GYMNEMA, Gymnema silvestre


Latin name: Gymnema silvestre

English name: Gymnema

Sanskrit name: Meshasringi, Madhinasini or madhoolika

Indian name: Gurmar

Medicinal parts used: Leaves, Roots

Gymnema sylvestre is a woody, vine-like plant which climbs on bushes and trees in the Western Ghats in South India, and to the west of those mountains in the territory around the coastal city of Goa.

Gymnema sylvestre is a plant used in India and parts of Asia as a natural treatment for diabetes or “sweet urine.” The herb’s active ingredient, gymnemic acid, is extracted from leaves and roots, and helps to lower and balance blood sugar levels. The unique shape of gymnemic acid molecules is similar to that of glucose, allowing it to fill cell receptors in the lining of the intestines, thereby preventing uptake of sugar molecules.

The ethanolic extract of Gymnema sylvestre leaves demonstrated antimicrobial activity against bacillus pumilis, B. subtilis, pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococcus aureus, klebsiella pneumoniae, salmonella typhi. Hence, the extract can act as a good antimicrobial agent and protect the body from infections.

Therapeutic use:

  • Gymnema taken orally lowers diabetics’ blood glucose.
  • The herb also lowers triglycerides and “bad cholesterol.”
  • Along with a healthy diet and exercise, gymnema sylvestre can be a helpful addition to your weight-loss plan. Reduces metabolic effect of sugar by preventing the intestines from absorbing sugar molecules during digestion.
  • The leaves were also used for stomach ailments, constipation, water retention, and liver disease.
  • Gymnema has been used in case of rheumatoid arthritis and gout from ancient time.
  • Gymnema montana, another species has antioxidant, antiperioxidative effects in body and scavenges the free radicals from the body.


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