Gymnema is a shrub that grows in India and Africa. People in India have been using gymnema leaves for thousands of years to try to treat diabetes. The Hindu word for gymnema -- gurmar -- means "sugar destroyer."
Always tell your doctor about any supplements you are taking, including natural ones and those bought without a prescription. That way, your doctor can check on any potential side effects or interactions with any medications.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate dietary supplements; however, it treats them like foods rather than medications. Unlike drug manufacturers, the makers of supplements don’t have to show their products are safe or effective before selling them on the market.