Gymnema Sylvestre for Diabetes and Other Health Benefits


Gurmar teaScience, medicine and politics are all failing to come to grips with the ever rising number of diabetics in America. But using the blood sugar controlling herb gymnema sylvestre for diabetes may help with its treatment.

It’s possible taking gymnema, with its active ingredient gymnemic acid, may even assist in preventing those at risk from becoming diabetic in the first place.

Gymnema for Diabetes

Gymnema sylvestre is a herb native to Asia that has being used medicinally for thousands of years in India. It’s Hindi or Ayurvedic name Gurmar means ‘destroyer of sugar’ and it has some unusually beneficial properties for treating diabetes and elevated blood sugar.

One of the primary active ingredients in gymnema sylvestre is gymnemic acid. This unique compound is very similar structurally to glucose, but does not act like it within your body.

Instead, when consumed before ingesting sugary foods or drink, gymnemic acid molecules actually block the receptor locations for sugar on your taste buds. This stops sugar activating these receptors and can greatly curb sugar cravings.

Gymnemic acid can also block sugar absorption in the intestine and often results in lower blood sugar levels after a meal. This effect is also likely to assist in losing weight as simple sugars in the diet, not fats, are the primary cause of weight gain.

Even more promising, studies report that gymnemic acid increases the production of insulin, improves glucose utilization and may even help to regenerate islet beta cells within the pancreas which produce insulin.

Another study concluded: ‘Gymnema sylvestre supplementation appears to improve glucose control in patients with type II diabetes. Reducing postprandial blood glucose significantly caused a decrease of HbA1c (Average Blood Glucose), therefore reducing the complications of diabetes.’

5 Other Health Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre

Aside from its potential as a diabetes treatment and blood sugar regulator, gymnema capsules and tea has been shown to be beneficial for several other health conditions:

  1. Improves cholesterol and reduces triglycerides in your blood. This study found taking gymnema sylvestre ‘improved serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels through influence over a wide range of lipid metabolism’.
  2. Treats obesity and an effective aid in a weight loss program. By blocking sugar absorption and decreasing appetite, a daily dose of gymnema sylvestre, in either capsule or as gymnema tea, has been shown to assist in losing weight.
  3. Gymnema sylvestre reduces inflammation. Research found the active ingredients in gymnema elevated beneficial liver enzymes and the body’s natural antioxidants to combat inflammatory free radicals.
  4. May help reduce the symptoms of arthritis and gout. Gymnema is a traditional treatment for these joint problems and many patients report success with taking it as a preventative before their their arthritis usually flares up.
  5. The herb is a mild diuretic and may help with water retention. This is yet another way gymnema can help with weight loss.

Gymnema Sylvestre Diabetes Treatment and Dosage

Research on gymnema sylvestre is generally done with 500 mg capsules standardized to contain at least 25% gymnemic acid like these which are stronger at 35%. They should be taken 5 to 10 minutes before a meal high in carbohydrates with a large glass of water up to 3 times a day.

Another option is to use a time release gymnemic acid supplement like these Glucose Balance tablets, which were actually the gymnema sylvestre supplement used in the second blood sugar study mentioned above.

How to Make Gymnema Tea

While supplements do provide a standardized dose, many people like myself prefer natural products to get the full range of compounds in the herbal treatment.

Gymnema tea is the more traditional way to take gymnema sylvestre. It makes sense that by drinking the herb as a tea you’d give it a chance to block the sugar receptors on your tongue directly (some resources recommend sucking on tablets for a short time before swallowing them for a similar effect).

Loose leaf organic gymnema sylvestre tea is available and better value in bulk. To make up a cup, simply add a heaped teaspoon to a French press or tea strainer and add hot water. Other tea can also be added, like green tea which has its own beneficial properties for weight loss.

It’s best to have a cup of gymnema tea before any meal that has a lot of simple carbohydrates like bread or rice. Especially when you eat anything high in sugar, like pastries, confectionary or desserts.

It’s not necessary to drink the tea before a meal that’s based on vegetables and healthy protein as eating this way naturally keeps your blood sugar in check and is beneficial for losing weight.

