Gymnema sylvestre or Gurmar is native to South and Central India, Sri Lanka and belongs to the family Asclepiadaceae. It is widely grown in Japan, India, Vietnam and Australia and has been used in Ayurveda for very long time for an effective natural treatment of diabetes, arthritis, gout. Gurmar has also been found to help in weight management.
Gurmar is a slow-growing valuable plant. The extract of Gurmar is derived from the leaves of the plant. Leaf extract is rich in a bio-active ingredient called gymnemic acid that works as sweetness-suppressor. Thus, Gurmar is also known as sugar destroyer. This herb has soft and hairy oval leaves and small yellow flowers which bloom during the whole year. The leaves are slightly bitter in taste.
Gymnema or Medhashingi leaves contain wide range of therapeutic components including glycosides and saponins, such as triterpinoids, amino acids, oleanane saponins, gymnemic acid, gurmarin, and flavonols, phytin, resins, anthraquinones, tartaric acid, butyric acid, stigmasterol and many more.
Medhashinghi is a plant with potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Gymnema is consumed to control obesity as well due to the presence of a bio-active compound gymnemic acid which is also helpful in controlling diabetes.
Gurmar is also well known herb in homeopathic system of medicine to treat eye ailments, inflammations, asthma and snakebite and possess prominent anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, antibiotic, anti-hepatotoxic, anthelmentic, cardio tonic, laxative, stimulant, diuretic, expectorant, aphrodisiac and anti-hyperlipidemic activity.
Anti-diabetic and anti-sweetness properties are due to the presence of gymnemic acid and its sweetness-blocking effect may last up to 50 minutes to several hours without influencing or altering natural taste perception i.e. salty, sour, bitter.
Gurmar interferes with the absorption of glucose since it prevents the binding of glucose molecule with the intestinal receptors to control blood glucose levels naturally and gradually.
Benefits of Gurmar
- Controls Sugar Cravings: Gymnema sylvestre controls sugar cravings and reduces the caloric intake by controlling the sugar intake as well.
- Aids in Weight loss: Gurmar aids in enhancing metabolism, burning fat and facilitating weight loss. Therefore, by eliminating the risk factor or the contributing factor of diabetes i.e. obesity; Gurmar helps in controlling both in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Improves Pancreatic Health: It supports pancreatic health by repairing the cells of pancreas.
- Regulates Food Cravings: Gurmar regulates excessive appetite and by controlling food cravings, it manages blood sugar level.
- Controls HbA1C Level: Since Gurmar controls blood sugar level gradually and naturally and its effects last for long term, the marker for blood sugar for a period of last 3 to 6 months i.e. HbA1C is also under control.
- Improves Heart Health: Gymnema controls triglyceride and cholesterol level. It helps in lowering bad or LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and improves HDL or good cholesterol and thus reduces the risk of heart diseases.
- Reduces Dental Carries: The leaves of Gymnema sylvestre help in fighting dental carries due to the anti-microbial properties of the leaf extract.
- Controls Inflammation: Gurmar provides relief in gout and other types of arthritis by controlling inflammation and reducing the resultant pain.
- Prevents Cancer: Gurmar shows significant anticancer activity and thus can prevent onset of various cancers.
- Improves Immunity: Gurmar uplifts immunity and helps your body fight against disease-causing microbes and stay in good health.
- Helps in Wound Healing: Gymnema helps in healing wounds and prevents the wounds from getting infected.
- Acts as Diuretic: Gurmar improves urination and thus helps in lowering water retention in the body which in turn helps in weight loss and reduction of belly bloating.
- Acts as a Taste Modulator: Gymnema sylvestre is a taste modulator that inhibits the ability of sucrose and other sugars to activate sweet receptors on the tongue. This action of Gurmar also helps in reducing sugar cravings.
- Improves Production of Insulin: Gymnema helps in the production of insulin hormone by improving the regeneration of pancreatic islet cells.
The therapeutic value of the herb in controlling diabetes and its complications makes it a part of Diabewell Tablets.