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Biological Name: Gymnema sylvestre, Asclepias geminataSarpadarushtrika

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Other Names: Kavali, Sarpadarushtrika, Wakandi, Gudmar, Shiru-kurunja, Bodaparta, Putla-podra, Chakkarakolli, Parpatrah, Cherukurinja, Meshasringi, Chhota-Dudhilata, Merasingi, Gurmar

Additional Info: The plant is indigenous to mountainous regions, particularly Himalayas. It is additionally met in southern and central areas of India.

Elements Applied: Leaves and roots are commonly applied in herbal medicines.

Active Components: Sarpadarushtrika’s leaves were studied and stated to include:

Two types or resins, soluble and insoluble in alcohol. The one insoluble in alcohol represents the larger part. The soluble resin is stated to produce a tingling sensation.

  • A neutral bitter component
  • quercitol
  • Coloring and albuminous matters
  • ash
  • Calcium oxalate
  • cellulose
  • Pararabin
  • Gymnemic acid
  • Glucose
  • Tartaric acid
  • Carbohydrates
  • A glucoside, namely, an organic acid which is characterized by anti-saccharine capacity, and dubbed X (formula C32H5gO12).

Tannins are absent. According to recent researches, following gymnemic acid analysis, plant’s anti-saccharine capacity and its glycoside content was disproved.

Used For: The herb is known to treat diarrhea, relieve stomach conditions, stimulate the system, and act as a refrigerant. Ayurvedic scriptures give the herb diuretic, stomachic and antiperiodic properties.

The plant is known as one of the most important herbal remedies used in diabetes. It eliminates sugar content from pancreas, recovers pancreatic activity, acts as a blood system stimulant, enhances urination, and simulates the uterine muscles. It can also be employed to treat fevers, coughs, and gland swellings.

Several profound researches have been conducted by Indian specialists to prove the plant’s effect on sugar absorption by the body. According to 1930 study, Caius and Mhaskar revealed that herb leaf extract leads to hypoglycemia in the studied animals. The state is diagnosed quite soon after the extract is taken either orally, or intravenously. Departing from this study, they stated that the medicine acts by triggering insulin excretion by the pancreatic gland, due to the fact that no direct influence on triglyceride metabolism in the body was found. Its leaves are also stated to promote heart activity and sufficient circulation, induce urination, and strengthen the uterine muscles.

According to an ancient Ayurvedic scripture, G. sylvestre is capable of decreasing glycosuria and a variety of urinary tract conditions. The plant was also referred to as a sugar-inhibiting substance, due to its capacity to eliminate sweet taste. Due to this reason it was thought to eliminate excessive sugar from the body, thus being helpful in diabetes. Indian herbalists prescribed the herb for this disease very often.

The herb is potent of stimulating the pancreatic gland for insulin excretion in Type 2 diabetes. In addition to this capacity Gymnema is also known to enhance insulin capacity to decrease sugar levels in Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes. It reduces the desire to eat sweet products as well. The plant can be a successful alternative for sugar-reducing medicines in Type 2 diabetes.

Preparation and Intake: Individuals take up to 500 mg of herb extract a day.

Conventionally, the plant is also used as an antidote for snakebites. Dry leaf powder is distributed over the wound. The powder may also be mixed into paste by adding water and spread over a wound, or given as a decoction of internal use.

Chewing leaves, one may decrease the sweet sensation, or bitter taste of principles like quinine. This action is stated to last as long as for two hours.

The leaves can also be applied to relieve spleen and liver enlargement.

The herb is applied in form of powder or decoction.

Safety: The leaves are known to stimulate the cardiovascular system. The herb should be taken only under medical control. There is no further data concerning the herb’s safety level.