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Herb Information
Name: Sarpadarushtrika
Biological Name: Gymnema sylvestre, Asclepias geminata

Asclepiadaceae

Other Names: Sarpadarushtrika, Gudmar

Bodaparta, Chakkarakolli, Cherukurinja, Chhota-Dudhilata, Gurmar, Kavali, Merasingi, Meshasringi, Parpatrah, Putla-podra, Shiru-kurunja, Wakandi

Description:

This herb is a climbing plant found in the Himalayas. It is also found in the Central and Southern India.

Parts Used: Roots, leaves
Constituents

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 throat.

A new bitter neutral principle

Albuminous and coloring matters

Calcium oxalate

Pararabin

Glucose

Carbohydrates

Tartaric acid

An organic, acid said to be a glucoside and to possess anti-saccharine property, and called X (formula C32H5gO12)

Gymnemic acid

cellulose

ash

quercitol

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.

Medicinal Properties and Uses

Action 

Astringent, stomachic, tonic and refrigerar. In Ayurveda the plant has been described as an antiperiodic, stomachic and diuretic.

Uses

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, and fever.

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.

Gymnema and Diabetes

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.

Dosage: Decoction, powder
Safety: Leaves stimulate the heart. Do not take except under the supervision of a qualified professional. No other information available.

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