From the roots and leaves of the Gymnema Sylvestre climbing vine emerges an herbal remedy that has anti-diabetic effects. Native to India and Southeast Asia, Gymnema Sylvestre belongs to the Asclepiadaceae family and is also known by several common names including gurmar, gudma, gurmarbooti and meshasring. Gymnema Sylvestre is used in natural medicine for reducing blood sugar levels, a general benefit for people with diabetes. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, provides asthma relief and helps to heal wounds.
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Blocks Taste of Sweetness
If a person takes Gymnema Sylvestre, he or she will not taste sugar in foods. According to The HerbalDigest, this is the meaning of one of this herb's Hindu names, "gurmar," which means "sugar destroyer." This is beneficial to people with diabetes, but for those taking the herb for its other properties, this is one of the side effects they can expect to encounter.
Suppresses the Appetite
Unless a person is taking Gymnema Sylvestre specifically for weight loss, they will find that it causes a decrease in their appetite that can lead to weight loss. This is another property of the herb that can be a problem for those who do not have a weight concerns.
Gymnema Sylvestre stimulates the pancreas to produce more of the body's naturally occurring insulin, which normalises the blood sugar levels in people with Type 1 diabetes, according to The HerbalDigest. In Type 2 diabetes, this herb assists the body in controlling its overall blood sugar levels.
While the herb has positive effects on the diabetic condition, problems may arise in determining the correct dosages of the diabetic drugs while experiencing the effects of taking Gymnema Sylvestre, since they both lower blood sugar levels. This determination is also very subjective -- it is very much dependent on how responsible and proactive the person with diabetes is about minimalizing, or reversing his diabetic condition through diet and lifestyle activities.
Taking the herb Gymnema Sylvestre cannot be a complete substitute to incorporating a healthy diet and physically active routine into a daily routine.
According to the University of Michigan Health System's Healthwise Knowledgebase, Gymnema Sylvestre has a rating of two out of three stars since the study of its effects on health are in preliminary stages. There also doesn't currently exist a sufficient amount of scientific investigative studies to prove the comprehensive benefits and effects of the herb.
Lowering blood sugar levels is the goal of diabetic medications formulated for this purpose. Taking Gymnema Sylvestre in unison with other medications can result in a serious drop in blood sugar levels, causing a serious hypoglycaemic reaction, as stated by New York University's Langone Medical Center.
This means that Gymnema Sylvestre is contraindicated in the use of insulin and diabetic medicines that reduce the body's blood sugar levels.
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