GYMNEMA Overview Information
Gymnema is a woody climbing shrub native to India and Africa. The leaves are used to make medicine. Gymnema has a long history of use in India's Ayurvedic medicine. The Hindi name for gymnema means "destroyer of sugar."
People use gymnema for diabetes, weight loss, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work?
Gymnema contains substances that decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestine. Gymnema may also increase the amount of insulin in the body and increase the growth of cells in the pancreas, which is the place in the body where insulin is made.
- Diabetes.Early research shows that taking gymnema by mouth along with insulin or diabetes medications can improve blood sugar control in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- Weight loss. Early research shows that taking a combination of gymnema, hydroxycitric acid, and niacin-bound chromium by mouth can reduce body weight in people who are overweight or obese.
- Increasing urine excretion (diuretic).
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Snake bites.
- Softening the stool (laxative).
- Stimulating digestion.
GYMNEMA Side Effects & Safety
Gymnema is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately for up to 20 months.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking gymnema if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: Gymnema can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use gymnema.
Surgery: Gymnema might affect blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using gymnema at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Insulin interacts with GYMNEMA
Gymnema might decrease blood sugar. Insulin is also used to decrease blood sugar. Taking gymnema along with insulin might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your insulin might need to be changed.
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with GYMNEMA
Gymnema supplements seem to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking gymnema along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
The appropriate dose of gymnema depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for gymnema. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.