You can make up a gymnema sylvestre tea up to 3 times a day if you like, but keep in mind it’s not a free pass to have more fattening sugary foods. Gymnema is much more effective as an additional aid combined with other effective weight loss strategies. Though it will definitely help with the occasional ‘cheat meal’.

Potential Gymnema Side Effects for Diabetics

  • While gymnema is considered safe for most people and there are no commonly listed side effects of gymnema sylvestre, it has been reported to sometimes work too well and lower blood sugar a bit too far. It’s especially recommended for diabetics to keep within the suggested doses, whether you’re using the supplements or the tea.
  • People currently taking diabetes medication should consult a doctor before using gymnema sylvestre and avoid taking it right at the same time as prescription drugs or when administering insulin injections. It may be that it reduces your need for such treatments, but this should be closely monitored by your physician if you are diabetic.
  • Gymnema sylvestre capsules or  gymnema tea also not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those on antidepressant medication.
  • Additionally it shouldn’t be taken at the same time as aspirin or the herb St. John’s wort as they may increase its blood sugar lowering effects.

Have you tried gymnema sylvestre as a diabetes treatment before or to control sugar cravings and regulate your blood sugar levels? I’d appreciate hearing your experiences with this unusual and powerful herb.

Photo 1 credit: Adityamadhav83


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 24 comments
Alan Santana

This is a great article. I love the natural approach to everything and with the huge diabetes crisis this is something to definitely try. I will recommend to it to as many as possible with diabetes, as a supplement to see if it works for them.

Reply
    Jim Dillan

    Thanks for the positive comments Alan. The studies show that Gymnema Sylvestre has potential for diabetes. Whether it would ever be used by mainstream medicine given it can’t be patented as a natural product is unfortunately another question.

    All the best.

    Reply
Ade

A very informative. Do you drink gymnema tea before every main meal or just once a day before your biggest meal of the day? I am predisposed to diabetes and like the natural way of controlling blood sugar level. I am unable to find information for daily dosage or frequency of tea. I have found a mention that use of tea should not be longer than 8 months. Could you share how you use the tea, please. Thank you.

Reply
    Jim Dillan

    Hi Ade,

    Generally you’d have gymnema tea before any big carbohydrate meals like a bowl of pasta or sugary sweets to slow down the blood sugar rise. There would be no need before protein and vegetable meals or healthy salads like this http://superfoodprofiles.com/how-to-make-healthier-salads-in-4-simple-steps which would be much healthier meals for people dealing with diabetes.

    I see no reason for an 8 month timeframe but it can be good to cycle natural remedies like this with a week off every month or so.

    All the best,

    Jim

    Reply
vickie

I have the box in front of me. I am very interested/excited to see what happens…I am a type 2 diabetic.and any way I can decrease my insulin injections would be an awesome benefit!! We’ll see, thank you for an very informative article! Sincerely, Vickie

Reply
    Jim Dillan

    Hi Vickie and thanks for your positive comments. I really hope Gymnema goes well for you. Ceylon cinnamon is another herb that can help moderate blood sugar too.

    All the best,

    Jim

    Reply
Lavina Bright

I read that you should never you the raw gymnema powder, after I had already used it. I was wondering if it would be better to make tea out if the powder,or do I need to try to make it a tincture?

Reply
Nina Abbey

Hi, I’m really trying to implement gymnema to my diet, but I don’t like how it taste that in tea, so I thought about adding it to a green smoothie, do you recommend I could do that?

Reply
Taj

I recently tried gymnema. I am fanatical when it comes to keeping my blood sugar low. My mom had alzheimer’s and I feel there is a link between diabetes/blood sugar disregulation. I tracked my results and it appears it knocks my glucose down about ten points. I take it before I have a heavier carb meal. I follow the FAST 5 way of life and have been doing that for years. I am not a scientist or Dr. but from my results I would say it gymnema works.

Reply
    Jim Dillan

    Hi Taj and thanks for writing in about this. It’s great to here gymnema is working so well and hopefully your results will inspire other people to give it a try.

