Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Source: Herbs for Health
November/December 2003

Gurmar leaf (Gymnema sylvestre). This remarkable herb, well known in Ayurvedic medicine, is just beginning to get serious attention in the United States. The plant’s leaves, when chewed, interfere with the ability to taste sweetness, which explains its Hindi name, gurmar, ”destroyer of sugar.”

Gymnema certainly could serve as the backbone of a natural diabetes program. It has been used in India for the treatment of diabetes for more than 2,000 years. Used primarily for type 2 diabetes, its benefits extend to type l, and it continues to be recommended today in India The leaves raise insulin levels when administered to healthy volunteers. Gurmar tends to be a blood sugar balancer, lowering glucose significantly only in hyperglycemic people. It also significantly improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels,

Traditionally, 6 to 12 grams of the powdered leaf per day is used. Studies recently performed in India have used 400 mg per day of an extract of the leaves. In type 2 diabetics, ongoing use for periods as long as 18 to 24 months has been successful. In type 1 diabetic patients, a similar amount of 400 mg daily has been used as an adjunct to ongoing use of insulin.

In one recent study at the University of Madras, gurmar showed the potential for pancreas repair, raising output of insulin to normal levels. Another Indian study reported that 25 percent of the participants were able to discontinue all diabetes medication with the use of gurmar alone.