Sanskrit name: Meshasringa
Botanical name: Gymnema Sylvestre
Habitat: A climbing plant common in Central and Southern India.
- Rasa (taste): bitter, astringent
- Virya (action): heating
- Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Pungent
- Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for vata and kapha
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.”
Gymnema Sylvestre is one of the most famous Ayurvedic herbs for promoting and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. It is called the Gurmar or the “sugar destroyer” in Ayurveda, because of its ability to block sweet taste.
Action (pharmacology: Gymnema Sylvestre has been used in India for more than 2000 years to control the presence of carbohydrates in urine. The Indian name Gumar or Gurmar literally means “Sugar Killer”.
Gymnema Sylvestre is a woody, wine-like plant which climbs on bushes and trees in the Western Ghats in South India, and to the west of those mountains in the territory around the coastal city of Goa. The medicinally active parts of the plant are the leaves and the roots. It came to be known as a “destroyer of sugar” because, in ancient times, Ayurvedic physicians observed that chewing a few leaves of Gymnema Sylvestre suppressed the taste of sugar. That is, sweet foods no longer tasted sweet, but rather became almost completely tasteless.
Quote from Web MD: “Today, gymnema is used for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, weight loss, and cough. It is also used for malaria and as a snake bite antidote, digestive stimulant, laxative, appetite suppressant, and diuretic.
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