Gymnema Sylvestre is widely regarded as one of the plants with potent anti-diabetic properties.
It is a woody climbing plant native to Africa and India. The leaves of the plant are mainly used to make medicines. It has been used in India’s traditional Ayurvedic medicines since ancient times.
The Hindi name, gurmar, means “the destroyer of sugar.” This plant is also utilized for controlling obesity in the form of Gymnema tea. The active compound of Gymnema Sylvestre is a group of acids commonly known as the Gymnemic acids. It has been found that there could be a link between Gymnemic acids, obesity, and diabetes.
How Gymnema Sylvestre works to Control Diabetes?
The main component in Gymnema Sylvestre is Gymnemic acids.
Gymnemic acids are glycosides isolated from the leaves of Gymnema Sylvestre(Asclepiadaceae).
Gymnemic acids like hodulcine and ziziphin are anti-sweet compounds or sweetness inhibitors. After chewing the leaves, solutions sweetened with sucrose taste like water.
More than twenty homologues of gymnemic acid are found in the leaves. Gymnemic acid has the highest anti-sweet properties.
Gymnemic acid represses the sweetness of most of the sweeteners including intense artificial sweeteners like aspartame and natural sweeteners like thaumatin, a sweet protein.
The anti-sweet activity is reversible, but sweetness recovery on the tongue can take more than 10 minutes.
Health Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre
There are several health benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre. Here we have noted down a few common health benefits.
The best diet for weight loss should include Gymnema Sylvestre. Excessive body weight enhances the chances of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, gout, gallstones, and cancer,gymnema sylvestre diabetes.
If you are immensely overweight, you can feel tired, experience the breathing problems, develop skin irritation and frequently experience lower back and joint pains that can severely affect your mobility. Gymnema Sylvestre contains the compound Gymnemic acids that have immense anti-bacterial effects and helps reduce unhealthy cholesterol and fats.
Improves Blood Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is defined as a waxy, fat-like compound that is found in most body tissues including the blood and the nerves. Cholesterol immensely helps make the outer coating of various cells, makes up the bile acids that continuously act to digest the foods in the intestine and also allows the human body to produce Vitamin D and hormones. High cholesterol enhances the chances of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
There are two types of cholesterol- LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol). When there is too much cholesterol is present, plaque a thick, hard substance can form in the arteries of the heart. Gymnema helps reduce the amount of lipids in the bloodstream and possesses the anti-atherosclerotic action. Gymnema’s anti-atherosclerotic actions help keep plaque from forming on the walls of the arteries.
Blocks Sugar Absorption
During the digestion, gymnemic acids have a “sugar blocking” property. It has been found that people who were given a Gymnema supplement experienced reduced sugar absorption during digestion. Structurally, gymnemic acids are extremely similar to glucose and behave in the intestine in a similar way.
When gymnemic acids lock into the intestinal receptors, they effectively lock out the glucose. This effectively prevents the sugar from being absorbed. This effect has a twofold benefit in which it immensely helps balance the blood sugar, and it promotes the lean body mass by lessening the amount of sugar that gets stored as fat.
Helps Improve High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension, as it is more commonly known – affects over 2 million adults in India. High blood pressure is one of the critical medical conditions that can cause a stroke, heart attack, coronary heart disease, heart failure, kidney failure and other serious health problems. The common signs of high blood pressure include a severe headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, vision changes and nose bleeds. Cardiovascular disease is reaching epidemic proportions in the nation.
Of the controllable risk factors, hypertension obviously deserves especial focus, since it affects so many persons. Gymnemic acids in Gymnema Sylvestre block the activities of angiotensin II (a protein that is responsible for enhancing blood pressure) and aid in reducing high blood pressure.
Gymnema plant contains a number of compounds, such as anthraquinones and acidic glycosides. The primary bioactive constituent of Gymnema, commonly known as gymnemic acid, is found in the roots and leaves. Gymnemic acids are sweetness inhibitors.
Chewing Gymnema leaves will decrease the taste of sugar, or “sweetness,” in the mouth. The temporary effect is noticed with both natural and artificial sweeteners; and suggests Gymnema can have value as an appetite suppressant.
Nutritional Support for Diabetics
It has been suggested that there is merit to gymnema sylvestre benefits other historical use as the diabetic therapy. This value is due in part to its tendency to regulate normal blood sugar and positively affect the insulin production. It has been found Gymnema supplementation produces an increase in the insulin levels. Insulin is produced in the pancreas, and it is believed that the insulin increase can be due to the regeneration of pancreatic cells.
It has been found that Gymnema stimulates insulin secretion in humans.Benefits of gymnema sylvestre leaf are effective in lowering the blood sugar and the levels of fats or lipids in the bloodstream of humans.
Helps protect the heart
With the growing age, the arteries of the heart tend to lose the ability to stretch, and gymnema sylvestre benefits
can immensely help maintain the elasticity. It also helps protect our heart from the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals.
The gymnemic acid compound of Gymnema Sylvestre also prevents the blood vessels from becoming blocked and slow developmental process of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The anti-clotting virtues of benefits of gymnema sylvestre immensely help prevent the formation of clots inside the blood vessels.
Regularizes Bowel Movement
A bowel movement is the last stop in movement of the food through the digestive tract. The stool passes out of the human body through the anus and rectum. It is made of what is left after the digestive system (small intestine, stomach, and colon) absorbs fluids and nutrients from what you drink and eat. Gymnemic acid compound of Gymnema Sylvestre immensely helps regularizes bowel movement and prevent constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Inculcation of nutritious Gymnema Sylvestre in a healthy diet is sure to fulfill most of the body’s essential nutritional requirements.