image
Conservation

Compilation of herbal plants (description, geographical distribution, taxonomy, line drawings), biodiversity and herbarium.

Read More
image
Research & Publication

Description of herbal and T&CM research, searchable publication and process from medicinal plant discovery to clinical trial in producing a high-quality registered herbal drug.

Read More
 
Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM)

 

Definition and description of therapies, policy, training and education, research in the practise of (T&CM) and integrated medicine system.           

Read More

 

News Update

Announcement & Advertisement

Forthcoming Events

4th International Conference on Natural Products and Medicinal Plants Research

From Fri, 25. September 2020 Until Sat, 26. September 2020

15th International Conference on Frontiers in Alternative & Traditional Medicine

From Fri, 25. September 2020 Until Sat, 26. September 2020

International Congress on Drug Delivery

From Mon, 5. October 2020 Until Tue, 6. October 2020

Global Pharmaceutical and Pharma Industry Conference

From Mon, 12. October 2020 Until Tue, 13. October 2020

14th International Conference on Pharmaceutics and Drug Safety

From Wed, 21. October 2020 Until Thu, 22. October 2020

Gymnema

Plant Part Used

Leaf

Active Constituents

Gymnemic acids (a complex mixture of saponins and dihydroxy gymnemic triacetate),(24) gurmarin (a polypeptide of 35 amino acids), (1) 

mixture of glucuronides triterpene(25), tartaric acid, calcium oxalate, glucose, stigmasterol, betaine, and choline (26), flavonoid triglycoside(27), anthroquinones.

Others include hentri-acontane, pentatriacontane, α and β-chlorophylls, phytin, resins, dquercitol, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, lupeol, β-amyrin related glycosides and stigmasterol. (28)

[span class=alert]

This section is a list of chemical entities identified in this dietary supplement to possess pharmacological activity. This list does not imply that other, yet unidentified, constituents do not influence the pharmacological activity of this dietary supplement nor does it imply that any one constituent possesses greater influence on the overall pharmacological effect of this dietary supplement.[/span]

Introduction

Gymnema is a rain forest vine found in Central and Southern India, which has a long tradition in the treatment and management of diabetes. The Indian name is Gurmar, which means, "sugar destroyer." Its use has been documented in Ayurvedic medical texts for over 2000 years in the treatment of "sweet" urine. Gymnema is gaining popularity with clinicians utilizing natural therapy protocols in the management of Type 2 diabetes, hyperinsulinemia, and impaired glucose tolerance. Gymnema has also been traditionally used in the management of rheumatoid arthritis and gout. (2)

This species presents as a vulnerable species that has slow growth and perennial shell life which can be found in peninsular and central India. It has been observed that gymnema has been used historically to treat asthma, snakebite, avoid caterpillar, skin cosmetic, eye complaints, inflammations, inhibit sweet taste sensation and more. It is believed due to the similar structure of gymnemic acids and glucose, obesity can be reduced through tastebuds receptor replacement. (29)

Besides that, the plant plays a role in the gastrointestinal system which includes relaxation of intestinal smooth muscle, inhibition of intestinal peristalsis and potassium channel, regulate the unstirred thickness, absorption of cells in epithelium reduced, decrease the stimulation of peptide hormone, and also increase the liquid flow through porusl in pancreas. (30)

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

250-500mg (standardized extract), 1-3 times a day.

Most Common Dosage

250mg (standardized extract), 2 times a day.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 25% gymnemic acids per dose.

Uses

Frequently Reported Uses

  • Weight Management
  • Diabetes, Type 2
  • Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)
  • Insulin Regulation
  • Hyperinsulinemia
  • Anti-oxidant

    Other Reported Uses

    • Anti-Rheumatic Agent
    • Reduction Of Sweet Cravings, Appetite
    • Cholesterol Lowering
    • Gout
    • Antimicrobial
    • Anti-inflammatory

      Toxicities & Precautions

      General

      Gymnema has been reported safe in recommended dosages. (3)

      Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

      If pregnant or nursing, consult a physician before use.

      Age Limitations

      Do not use in children under 2 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

      Pharmacology

      The leaves of gymnema are thought to increase insulin secretion, and several studies report control of hyperglycemia in moderately diabetic laboratory animals. (4) , (5) A decrease in body weight was also reported. Gymnema reportedly produced blood glucose homeostasis and increased the activity of the enzymes involved in the utilization of glucose by insulin dependent pathways. (6) A laboratory animal study reported that gymnema did have stimulatory effects on insulin release, but results indicated that gymnema may act by increasing cell permeability rather than by stimulating release of insulin from beta cells. (7) Another laboratory animal study reported an alteration of hepatic glycogen content. (8) The gymnema leaf extract failed to alter the hepatic glycogen content in normal rats, yet in glucose fed rats, the leaf extract lowered the glycogen content of the tissue significantly. The glycogen content was further lowered when both exogenous insulin and the gymnema leaf extract was administered. A laboratory animal study also investigated the effects of gymnema constituents on fecal steroid excretion, with the results reporting that a high dose of gymnemic acids increases fecal cholesterol and cholic acid-derived bile acid excretion. (9) A recent study reports significant serum cholesterol lowering effects of gymnema. (10)

