Name: Gymnema sylvestre, Asclepias geminata
Names: Sarpadarushtrika, Gudmar
Chakkarakolli, Cherukurinja, Chhota-Dudhilata,
This herb is a climbing plant found
in the Himalayas. It is also found in the Central and Southern India.
Used: Roots, leaves
Sun-dried leaves of gymnema
sylvestre was analyzed and found to contain:
Two resins-one insoluble in
alcohol and one soluble in alcohol.)
The resin insoluble in alcohol formed the larger proportion. The resin soluble in alcohol was said to leave a tingling sensation in the
A new bitter neutral
Albuminous and coloring
An organic, acid said to be a glucoside and to possess anti-saccharine property, and called X (formula
No tannin was found. On
further study, when the gymnemic acid was purified and analyzed, it was found not to possess any anti-sacaharine properties;
it was not a glucoside.
Properties and Uses
Astringent, stomachic, tonic and
refrigerar. In Ayurveda the plant has been described as an antiperiodic, stomachic and diuretic.
This is one of the main herbs used for healing diabetes
mellitus. It removes sugar from pancreas, restores pancreatic function; stimulate the circulatory system, increases urine secretion,
and activates the uterus. It is also useful for the treatment of swollen glands, cough,
Indian scientists have
performed extensive studies to determine the action of this herb on the
sugar metabolism. In a study reported in 1930, Mhaskar & Caius found
that the leaves of the herb cause hypoglycemia in experimental animals which sets in soon after the administration either by mouth or by
injection. Based on this observation, they suggested that the drug acts indirectly through stimulation in insulin secretion off the pancreas, as it has no direct action on the carbohydrate metabolism. The leaves
are also found to stimulate the heart and circulatory system, increase urine secretion and activate the uterus.
Sushruta, the classic book on Ayurveda, describes G. sylvestre, as a destroyer of 'Madhumeha' (glycosuria ) and other urinary disorders.
This herb has been given the name of' 'gur-mar' meaning ' sugar-destroying,'
because of its property of abolishing the taste of sugar. It has
been believed, therefore, that it might neutralize the excess sugar present in the body in diabetes mellitus.
It has been used in India as a remedy against this condition with success.
Gymnema assists the
pancreas in the production of insulin in Type 2 diabetes. Gymnema
also improves the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar in both
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It decreases cravings for sweet. This
herb can be an excellent substitute for oral blood sugar-lowering
drugs in Type 2 diabetes.
Some people take
500 mg per day of gymnema extract.
This herb is a traditional
remedy for snakebite. The powder from the dry leaves is dusted upon the
wound. Alternately, the powder can be made into a paste with water and applied
to the wound or a decoction may be given internally.
Leaves when chewed deaden the sense of taste of sweets and, of the bitterness of bitter substances such as quinine. This
effect was found to last for about one to two hours.
The leaves are useful
for treating enlarged liver and spleen.
Leaves stimulate the heart. Do not take except under the supervision of a qualified professional. No other information available.
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