Africa and Australia. Its leaves have been used in the ancient Indian medicinal practice Ayurveda for thousands of years. It has been a traditional remedy for various ailments, including diabetes, malaria and snakebites.

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.

BENEFITS
– Diabetes

Gymnema is perhaps most well known for its ability to help diabetes – including; controlling sugar cravings, pancreas regeneration, blood sugar homeostasis and weight reduction.
This powerful herb contains the phytochemical “gurmarin”, a substance that modifies the ability of the tongue’s perception of sweet and bitter flavours. A study conducted in India revealed that the atomic arrangement of the herb blocks the sugar receptors of taste buds. As a result, sugar taste buds are not stimulated even with sugar intake.

One of the primary active ingredients in Gymnema sylvestre is gymnemic acid – a compound that is structurally similar to glucose but that acts completely differently in the body.
Gymnemic acid can block sugar absorption in the intestine and often results in lower blood sugar levels after a meal.
Gymnema sylvestre may stimulate insulin production in your pancreas, promoting the regeneration of insulin-producing islet cells. This can help lower your blood sugar levels.

As a supplement, it has been used in combination with other diabetes medications to lower blood sugar.
Scientific proof of Gymnema’s ability to lower blood sugar is insufficient to recommend it as a stand-alone diabetes medication. However, research shows strong potential.

– Improves Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels, Reducing Heart Disease Risk

Gymnema sylvestre may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides. While Gymnema gets its fame from lowering blood sugar levels and reducing sugar cravings, research shows that it may also influence fat absorption and lipid levels.

High levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are risk factors for heart disease. Therefore, the positive effects of Gymnema sylvestre on LDL and triglycerides levels may contribute to a lower risk of heart conditions.

– Helps Reduce Inflammation Due to Its Tannin and Saponin Content

Inflammation plays an important role in the body’s healing process.
Some inflammation is good, such as when it helps protect the body from harmful organisms in cases of injury or infection.
Other times, inflammation may be caused by the environment or the foods you eat. However, chronic low-grade inflammation can contribute to various health issues.

Possible Side Effects

While its effects on blood sugar are rather positive, combining Gymnema sylvestre with other blood-sugar-lowering medications can cause an unsafe drop in the blood sugar levels.
This can cause side effects, such as headache, nausea, lightheadedness, shakiness and dizziness.

Gymnema sylvestre supplements should not be taken at the same time as blood-sugar-lowering medications, including insulin injections.

Additionally, the supplement should not be taken with aspirin or the herb St. John’s Wort, as this may increase Gymnema’s blood-sugar-lowering effects.

 

Written by: Oreoluwa Hassan 

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