Gymnema’s number one superpower is its ability to temporarily reduce the perception of sweet flavors and reduce cravings for sugar and sweets. Gymnema doesn’t affect other flavors, only sweet ones.
This is great news if you’re getting into ketosis or you’re in ketosis, but still experiencing the occasional sweet tooth. Gymnema sylvestre is an excellent choice to help you avoid sugar and sweet treats by making them less appealing. Gymnema sylvestre can help reduce sugar cravings.
If your goal is to lose fat, Gymnema or its extracts can make weight loss easier. Gymnema has an anti-obesity effect, prevents weight gain, and improves health markers associated with being overweight.
People who are overweight eat less when they take Gymnema sylvestre before meals. Gymnema reduces body weight without stimulating the central nervous system, meaning it doesn’t increase stress, alter cortisol levels, or disrupt sleep.
Gymnema pairs well with a ketogenic diet for fat loss. It makes the transition to low carb intake easier and reduces the adverse effects of eating too many carbs, and particularly too much sugar.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 420 million people worldwide have diabetes, and this number is expected to increase.
Gymnema is great for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, too. It improves blood sugar control and reduces high blood glucose levels. Similar to its effects on your taste buds, Gymnema sylvestre can also block receptors in your intestines and thus sugar absorption, lowering your post-meal blood sugar levels.
As a supplement, it has been used in combination with other diabetes medications to lower blood sugar. It’s also called gurmar, which is Hindi for “destroyer of sugar”.
In people with type 2 diabetes, Gymnema may improve insulin response to food and reduce dependence on insulin therapy or oral diabetes drugs. Gymnema can even restore insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells, and help regenerate the damaged beta cells. Insulin-dependent diabetes patients taking Gymnema were able to reduce their insulin dosage by 50% and also had lower blood sugar levels.
Gymnema’s role in insulin secretion and cell regeneration may also contribute to its blood-sugar-lowering capabilities. Higher insulin levels mean that sugar is cleared from your blood at a faster rate. If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, your body tends to not make enough insulin, or your cells become less sensitive to it over time. This results in consistently high blood sugar levels.
Gymnema sylvestre stimulates insulin production in your pancreas, promoting the regeneration of insulin-producing islet cells. This can help lower your blood sugar levels. Many traditional drugs help increase insulin secretion and sensitivity. However, herbal therapies are gaining momentum in drug development.
Gymnema sylvestre helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides. While Gymnema gets its fame from lowering blood sugar levels and reducing sugar cravings, research shows that it may also influence fat absorption and lipid levels.
High levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are risk factors for heart disease. Therefore, the positive effects of Gymnema sylvestre on LDL and triglycerides levels can contribute to a lower risk of heart conditions.
Gymnema is packed with antioxidants, too. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), also called free radicals, cause oxidative stress in the human body.
Overweight people have lower levels of antioxidants and higher levels of oxidative stress, which has been linked to a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver diseases, and cancer.
Recent research confirms Gymnema sylvestre has antimicrobial activity. Gymnema is active against Staphylococcus aureus (staph) and many other bacteria.
Gymnema sylvestre is a hardy climbing shrub native to India, Australia, and Africa. It grows wild and is also cultivated by farmers who sell the leaves for their valuable medicinal uses.
If you struggle with sugar cravings, you might be interested in Gymnema sylvestre. This herbal supplement goes by the name “gurmar” in Hindi, which translates to “destroyer of sugar.”
Gymnema grows in Australia, Africa, Sri Lanka, and India. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medical knowledge dating back 5000 years, uses Gymnema sylvestre to treat snake bites and for its antimicrobial activity.
Preparation: Add a teaspoon of the herb to a cup of boiling water. Cover it and let it steep for 10–15 minutes before drinking. Effects last 30-60 minutes after drinking. Drink 30 minutes or so before your meal or whenever you have a sweet tooth. The tea can be bitter, so adding a bit of lemon may help or mixing with some other herbs (sugar is not recommended, as it is counter productive to the medicinal effects of the herb).
Precaution: While its effects on blood sugar are rather positive, Gymnema sylvestre supplements should not be taken at the same time as blood-sugar-lowering medications, including insulin injections. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the best timing for taking this supplement
Additionally, the supplement should not be taken with aspirin or the herb St. John’s Wort, as this may increase Gymnema’s blood-sugar-lowering effects.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
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