Gymnema - Gymnema sylvestre

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This Gymnema (Gymenma sylvestre) monograph is an excerpt from the first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA.

Gymnema - Gymnema sylvestre - in the Asclepiadaceae or Milkweed family

Parts used: Aerial parts.

Taste/smell: Sweetish taste.

Tendencies: Cooling.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:3.5 dry strength liquid extract: 5-60 drops 1-4 times per day.

Use: (a) Hypoglycemic, (b) Hypolipidemic, (c) Antiatherosclerotic.

Gymnema is primarily used for diabetes.

In my experience the clinical effect of Gymnema is swift in new Type II diabetics and slower in long term Type II and Type I diabetics. It can decrease the need for insulin and moderate blood sugar levels in brittle diabetics.  Please don’t think you can take someone off of insulin who is a type I diabetic. A practitioner may be able to lower the insulin requirements or stabilize erratic blood sugar levels, in type I diabetics, but the individuals still need to use insulin. Of course, no one but a trained practitioner should be managing a diabetics blood sugar levels.

Contraindications: Do not use in cases of hypoglycemia. Blood sugar must be monitored for rapid drops after taking this herb. Often the oral hypoglycemic drug or insulin dosages need to be decreased when Gymnema is used. Gymnema will desensitize the taste buds to sweet and bitter tasting foods for 3 hours. This effect can be avoided by taking the herb in capsule form. 1 square cm of Gymnema leaf chewed for 1-2 minutes can completely block sweet taste for 2-3 hours. This will make a piece of bread taste like straw. Although helpful if you are dieting, this is not pleasant for the average person. Gymnema should not be given to hypoglycemic individuals. You will exacerbate their symptoms.

There was no histopathological damage found in the liver or kidney of rabbits who consumed this herb for 6 months. 788

No toxic effect was seen in rats treated with gymnema at up to 1.00% in the diet for 52 weeks.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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