- What Is Gymnema Sylvestre?
- 8 Health Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre
- Gymnema Sylvestre Dosage
- Safety and Side Effects of Gymnema Sylvestre
- The Bottom Line: Should You Try Gymnema Sylvestre?
If you struggle with sugar cravings, you might be interested in Gymnema sylvestre.
The most common names for this herb include “periploca of the woods” and “Australian cowplant.” But its Hindi name, “gurmar,” is the most interesting. It translates to “destroyer of sugar.”
This name is well-deserved: Gymnema sylvestre leaves can help prevent your taste buds from accessing sweet flavors, which gives Gymnema a laundry list of health benefits. Gymnema sylvestre leaves can lower blood sugar levels, eliminate sugar cravings, speed up weight loss, and lower insulin levels.
Gymnema grows in Australia, Africa, Sri Lanka, and India. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medical knowledge dating back 5,000 years, uses Gymnema sylvestre to treat snake bites and for its antimicrobial activity.
This article will cover the health benefits of Gymnema sylvestre and why it’s a useful dietary supplement for sugar cravings, especially when you’re following a high-fat diet.
What Is Gymnema Sylvestre?
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.
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs that only contain one active molecule, G. sylvestre has a variety of bioactive compounds[*].
Gymnema leaves contain saponins, gymnemic acids, and other precious chemicals that have several benefits including[*]:
- Increasing insulin secretion in response to food
- Promoting the regeneration of damaged cells
- Improving glucose metabolism by non-insulin-dependent means
- Blocking the absorption of sugar in the small intestine
One of the most incredible compounds in Gymnema is gurmarin, a peptide that prevents your tongue’s taste buds from detecting sweet foods.
Chemically, gurmarin has a similar structure to sugar. It occupies your tongue’s taste bud receptors and prevents them from distinguishing between sweet taste and bitter flavor[*].
Gymnemic acids act similarly on your intestinal lining to prevent you from absorbing sugars during digestion[*].
8 Health Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre
Here are 8 health benefits of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract, which might make you consider using this natural product as a supplement on your keto diet.
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#1: Helps With Sugar Cravings
Gymnema’s number one superpower is its ability to temporarily reduce the perception of sweet flavors and reduce cravings for sugar and sweets. It 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 a fantastic choice to help you avoid sugar and sweet treats by making them less appealing.
#2: May Promote Weight Loss
If your goal is to lose fat, Gymnema sylvestre extract can make weight loss easier. Gymnema has an anti-obesity effect in humans and rats, prevents weight gain, and improves health markers associated with being overweight[*][*].
A study has shown that overweight people find that they eat less when they take Gymnema sylvestre before meals[*].
Gymnema helps to reduce body weight, but without stimulating the central nervous system. This means it doesn’t increase stress, alter cortisol levels, or disrupt sleep.
After taking Gymnema for three weeks, obese rats decreased their body weight to normal levels[*].
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, particularly too much sugar.
#3: Helps Control Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
Gymnema can be a great supplement option for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, too. It improves blood sugar control and reduces high blood glucose levels[*][*].
In a clinical trial involving people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, Gymnema proved to help balance insulin release and reduce dependence on insulin therapy or oral diabetes drugs[*].
The use of Gymnema can even help restore insulin secretion from pancreatic islet cells and may help them regenerate. At the same time, animal research suggests that it can suppress glucose absorption in the digestive tract[*][*][*].
Insulin-dependent diabetes patients taking Gymnema were able to reduce their insulin dosage by 50%, and also had lower blood sugar levels. In a study conducted on diabetic rats, Gymnema was shown to treat conditions such as hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia, among others[*][*].
In another study, type 2 diabetic patients who took Gymnema extract were able to reduce their diabetes drug dosages, and some patients even successfully stopped using diabetes drugs altogether[*].
If you suffer from diabetes, you should talk to your doctor before replacing or changing any medication.
#4: Increases Your Antioxidant Levels and Reduces Oxidative Stress
Gymnema is also packed with antioxidants, such as tannins and flavonoids[*].
Overweight people usually show 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[*].
A study using obese rats showed that Gymnema boosted rats’ natural antioxidant systems, decreasing the strain on their body from being overweight[*].
#5: Offers Antimicrobial Properties
Due to its specific phytochemical profile, this plant’s natural extract can be a potent antimicrobial and antifungal treatment for candida, staph infections, and other types of bacteria[*][*].
Other Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre
- It may provide neuroprotection against diabetic neuropathy[*].
- It may help improve kidney health, reducing urea and uric acid[*].
- It can promote the inhibition of tumor growth[*]
Gymnema Sylvestre Dosage
How much Gymnema sylvestre you should take depends on the method of administration you choose. Each way of taking Gymnema offers different benefits.
