Australian Cowplant, Chi geng teng, Gemnema Melicida, Gimnema, Gur-Mar, Gurmar, Gurmarbooti, Gurmur, Gymnema sylvestre, Gymnéma, Gymnéma Sylvestre, Madhunashini, Merasingi, Meshasring, Meshashringi, Miracle Plant, Periploca sylvestris, Periploca of the woods, Shardunika, Waldschlinge, Vishani.
Overview InformationGymnema 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.
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
- 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.
- Metabolic syndrome. Early research shows that taking gymnema for 12 weeks can reduce body weight and body mass index in overweight people with metabolic syndrome. But gymnema does not appear to help with blood sugar control or improve cholesterol levels in these people.
- Weight loss. Early research shows that taking gymnema for 12 weeks can reduce body weight and body mass index in some people who are overweight. Early research also 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.
Side Effects & SafetyGymnema 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.
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.
- Ananthan, R., Latha, M., Pari, L., Ramkumar, K. M., Baskar, C. G., and Bai, V. N. Effect of Gymnema montanum on blood glucose, plasma insulin, and carbohydrate metabolic enzymes in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. J Med Food 2003;6(1):43-49. View abstract.
- Baskaran, K, Ahamath, BK, Shanmugasundaram, KR, and et all. Antidiabetic effect of a leaf extract from Gymnema sylvestre in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients. J Ethnopharm 1990;30:295-305.
- Bishayee, A and Chatterjee, M. Hypolipidaemic and antiatherosclerotic effects of oral gymnema sylvestre R. Br. leaf extract in albino rats fed a high fat diet. Phytother Res 1994;8:118-120.
- Chattopadhyay RR. Possible mechanism of antihyperglycemic effect of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract, Part I. Gen Pharm 1998;31(3):495-496.
- Gholap, S. and Kar, A. Effects of Inula racemosa root and Gymnema sylvestre leaf extracts in the regulation of corticosteroid induced diabetes mellitus: involvement of thyroid hormones. Pharmazie 2003;58(6):413-415. View abstract.
- Gupta SS and Variyar MC. Experimental studies on pituitary diabetes IV. Effect of Gymnema sylvestre and Coccinia indica against the hyperglycemia response of somatotrophin and corticotrophin hormones. Indian J Med Res 1964;52:200-207.
- Jiang, H. [Advances in the study on hypoglycemic constituents of Gymnema sylvestre (Retz.) Schult]. Zhong.Yao Cai. 2003;26(4):305-307. View abstract.
- Khare AK, Tondon RN, and Tewari JP. Hypoglycaemic activity of an indigenous drug (Gymnema sylvestre, "Gurmar") in normal and diabetic persons. Indian J Physiol Pharm 1983;27:257-258.
- Kothe A and Uppal R. Antidiabetic effects of Gymnema sylvestre in NIDDM - a short study. Indian J Homeopath Med 1997;32(1-2):61-62, 66.
- Murakami, N, Murakami, T, Kadoya, M, and et all. New hypoglycemic constituents in "gymnemic acid" from Gymnema sylvestre. Chem Pharm Bull 1996;44(2):469-471.
- Okabayashi, Y., Tani, S., Fujisawa, T., Koide, M., Hasegawa, H., Nakamura, T., Fujii, M., and Otsuki, M. Effect of Gymnema sylvestre, R.Br. on glucose homeostasis in rats. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1990;9(2):143-148. View abstract.
- Porchezhian, E. and Dobriyal, R. M. An overview on the advances of Gymnema sylvestre: chemistry, pharmacology and patents. Pharmazie 2003;58(1):5-12. View abstract.
- Preuss, H. G., Garis, R. I., Bramble, J. D., Bagchi, D., Bagchi, M., Rao, C. V., and Satyanarayana, S. Efficacy of a novel calcium/potassium salt of (-)-hydroxycitric acid in weight control. Int.J Clin.Pharmacol.Res. 2005;25(3):133-144. View abstract.
- Shanmugasundaram ERB, Gopinath KL, Shanmugasundaram KR, and et al. Possible regeneration of the islets of Langerhans in streptozotocin-diabetic rats given Gymnema sylvestre leaf extracts. J Ethnopharm 1990;30:265-279.
- Shanmugasundaram ERB, Rajeswari G, Baskaran K, and et al. Use of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract in the control of blood glucose in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Ethnopharm 1990;30(3):281-294.
- Shanmugasundaram KR, Panneerselvam C, Samudram P, and et al. Enzyme changes and glucose utilisation in diabetic rabbits: the effect of Gymnema sylvestre, R.Br. J Ethnopharm 1983;7:205-234.
- Sinsheimer JE, Rao GS, and McIlhenny HM. Constituents from Gymnema sylvestre leaves V. Isolation and preliminary characterization of the gymnemic acids. J Pharm Sci 1970;59(5):622-628.
- Srivastava Y, Bhatt HV, Prem AS, and et al. Hypoglycemic and life-prolonging properties of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract in diabetic rats. Israel J Med Sci 1985;21:540-542.
- Terasawa H, Miyoshi M, and Imoto T. Effects of long-term administration of Gymnema sylvestre watery-extract on variations of body weight, plasma glucose, serum triglyceride, total cholesterol and insulin in Wistar fatty rats. Yonago Acta Med 1994;37:117-127.
- Tominaga M, Kimura M, Sugiyama K, and et al. Effects of seishin-renshi-in and Gymnema sylvestre on insulin resistance in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Diabet Res Clin Pract 1995;29:11-17.
