Gymnema Sylvestre or Gurmar is native to Sri Lanka, south and central India and belongs to the family Asclepiadaceae. It is widely grown in Japan, India, Vietnam, Africa and Australia and has been used in Ayurveda since for an effective natural treatment of diabetes, arthritis, gout and weight management. It comes in the form of powders, liquid extract, tablets or pills and now it is getting recognised by Western world.
Medhashinghi or Gurmar is a slow growing valuable plant and the extract is derived from its leaves. Its leaf extract contains a high percentage of a bio-active ingredient gymnemic acid that works as a sweetness suppressor. Thus, Gurmar is also known as a sugar destroyer. The herb has soft, hairy, oval leaves and small yellow flowers which bloom the whole year. The leaves are slightly bitter in taste.
Natural Constituents of Medhashinghi or Gurmar
Medhashinghi leaves mostly contain glycosides and saponins, such as triterpinoids, amino acids, oleanane saponins, gymnemic acids, gurmarin and flavonols, phytin, resins, anthraquinones, tartaric acid, butyric acids, stigmasterol etc.
Medhashinghi is a plant with potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is often used as Gymnema tea to control obesity as it contains a bio-active compound gymnemic acid which is also linked with 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.
How does Medhashinghi Work?
Gurmar or Medhashinghi interferes with glucose absorption since it prevents the binding of glucose molecule with intestinal receptors. Hence, it controls blood glucose levels naturally and gradually.
The anti-diabetic and anti-sweetness property of this herb is due to the presence of a group of molecules having gymnemic acid. Its sweetness blocking effect may last up to 50 minutes to several hours without influencing or altering natural taste perception (salty, sour, bitter).
Benefits of Medhashinghi or Gurmar
- Gymnema Sylvestre prevents sugar cravings and reduces caloric intake by controlling sugar intake.
- Gurmar aid in weight loss, enhances metabolism and help in managing both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes.
- It supports pancreatic health by repairing the cells of pancreas which is the primary organ associated with Diabetes.
- It initiates the production of insulin and increases insulin sensitivity.
- Regulates excessive appetite and blood sugar level.
- Controls haemoglobin A1c level.
- Controls triglyceride and cholesterol level.
- Help in treating dental carries.
- Provides relief from gout and arthritis and suppress inflammation.
- Shows significant anticancer activity.
- Strengthens immunity.
- Helps in wound healing.
- Gurmar induces urination which helps in water retention problem and weight loss.
- Desensitizes the taste buds.
- Other Benefits: Medhashinghi is also used to treat constipation, asthma, amenorrhoea, dyspepsia, bronchitis, renal calculi, various eye diseases, viral infections and many other minor ailments.
Medhashinghi and safety: It is generally a safe herb but if consumed in high dose it may lead to weakness, hypoglycaemia, excessive sweating, muscular dystrophy and shaking.