Gymnema sylvestre is a woody shrub native to India, in particular the South and Central parts, as well as Africa and Australia. The plant has been mentioned in Ayurveda as “Destroyer of Sugar” (Madhunashini) and has been used since ages to treat diabetes. In Hindi, it is called “Gurmar” that has the same meaning.
The leaves of gymnema have been used in herbal medicine to treat diabetes through its multi-mechanism of action attributes. Many people that have utilized gymnema are aware that it can interfere with the ability to taste sweetness. Perhaps its strongest activities are (a) through its up regulation of glucose uptake into the cells, which is accomplished through mobilization of glucose transporters (specifically GLUT-4) and (b) decrease in insulin resistance. Apart from its use in diabetes, gymnema is also used in weight loss, metabolic syndrome, stimulating digestion, snake bites, cough, malaria, lowering LDL (or bad) cholesterol, and so on.
The most exciting effect of Gymnema is its ability to regulate blood sugar levels and thus is an excellent alternative or protective medicine for diabetics. The best thing is that Gymnema can also be taken by prediabetics to prevent further deterioration from pre-diabetes to the actual diabetic state.
In a study involving 27 diabetics who were on insulin, it was found that 400 mg of Gymnema was able to reduce their insulin requirements by 50%. The participants also showed reduced blood glucose, HbA1c and glycosylated plasma protein levels. The study lasted for 6 to 30 months. View research
Another study that involved 22 non-insulin dependent diabetics showed that after 18-20 months of supplementing Gymnema, all of the patients showed significant improvement in blood glucose, HbA1c and glycosylated plasma protein levels. Five patients were successful in getting off their diabetes medication completely using Gymnema alone to regulate their glucose metabolism. 21 out of 22 patients were able to reduce the consumption of their blood sugar-lowering medication. View research
To elucidate gymnema’s blood sugar lowering effects, a study was performed using an in vitro model. The researchers were aiming to get more insights into gymnema’s activity on glucose transport and insulin resistance. The study found that Gymnema enhanced the expression of specific proteins like glucose transporter – 4 (GLUT-4), PPAR-γ, adiponectin and leptin. This proved that Gymnema had the ability to increase glucose uptake and decrease insulin resistance by increasing the production and activity of proteins vital to glucose transportation. View research
We use the natural plant to source leaves that are then processed using a highly controlled and standardized process to extract the bioactive compound called gymnemic acids.