- Wang LF, Luo H, Miyoshi M, and et al. Inhibitory effect of gymnemic acid on intestinal absorption of oleic acid in rats. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 1998;76:1017-1023.
- Xie, J. T., Wang, A., Mehendale, S., Wu, J., Aung, H. H., Dey, L., Qiu, S., and Yuan, C. S. Anti-diabetic effects of Gymnema yunnanense extract. Pharmacol Res 2003;47(4):323-329. View abstract.
- Yoshikawa, M., Murakami, T., Kadoya, M., Li, Y., Murakami, N., Yamahara, J., and Matsuda, H. Medicinal foodstuffs. IX. The inhibitors of glucose absorption from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre R. BR. (Asclepiadaceae): structures of gymnemosides a and b. Chem.Pharm Bull.(Tokyo) 1997;45(10):1671-1676. View abstract.
- Ananthan R, Baskar C, NarmathaBai V, et al. Antidiabetic effect of Gymnema montanum leaves: effect on lipid peroxidation induced oxidative stress in experimental diabetes. Pharmacol Res 2003;48:551-6. View abstract.
- Arunachalam KD, Arun LB, Annamalai SK, Arunachalam AM. Potential anticancer properties of bioactive compounds of Gymnema sylvestre and its biofunctionalized silver nanoparticles. Int J Nanomedicine. 2014;10:31-41. View abstract.
- Baskaran K, Kizar Ahamath B, Radha Shanmugasundaram K, Shanmugasundaram ER. Antidiabetic effect of leaf extract from Gymnema sylvestre in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients. J Ethnopharmacol 1990;30:295-300. View abstract.
- Fabio GD, Romanucci V, De Marco A, Zarrelli A. Triterpenoids from Gymnema sylvestre and their pharmacological activities. Molecules. 2014;19(8):10956-81. View abstract.
- Head KA. Type 1 diabetes: prevention of the disease and its complications. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 1998;180:72-84.
- Kamble B, Gupta A, Moothedath I, Khatal L, Janrao S, Jadhav A, et al. Effects of Gymnema sylvestre extract on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of glimepiride in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Chem Biol Interact. 2016;245:30-8. View abstract.
- Katsukawa H, Imoto T, Ninomiya Y. Induction of salivary gurmarin-binding proteins in rats fed gymnema-containing diets. Chem Senses 1999;24:387-92. View abstract.
- Luo H, Kashiwagi A, Shibahara T, Yamada K. Decreased bodyweight without rebound and regulated lipoprotein metabolism by gymnemate in genetic multifactor syndrome animal. Mol Cell Biochem 2007;299:93-8. View abstract.
- Nakamura Y, Tsumura Y, Tonogai Y, Shibata T. Fecal steroid excretion is increased in rats by oral administration of gymnemic acids contained in Gymnema sylvestre leaves. J Nutr 1999;129(6):1214-22. View abstract.
- Persaud SJ, Al-Majed H, Raman A, Jones PM. Gymnema sylvestre stimulates insulin release in vitro by increased membrane permeability. J Endocrinol 1999;163:207-12. View abstract.
- Preuss HG, Bagchi D, Bagchi M, et al. Effects of a natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss. Diabetes Obes Metab 2004;6:171-180. View abstract.
- Rammohan B, Samit K, Chinmoy D, et al. Human cytochrome P450 enzyme modulation by gymnema sylvestre: a predictive safety evaluation by LC-MS/MS. Pharmacogn Mag. 2016 Jul;12(Suppl 4):S389-S394. View abstract.
- Satdive RK, Abhilash P, Fulzele DP. Antimicrobial activity of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract. Fitoterapia 2003;74:699-701. View abstract.
- Shanmugasundaram ER, Rajeswari G, Baskaran K, et al. Use of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract in the control of blood glucose in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Ethnopharmacol 1990;30:281-94. View abstract.
- Shiyovich A, Sztarkier I, Nesher L. Toxic hepatitis induced by Gymnema sylvestre, a natural remedy for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Med Sci. 2010;340(6):514-7. View abstract.
- Singh VK, Dwivedi P, Chaudhary BR, Singh R. Immunomodulatory effect of Gymnema sylvestre (R.Br.) leaf extract: an in vitro study in rat model. PLoS One. 2015;10(10): :e0139631. View abstract.
- Sinsheimer JE, Subba-Rao G, McIlhenny HM. Constitents from G sylvestre leaves: isolation and preliminary characterization of the gymnemic acids. J Pharmacol Sci 1970;59:622-8.
- Tiwari P, Mishra BN, Sangwan NS. Phytochemical and pharmacological properties of Gymnema sylvestre: an important medicinal plant. Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:830285. View abstract.
- Vaghela M, Iyer K, Pandita N. In vitro inhibitory effect of gymnema sylvestre extracts and total gymnemic acids fraction on select cytochrome P450 activities in rat liver microsomes. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2017 Oct 10. View abstract.
- Vaghela M, Sahu N, Kharkar P, Pandita N. In vivo pharmacokinetic interaction by ethanolic extract of gymnema sylvestre with CYP2C9 (tolbutamide), CYP3A4 (amlodipine) and CYP1A2 (phenacetin) in rats. Chem Biol Interact. 2017 Dec 25;278:141-151. View abstract.
- Yeh GY, Eisenberg DM, Kaptchuk TJ, Phillips RS. Systematic review of herbs and dietary supplements for glycemic control in diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003;26:1277-94. View abstract.
- Zuniga LY, Gonzalez-Ortiz M, Martinez-Abundis E. Effect of gymnema sylvestre administration on metabolic syndrome, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion. J Med Food. 2017 Aug;20(8):750-54. View abstract.
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