Gymnema Sylvestre in Capsules
The advantage of Gymnema sylvestre capsules is that you can take the Gymnema leaf or extract in multiple daily doses. Take pills 10 minutes before a meal, with a full glass of water.
Here’s a guideline to Gymnema capsule dosage:
- 300 milligrams of Gymnema leaf twice per day (600 milligrams daily) in metabolic syndrome patients, or for fat loss[*]
- 500 milligrams of Gymnema leaf twice per day (1000 milligrams daily) in diabetic patients[*][*][*]
Gymnema Sylvestre in Tea
The traditional method of taking Gymnema sylvestre involves chewing the leaves or making them into a tea. If you want to block the taste of sugar, Gymnema tea works best, because the gurmarin peptide comes into contact with your tongue and binds to your sweetness receptors.
To make Gymnema sylvestre tea, you will need bagged or loose Gymnema leaves.
- Add 1/4 cup leaves of Gymnema to a quart of boiling water
- Steep 10 minutes
- Effects last 30-60 minutes after drinking[*]
- Drink 30 minutes or so before your meal or whenever you have a sweet tooth
If you take other Gymnema supplements, don’t drink Gymnema tea, because you may accidentally take too much.
Perfect Keto Blood Sugar Support Capsules
Along with Gymnema sylvestre, other natural supplements can improve insulin response, reduce blood sugar, and help your body handle carbs better. Some people combine Gymnema with St. John’s Wort or other herbs to get more benefits.
Perfect Keto offers Blood Sugar Support capsules designed to reduce cravings, lower food intake, increase weight loss, and make the transition to a keto diet easier.
Four capsules of Perfect Keto Blood Sugar Support formula contain 1000 milligrams of Gymnema sylvestre along with biotin, chromium picolinate, bitter melon extract, cinnamon, berberine, banana leaf extract.
If you’re on the keto diet, start by taking 1-2 Blood Sugar Support pills 10 minutes before meals with a full glass of water. You can use higher doses if you eat a high-carb meal.
Safety and Side Effects of Gymnema Sylvestre
According to toxicity studies, Gymnema sylvestre and its extracts are safe when taken in recommended doses. Rats given a high dose of Gymnema for a year showed no life-threatening side effects[*][*].
However, there are a couple of minor side effects when taking too much Gymnema. If you have never taken Gymnema before, start with a lower dose and work your way up gradually.
Excessive doses of Gymnema can lead to side effects including low blood sugar levels, weakness, shakiness, and excessive sweating[*].
Some users report an upset stomach or diarrhea when they first start Gymnema sylvestre. If you experience these issues, consider lowering your dose or stopping altogether if they don’t go away.
If you have diabetes or you’re on any medication, ask your doctor for medical advice before you take supplements.
Studies show that Gymnema may improve health markers in diabetic patients, but it can also cause hypoglycemia if taken along with insulin, metformin, or other diabetic drugs.
If you have diabetes and take Gymnema, continue taking any prescribed medications, but monitor your blood sugar carefully to avoid hypoglycemic states[*].
Liver toxicity can also be a rare side effect in people with diabetes who take this plant’s supplement[*].
There isn’t enough data on the effects of Gymnema in pregnancy or breastfeeding, so avoid using it to be safe.
If you plan to have surgery, stop taking Gymnema two weeks or more before your scheduled surgery. The effects of Gymnema on blood sugar levels could interfere with the anesthesia and surgical procedures.
Gymnema may inhibit the action of the Cytochrome P450 enzyme in the liver, which can increase the effects of some drugs. If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications, talk to your doctor before trying Gymnema[*].
The Bottom Line: Should You Try Gymnema Sylvestre?
If you follow a low-carb or keto lifestyle, you already know the importance of maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar and insulin.
Keeping your blood sugar low can give you steady energy throughout the day and help to promote mental clarity and sharpness. High-carb intake can cause brain fog, energy crashes, and serious health issues over time[*].
If you’re struggling with sugar cravings, having a hard time limiting food intake, want to lose more weight, or need to manage your blood sugar levels, consider taking Gymnema sylvestre.
Most users experience no side effects, and there’s good evidence that Gymnema can dramatically improve health in people with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, or diabetes[*].
Gymnema goes well with other supplements that help control blood sugar or improve fat loss results. It can be a helpful addition to your keto diet.
Perfect Keto Blood Sugar Capsules contain seven natural vitamins, minerals, herbs (including Gymnema), and herbal extracts formulated to support your body. This combination aids in healthy carbohydrate metabolism, while improving blood sugar levels.