The Gymnema herb has been known for almost two millennia for its potent “sugar killing” properties.
Gymnema is a woody, vine-like plant that is native to the forests of central and southern India. The gymnema plant typically climbs on bushes and trees. It has roots on its nodes and have elliptical leaves. It has small flowers and has a yellow corolla.
Known by its scientific name of gymnema sylvestre, gymnema is known as a “destroyer of sugar” because in ancient times, Ayurvedic physicians observed that chewing leaves of gymnema suppressed the taste of sugar. Currently, gymnema is one of the major botanicals being administered in India for those suffering from diabetes, in boosting insulin levels and controlling healthy blood sugar levels.
In fact, Indian clinical trials have shown that extract from the plant is useful in both insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and in certain types of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Clinical studies have shown that when taken, gymnema acts on two fronts: the taste buds in the oral cavity, and in the absorptive surface of the intestines.
The active constituents of gymnema are the following: gymnemic acid, parabin, glucose, and carbohydrates.
Gymnema tea is often made by combining dried gymnema leaves with green tea loose leaf tea, placing them in boiling water, and allowed to steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
The following are the health benefits attributed to gymnema tea:
- May help reduce blood sugar levels.
- May help reduce cravings for sugar.
- May help control weight.
- When applied topically this tea may help treat swollen glands.
- Has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- When applied topically this tea may help treat snakebites.