|English||:||Periploca of the wood|
|Tamil||:||Shirukurum Kaay, Shakkaraikkolli|
|Hindi||:||Gudmaar, Medhaa Singee|
It is a woody climber found in Central and Peninsular India. It is also found in Northern and Western part of India. The woody Gymnema plant also grows in parts of Africa.
HISTORICAL OR TRADITIONAL USE
Before 2,000 years ago Indian physicians first used Gymnema to treat diabetes. The leaves were also used for stomach ailments, constipation, water retention and liver disease. In the 1920s, preliminary scientific studies found some evidence that Gymnema leaves can reduce blood sugar levels.
In experimental and clinical trials, Gymnema sylvestre has been successful in controlling the blood sugar level without reducing it to below the normal blood sugar levels, an effect sometimes seen with the use of insulin or oral hypoglycemic sulphonylurea compounds. Due to it’s non-toxic nature and sweetness-suppression activity, Gymnema sylvestre can play a role in treating conditions caused by excessive sugar intakes. The leaves, when chewed, interfere with the ability to taste sweetness, which explains the Hindi name gurmar:”destroyer of sugar.”
Plant Facts: G. sylvestre is a large woody climber. It is occasionally cultivated as medicinal plant. Leaves are Leaf simple, opposite, elliptical or ovate, petiolate, petiole 6 to 12 mm long. Flowers are small, yellow, in umbellate cymes.