    All the best,

    Jim

    Reply
Cheryl G

I saw and heard on a tv program about sensitive insulin. So I searched to find the herbs for that. What I found was 5 herbs. I tried all, as most were in my kitchen cabinet,but the one that worked was gymnema sylvestre. I saw an astonishing change in my eating habits and a drop in my weight. All of those weight loss pills, shakes, anf such were taking my money with no results. Now that I am taking gymnema I don’t crave sweets or chips. I have strong urgency to eat REAL food. My hunger is not driven to snack just to wait until I can eat something great a d healthy. Thank you for the opportunity to share.

Reply
    Jim Dillan

    Hi Cheryl and thank you for sharing how well gymnema sylvestre helped with carbohydrate cravings. I hope it inspires other people to give gymnema a try.

    All the best,

    Jim

    Reply
MULBERRIE

I AM A “GENETIC DIABETIC”. TYPE 2. 3 DIABETIC DEATHS IN FAMILY, LIVING IN HUNGARY WHEN FOOD WAS WHAT WAS PICKED IN GARDEN OR KILLED, ALTHOUGH THEY DID GET FLOUR AND SUGAR AND BAKED. I TAKE 80 UNITS INSULIN PER DAY. THE ONLY THING OVERWEIGHT ON ME IS MY TUMMY. I RECENTLY DISCOVERED FENUGREEK, AND IT IS HELPING TREMENDOUSLY. MY ENDOCRINOLOGIST IS VERY DOUBTFUL. I AM GOING TO GET THE GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE, MAYBE BETWEEN THE 2, WE’LL SEE! I AM ALREADY A HEALTHY EATER. I BUY ALL MY OWN FOOD AND COOK IT. NO CANS PACKAGES OR PRODUCTS PROCESSED. VEGIES MEATS A LITTLE FRUIT. NO GRAINS NO FLOURS. AND N O S U G A R!!! ALAS, ALAS. I WANT SO BADLY TO REDUCE MY WAISTLINE. THANKS, MULBERRIE

Reply
Ronald

I been using Gymnema for about 18 months now taking it in its natural state just adding hot water im type 2 diabetic and was on medication got a phone call from the doctor after my blood tests he told me to stop taking the pills i watch my diet 5 days a week just keep away from sugar and breed products and have a free day but dont go mad a little bit of bads stuff once a week nice article by the way , ps i manage to get some seeds from the gymnema i was buying and now i grow it in the garden .

Reply
Constanze

I was prediabetic and a complete slave to my sugar cravings. I did cleanses and followed a Whole Foods diet, but my willpower eventually ran out and the cycle of a little bite snowballing into major sweets overkill started all over again. Now, I’m taking gymnema either before I eat sweets when I feel strong enough or right after I gave in. I have it in powder form as a double shot with warm water, swish it in my mouth as long as I can before swallowing. The compromise of having it right after indulging is especially satisfying since I get to enjoy the taste of sweets but don’t feel that my blood sugar gets affected. I don’t beat myself up about it. No harm done. This is the only thing that works for me after years of searching!

Reply
    Jim Dillan

    Hi Constanze,

    Glad to hear gymnema is working so well for you and I think your method of taking it is a good one. Hopefully other people with sugar cravings will try it like this.

    All the best,

    Jim

    Reply
Patsy

I just bought some Gymnema tea bags and had my first cup today. How often do I need to have a cup in order to possibly help lower my blood sugar numbers?

Reply
    Jim Dillan

    Hi Patsy,

    It’s best to have a cup of Gymnema tea before any meal that has a lot of simple carbohydrates like bread or rice. Especially when you eat anything high in sugar, like pastries, confectionary or desserts.

    It’s not necessary to drink the tea before a meal that’s based on vegetables and healthy protein as eating this way naturally keeps your blood sugar in check and is beneficial for losing weight.

    You can make up a Gymnema Sylvestre tea up to 3 times a day if you like, but keep in mind it’s not a free pass to have more fattening sugary foods. Gymnema is much more effective as an additional aid to a sensible eating plan. Though it will definitely help with the occasional ‘cheat meal’.

    Hope this helps,

    Jim

    Reply

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