Gurmar or Gymnema Sylvestre is a climbing plant belonging to the Apocynaceae family, a popular herb in Ayurveda valued for its indispensable medicinal and healing properties. It is a perennial woody wine that is indigenous to tropical regions of India, Africa and Australia. The leaves are elongated, oval-shaped that have soft hairs on the surface bearing small yellow flowers that bloom all through the year.
The leaves of gudmar are imbued with gymnemic acids, a potent bioactive compound that acts to suppress the taste of sugar by interacting with taste receptors on the tongue, thereby valued as a sugar destroyer and used extensively in the treatment of diabetes.
The leaf is chiefly used for medicinal purposes, chewing fresh leaves have incredible potential to paralyse taste buds temporarily, this effect is due to direct interaction with active ingredients saponins with the taste buds. Gudmar is also largely used in Unani and Homeopathic streams of medicine for treating diabetes, urinary disorders, obesity, breathing problems, ulcers, cough, eye issues and snakebite.
Common Names Of Gudmar
This amazing herb is known as Madhunashini in Sanskrit, Gurmar or Gudmar in Hindi, all of which literally means one that destroys sugar. It is a key herb in several ayurvedic formulations such as Ayaskrti, Varunadi kasaya, Varunadighritam, Mahakalyanakaghrtam, etc.
In the Indian sub-continent, this herb goes by the name Gurmar, Kavali, kalikardori, Dhuleti, mardashingi, Shirukurum Kaay, Shakkaraikkolli, Podapatri, Sannagerasehambu, Kadhasige, Kannu Minnayamkodi, Passaam, Shirukurinja, and Gurmaar Buuti
Biochemical Contents Of Gudmar Leaves
Gudmar is overpowered with a myriad of active biochemical compounds that delivers a ton of health benefits. It is endowed with triterpenoid saponins of gymnemic acid A, B, C and D with sugar residues such as glucuronic acid, galacturonic acid, ferulic and angelic acids. Aside from these, the leaves also comprise betaine, choline, gymnamine alkaloids, inositol, and d-quercitol.
This powerful herb possesses several medicinal properties such as anti-diabetic, diuretic, anti-obesity, laxative, digestive stimulant, anti-microbial, anti-hypercholesterolemia, liver-protective, sweet-suppressing activity and aphrodisiac.
Therapeutic Benefits Of Gudmar
Curb Sugar Cravings
Gudmar is greatly valued for its amazing potential to reduce the perception of sweet flavour and lower cravings for sweets and sugars. In traditional medicine gudmar leaves were given to patients with ketosis when they experienced occasional sweet tooth and were found beneficial by avoiding sugar treats by making it less appetising.
The exceptional antidiabetic characteristics of gudmar leaves are used as an effective supplement to regulate blood sugar spikes and metabolic syndrome. It promotes insulin response to food and lessens the need for insulin therapy and oral hypoglycaemic drugs. Gudmar can also block receptors in intestine and lower sugar absorption thereby controlling postprandial blood sugar levels. While it is also effective in stabilising HbA1C, fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels. Apart from this, gudmar leaves restore insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells and also repairs the damaged beta cells.
Promotes Weight loss
Gudmar extracts works effectively to burn fat and shed excess weight. Studies have shown that gudmar leaves exhibit anti-obesity effect that prevent weight gain and enhance overall health markers associated with being overweight. The supplements when consumed before a meal reduces food intake and manages weight by triggering the central nervous system, that regulates stress, corrects disrupt sleep and alter cortisol levels.
Potent Antioxidant Effects
A storehouse of antioxidants, gudmar combats detrimental toxins from oxidising healthy cells and prevent oxidative stress in the body. The presence of beneficial plant compounds tannins and saponins in gudmar supplements lowers inflammation and reduces the risk of chronic diseases and metabolic syndrome. Moreover, gudmar supplements also regulate the immune response and keep infections at bay.
Augments Heart Health
Gudmar formulation is beneficial in diminishing the harmful cholesterol and triglycerides in the intestine and also helpful in excreting cholesterol. The antiatherosclerotic activity of gudmar averts formation of plaque in the arteries and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Boosts Liver Health
Gudmar supplements possesses hepatoprotective characteristics, which works as a powerful tonic for safeguarding the liver health. The leaves were extensively used as a traditional remedy for treating jaundice, lessen the symptoms and aids in faster recovery.
The dosage of gudmar formulation may vary from person to person depending upon the age and nature of the health condition. It is best to seek advice from an ayurvedic practioner, as he or she will assess the indications and prescribe the correct dosage for a specific period of time.
Gudmar Churna - ¼ - ½ teaspoon twice a day.
Gudmar Capsule - 1-2 capsules twice a day.
Gudmar Tablet - 1-2 tablets twice a day.
Gudmar extract when taken in excess amounts may lower the blood pressure and also lead to nausea, headache, dizziness and light-headedness.
Traditional Uses Of Gudmar
Gudmar tea is used since times immemorial for curing several health anomalies. Brew gudmar leaves for about 5 minutes and then steep for 10-15 minutes before drinking. Some of the incredible uses of this tea include:
Leaves are chiefly used for curing stomach woes, constipation and fluid retention.
Flowers, fruits and leaves are all used to treat uncontrolled blood pressure, tachycardia and arrhythmias
Both the flower and leaf extracts are valuable to boost eye health and maintain good vision.
The bark of plant is effective in healing piles.Gudmar leaf juice is best to treat dental plague, phlegm and respiratory infections.