Gurmar is a perennial woody vine native to tropical Asia, China, the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, and Australia. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for many years. Its common names include Gymnema, Sylvestre, Australian Cow plant, and Periploca of the Woods. Germar’s leaves are high in antioxidants.
A study published in Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants reveals that gurmar, which translates to ‘destroyer of sugar’, is rich in several active compounds like gymnemic acid, anthraquinones, flavones, hentriacontane, pentatriacontane, phytin, resins, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, lupeol and alkaloid like gymnamine, which make it rich in antidiabetic properties.
According to WebMD, “gurmar contains substances that decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestine. Gurmar may also increase the amount of insulin in the body and increase the growth of cells in the pancreas, which is the place in the body where insulin is made“. It is also known to aid weight loss with research indicating that consuming the leaves for 12 weeks can help reduce the body weight and body mass index in overweight people.
Apart from helping people lose weight, here are other benefits that this wonderful plant offers:
Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels
As a supplement, it has been used in combination with other diabetes medications to lower blood sugar. Similar to its effects on the taste bud, it can also block receptors in the intestines and thus sugar absorption, lowering post-meal blood sugar levels.
Studies suggest that consuming 200–400 mg of gurmar reduces the intestinal absorption of glucose. The study concluded that reducing blood sugar after a meal resulted in a decrease in average blood sugar levels over time. This could help decrease long-term complications of diabetes. The study also suggested that the role of gurmar in insulin secretion and cell regeneration may be responsible for its blood-sugar-lowering capabilities.
Gurmar herb may stimulate insulin production in the pancreas, promoting the regeneration of insulin-producing islet cells. This can help lower the blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes patients.
Improves Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels
Gurmar may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Research has shown that gurmar may also influence fat absorption and lipid levels in the body.
One study found that gurmar extract had an anti-obesity effect on animals fed a high-fat diet. It also decreased blood fat and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
In addition, a study in moderately obese people showed that gurmar extract decreased triglycerides and bad “LDL” cholesterol by 20.2% and 19% respectively. What’s more, it increased “good” HDL cholesterol levels by 22%.
High levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are risk factors for heart disease.
Therefore, the positive effects of the herb on LDL and triglycerides levels may contribute to a lower risk of heart conditions.
Aids Weight Loss
Gurmar extracts have been shown to aid weight loss in animals and humans. What’s more, a study in 60 moderately obese people found a 5–6% decrease in body weight, as well as reduced food intake.
By blocking sweet receptors on the taste buds, gurmar may cause you to eat fewer sweety foods and consume fewer calories.
The ability of gurmar to reduce sugar absorption in your intestines may also allow it to decrease inflammation caused by excess sugar intake. This is thought to be due to its content of tannins and saponins, which are beneficial plant compounds.
People with diabetes not only suffer from high blood sugar and insulin resistance but may also have decreased antioxidant levels, which can contribute to inflammation.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, gurmar can help those with diabetes and high blood sugar in a variety of ways by fighting inflammation.
How To Use:
Gurmar is traditionally consumed as tea or by chewing its leaves.
In Western medicine, it is typically taken in pill or tablet form, making it easier to control and monitor dosage. It can also be ingested in extract or leaf powder form.
The recommended dosage for gurmar depends on the form in which it is consumed.
Tea: Boil leaves for 5 minutes, then let steep for 10–15 minutes before drinking.
Powder: Start with 2 grams, increasing to 4 grams if no side effects occur.
Capsule: 100 mg, 3–4 times daily.
Gurmar is not safe to consume by pregnant, breastfeeding women and children.
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