Gymnema sylvestre can be called a wonder and potent antidiabetic herbal medicine. It is also called gymnema, cowplant or miracle plant. It is a plant that is found in India, Africa and Australia.
The plant contains antidiabetic agents called gymnemic acids. Apart from diabetes, Gymnema is used in the treatment of obesity, asthma, high cholesterol, eye complaints, inflammations, and snake bites.
It is also said to kill germs in the body, has anti-cancer activity, protects the liver and prevents tooth decay. It can also be used as laxative, diuretic, and cough suppressant. The active ingredients are found in the leaves of this plant.
Apart from the gymnemic acids, it also contains tartaric acid, gurmarin, calcium oxalate, glucose, stigmasterol, betaine, and choline.
1. It slows glucose absorption into the blood. The molecule of gymnemic acids resemble that of glucose. It therefore, displaces glucose by tricking the intestinal walls into picking it up instead.
2. It makes the pancreas to release more insulin. This provides more insulin to use to move the available glucose appropriately throughout the body.
3. It causes increase in the islet beta cells of the pancreas. By stimulating the islet beta cells of the pancreas to increase, it increases the insulin production in the body
4. It reduces insulin resistance in the body. This cowplant does this by the destruction of the protein called resistin, which is responsible for insulin resistance and high cholesterol. This andidiabetic herbal medicine can actually reverse insulin resistance.
5. Gymneic acid acts on enzymes in the body to speed up the use of glucose in the body.
6. It prevents glucose release from glycogen, protein and fats in the body.
7. It removes cholesterol that is in food through feces. The cholesterol that is eaten will then not get into the blood stream. This is only one of the several ways that this natural remedy lowers cholesterol levels.
Another advantage of this miracle plant is its use in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. It can be used in combination with insulin for type 1 diabetics. This is because it helps insulin to move glucose in the body. It also prevents glucose release from glycogen, protein and fats.
A study by Al-Romaiyan A, et al at Kings College in London found that taking 1gram of an extract of Gymnema sylvestre called Om Santal adivasi, (OSA(R)) for 60 days significantly reduced blood sugar levels. Reduction in blood sugar levels translate into lower HA1C levels of patients
Side effect is its ability to prevent a person from tasting sweet or bitter things.
1. It can interact with metformin, sulfonylureas like Micronase and glipizide, insulin and other antidiabetic drugs. This drug interaction of Gymnema sylvestre causes the reduction of blood sugar, more than the additive effects of both medicines when used independently. This is called synergic reaction. This interaction may not be bad for the patient. It may only call for the reduction in the dosage of the drug. If you are on an antidiabetic, talk to your clinician before introducing this herbal remedy and check your blood sugar often and be ready to treat hypoglycemia if it occurs. You may need to talk to your clinician about reducing drug dosage if hypoglycemia becomes imminent.
Gymnema sylvestre may be the best thing yet to happen to diabetes treatment.
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