      Gymnemic acids have been reported to inhibit the intestinal absorption of glucose in human and rats. (11) A laboratory animal study reported that gymnemic acid inhibited the absorption of oleic acid in intestine of rats, being dose dependent and reversible. (12) These findings are important in the roles of gymnemic acid in therapy of diabetes mellitus and obesity.Animal studies reported that gymnema has a role in triglyceride esters by inhibiting the absorption of oleic acid in small intestine. It is also reported that gymnema restricts the genetic obesity by improving the metabolism of cholesterol and preventing excessive eating. (31)

      Human studies have reported a significant reduction in blood glucose during therapy with gymnema. (13) , (14) A reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin and glycosylated plasma proteins has also been reported, with a reduction in conventional drug dosage. In studies performed in India, patients with Type 2 diabetes were able to discontinue conventional drugs and maintain their blood glucose homeostasis with gymnema alone. (15) Researchers suggest that beta cells may be regenerated and/or repaired in Type 2 diabetics on gymnema supplementation. (16) They support their claim by the appearance of increased endogenous insulin levels in the serum of individuals after gymnema supplementation. As stated earlier, studies have reported that gymnemic acids suppress the elevation of blood glucose levels by inhibiting glucose uptake in the intestine. (17)

      Gymnema has also been reported to selectively suppress the neural responses to sweet taste stimuli. (18) , (19) , (20) Because gymnema leaf powder has an anesthetizing effect on the taste buds which can last for several hours, some researchers feel that gymnema may be a potential agent in weight reduction and sweet cravings. (21) However, after long-term use of gymnema (greater than 2 weeks), the sweet craving response may be reversed due to the induction of salivary gurmarin-binding proteins. (22) Gymnema may potentially be used in athletes to develop a higher ratio of lean muscle mass to body fat. This may be due to the reported increase of insulin output associated with long-term use of gymnema. Increased insulin output and utilization encourages the uptake of amino acids into muscle tissue. Another study found that gymnema was effective and safe for the reduction of excess weight, BMI and also promoted healthy blood lipid levels. (23)

      Gymnema was reported to have antioxidant ability by inhibition of free radical and LDL oxidation in human body that is greater than green tea but lower effect with barley tea. This ability is able to reduce the formation of macrophages that can prevent atherosclerosis which can lead to failure of coronary circulation. (32)

      Studies reported that gymnema can be used as a great potential antimicrobial activity due to its saponin constitutent.  When tested with other antibiotics, results reported that gymnema is specifically effective on Gram negative bacteria and as potent as Chloramphenicol. Apart from that, it was reported that gymnema’s antifungal activity is three times more than fungicide Amphotericin-B. (33)

