Sugar is a hot topic right now, how to avoid it, how to cut down your sugar intake, and how to blast it out of our diet. But if sugar is your weak spot, (and you wouldn’t be alone in that, not by a long way!) or you suffer from low blood sugar levels nature could have the answer.
What if you could reduce your sugar cravings naturally? Sound too good to be true?
There may be an answer to all your prayers in the shape of a small leaf named Gymnema Sylvestre.
What is Gymnema Sylvestre?
This small plant grows naturally in Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, and India. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for many years and its rather apt name in Hindi “gurmar” means ‘destroyer of fat’, now if that isn’t the best name ever for a plant I don’t know what is!
The most commonly known benefits to the Gymnema leaf are its ability to support healthy blood sugar levels, help reduce reduce sugar cravings, support insulin levels, and promote healthy weight.
How does Gymnema Sylvestre Work?
The main active component of this clever little plant is gymnemic acid. These acids will latch onto the sweet receptors on your tongue so that the sugar molecules cannot.
Once taken Gymnema can work as quickly as 30 seconds!
It also won’t last forever you can choose when and where you would like the benefits to Gymnema and it can last for up to a few hours.
The production of insulin in the pancreas is thought to be stimulated by the consumption of Gymnema Sylvestre. Which could one day be used to help with type-2 diabetes and pre-diabetes once the correct dosage can be recommended by specialists.
As Lily Ross (IBD warrior) mentioned in her interview with us recently, sugar is inflammatory once inside the body. Luckily for us though this tea also acts as an immune support agent once consumed. Thanks to the active tannins and saponins in Gymnema Sylvestre.
Not only will Gymnema reduce the taste of sugar so that you won’t even want to bother eating something you cannot taste. But it is also believed to reduce the sugar intake in your small intestinal lining. Which means blood sugar support, better immune responses, and potentially healthier weight goals. It’s a win, win, win!
All The Benefits in one plant
This tiny leafed plant is packed full of goodness and has a wonderful array of benefits, some of which we have covered already.
But if that wasn’t enough for you not only will Gymnema Sylvestre support your blood sugar and insulin, as well as help you promote healthy weight, it can also be known to do the following:
Gymnema can actually help prevent the response of the immune system, which is very useful if you need to reduce swelling in your cells. Commonly used to help with snake bites in India it can also ease a cough and even help regulate your metabolism.
The reduction of swelling can even help with symptoms of common joint and bone complications.
If that sweet tooth of yours has led to cavities fear not, Gymnema can also help combat microbial concerns in the mouth.
Taking Gymnema supplements in your diet can even help promote heart health. Taking care of your heart is so important and the components of Gymnema Sylvestre can help reduce the intake of Cholesterol if taken before eating.
How to take Gymnema Sylvestre
Like many supplements, Gymnema can now be found in various forms, from tinctures to teas and capsules.
Here at Herbal Goodness, we are big fans of Gymnema Sylvestre Leaf Teas. It can have an earthy taste, so depending on your personal preferences you can drink it as is, or try mixing it with green tea or adding some honey to combat the flavor.
*Boil the tea for five minutes then leave to steep for 15 minutes before consuming
Capsules are another great way to get Gymnema into your diet, make sure that your supplement contains at least 25% gymnemic acid.
*Take 100mg 3-4 times a day.
If you prefer a powder to add to your smoothie or food that’s also possible.
*Start with 2 grams and increase to 4 grams.
For best results take Gymnema Sylvestre in your preferred form 5-10 mins before consuming the high sugar foods you are trying to avoid.
Although very minimal there have been cases with reported side effects after long-term consumption. So if you fall in love with Gymnema Sylvestre, as we have, do make sure you consult a medical practitioner if you take it for over 20 months.
When NOT to take Gymnema Sylvestre
Gymnema Sylvestre is on the whole considered to be a safe supplement to your diet, however, there are circumstances when it should be avoided, or you should consult with a medical practitioner before consuming it. These are:
- Infants and children
- During pregnancy
- Whilst breastfeeding
- Those with milkweed allergies
- Diabetes (consult a medical practitioner)
- Pre-surgery (do not consume for 2 weeks prior)
- If consuming blood sugar level lowering medication (consult a medical practitioner)
Here at HerbalGoodness, we are great fans of this magical leaf and its wonderful benefits to the body. If you have been struggling with controlling your sugar intake this plant can really be a game-changer. Targeting the problem at the root-the cravings. Once your cravings are reduced then you will be on a home run to really living and feeling the benefits of a sugar-free diet.
As far as tests go, they are in the early stages, so although there have been no major side effects noted it is always important to consult your doctor if you have a pre-existing condition and especially if you are taking any other medications. Gymnema is a natural product but that does not mean it cannot react badly with pharmaceuticals, especially those that reduce blood sugar levels.