      References

      1. Sinsheimer JE, et al. Constituents from Gymnema sylvestre Leaves. V. Isolation and Preliminary Characterization of the Gymnemic Acids. J Pharm Sci. May1970;59(5):622-28.
      2. View Abstract: Shimizu K, et al. Suppression of Glucose Absorption by Extracts From the Leaves of Gymnema inodorum. J Vet Med Sci. Sep1997;59(9):753-57.
      3. View Abstract: Murakami N, et al. New Hypoglycemic Constituents in ‘Gymnemic Acid’ from Gymnema sylvestre. Chem Pharm Bull. (Tokyo). Feb1996;44(2):469-71.
      4. Srivastava Y, et al. Hypoglycemic and Life-prolonging Properties of Gymnema sylvestre Leaf Extract in Diabetic Rats. Isr J Med Sci. Jun1985;21(6):540-42.
      5. View Abstract: Okabayashi Y, et al. Effect of Gymnema sylvestre, R.Br. On Glucose Homeostasis in Rats. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. May1990;9(2):143-48.
      6. View Abstract: Shanmugasundaram KR, et al. Enzyme Changes and Glucose Utilization in Diabetic Rabbits: The Effect of Gymnema sylvestre, R.Br. J Ethnopharmacol. Mar1983;7(2):205-34.
      7. View Abstract: Persaud SJ, Al-Majed H, Raman A, et al. Gymnema sylvestre Stimulates Insulin Release In Vitro by Increased Membrane Permeability. J Endocrinol. Nov1999;163(2):207-12.
      8. View Abstract: Chattopadhyay RR. Possible Mechanism of Antihyperglycemic Effect of Gymnema sylvestre Leaf Extract, Part I. Gen Pharmacol. Sep1998;31(3):495-6.
      9. View Abstract: Nakamura Y, Tsumura Y, Tonogai Y, et al. Fecal Steroid Excretion is Increased in Rats by Oral Administration of Gymnemic Acids Contained in Gymnema sylvestre Leaves. J Nutr. Jun1999;129(6):1214-22.
      10. View Abstract: Preuss HG, et al. Comparative Effects of Chromium, Vanadium and Gymnema sylvestre on Sugar-Induced Blood Pressure Elevations in SHR. J Am Coll Nutr. Apr1998;17(2):116-23.
      11. View Abstract: Shimizu K, et al. Suppression of Glucose Absorption by Extracts From the Leaves of Gymnema inodorum. J Vet Med Sci. Sep1997;59(9):753-57.
      12. View Abstract: Wang LF, Luo H, Miyoshi M, et al. Inhibitory Effect of Gymnemic Acid on Intestinal Absorption of Oleic Acid in Rats. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. Oct1998;76(10-11):1017-23.
      13. View Abstract: Baskaran K, et al. Antidiabetic Effect of a Leaf Extract from Gymnema Sylvestre in Non-insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus Patients. J Ethnopharmacol. Oct1990;30(3):295-300.
      14. View Abstract: Shanmugasundaram ER, et al. Use of Gymnema sylvestre Leaf Extract in the Control of Blood Glucose in Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus. J Ethnopharmacol. Oct1990;30(3):281-94.
      15. View Abstract: Shanmugasundaram ER, et al. Use of Gymnema sylvestre Leaf Extract in the Control of Blood Glucose in Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus. J Ethnopharmacol. Oct1990;30(3):281-94.
      16. View Abstract: Shanmugasundaram ER, et al. Possible Regeneration of the Islets of Langerhans in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats Given Gymnema sylvestre Leaf Extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. Oct1990;30(3):265-79.
      17. View Abstract: Shimizu K, et al. Suppression of Glucose Absorption by Extracts From the Leaves of Gymnema inodorum. J Vet Med Sci. Sep1997;59(9):753-57.
      18. View Abstract: Kamei K, et al. Amino Acid Sequence of Sweet-taste-suppressing Peptide (Gurmarin) from the Leaves of Gymnema sylvestre. J Biochem. (Tokyo). Jan1992;111(1):109-12.
      19. View Abstract: Imoto T, et al. A Novel Peptide Isolated from the Leaves of Gymnema sylvestre - I. Characterization and Its Suppressive Effect on the Neural Responses to Sweet Taste Stimuli in the Rat. Comp Biochem Physiol A. 1991;100(2):309-14.
      20. View Abstract: Kurihara Y. Characteristics of Anti-sweet Substances, Sweet Proteins, and Sweetness-inducing Proteins. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1992;32(3):231-52.
      21. View Abstract: Brala PM, et al. Effects of Sweetness Perception and Caloric Value of a Preload on Short Term Intake. Physiol Behav. Jan1983;30(1):1-9.
      22. View Abstract: Katsukawa H, Imoto T, Ninomiya Y. Induction of Salivary Gurmarin-binding Proteins in Rats Fed Gymnema-containing Diets. Chem Senses. Aug1999;24(4):387-92.
      23. View Abstract: Preuss HG, Bagchi D, Bagchi M, Rao CV, Dey DK, Satyanarayana S. 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. May2004;6(3):171-80.
      24. Daisy P., et al. A novel dihydroxy gymnemic triacetate isolated from Gymnema sylvestre possessing normoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity on STZ-induced diabetic rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. November 2009; 2(126): 339-344
      25. Luo H., et al. Decreased bodyweight without rebound and regulated lipoprotein metabolism by gymnemate in genetic multifactor syndrome animal. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. May 2007; 1-2(299): 93–98
      26. Kanetkar P., Singhal R., Kamat M. Gymnema sylvestre: A Memoir. J Clin Biochem Nutr. September 2007; 41(2): 77–81 2006 Balaram
      27. Lee E.J., et al. Effects of sucrose, inoculum density, auxins, and aeration volume on ceil growth of Gymnema sylvestre. Journal of Plant Biology December 2006; 6(49): 427-431
      28. Kanetkar P., Singhal R., Kamat M. Gymnema sylvestre: A Memoir. J Clin Biochem Nutr. September 2007; 41(2): 77–812006 Balaram
      29. Kanetkar P., Singhal R., Kamat M. Gymnema sylvestre: A Memoir. J Clin Biochem Nutr. September 2007; 41(2): 77–812006 Balaram
      30. Luo H., et al. Decreased bodyweight without rebound and regulated lipoprotein metabolism by gymnemate in genetic multifactor syndrome animal. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. May 2007; 1-2(299): 93–98
      31. Luo H., et al. Decreased bodyweight without rebound and regulated lipoprotein metabolism by gymnemate in genetic multifactor syndrome animal. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. May 2007; 1-2(299): 93–98
      32. Ohmari R., et al. Antioxidant activity of various teas against free radicals and LDL oxidation. Lipids. August 2005; 8(40): 849–853
      33. Khanna V.G., Kanabiran K. Antimicrobial activity of saponin fractions of the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre and Eclipta prostrate. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. November 2008; 11(24): 2737–2740

        Explore Further

        Consumer Data

        Consumer data including medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs and interactions and depletions.                                    

        Read More
        Professional Data

        Professional data organized into medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs, T&CM herbs, formulas, health conditions, interactions and depletions.

        Read More
        International Data

        We offer International linkages to provide extensive content pertaining to many facets of T&CM as well as Integrated Medicine. Please register for access.    

        Read More