2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Gymnema Sylvestre

What Is It?

A member of the milkweed family, Gymnema sylvestre is native
to the tropical regions of India. Nicknamed the “sugar destroyer”
because the leaves effectively block sweet tastes in the mouth
when chewed, the herb is often promoted as an appetite suppressant
and weight-loss agent. This claim has no evidence to support it,
however. In fact, the capsules sold for this purpose don’t even
alter the taste in a person’s mouth–the leaves need to be chewed
directly for this purpose.

Interestingly, generations of people in India with diabetes have
successfully chewed the leaves to help control blood sugar. Several
small, placebo-controlled trials indicate that gymnema extracts
may indeed lower blood sugar levels. In those with type 1 diabetes,
gymnema seems to enhance the action of insulin. In one study,
27 people with type 1 diabetes who took gymnema leaf extracts
for several months required less insulin to control their blood
sugar levels. Animal studies also support this use; they indicate
that gymnema can double the amount of insulin-producing cells
in the pancreas, and return blood sugar levels to normal as a
result.

In the case of the far more prevalent type 2 diabetes–also known
as noninsulin-dependent diabetes–research findings indicate that
the use of gymnema may improve blood sugar control and result
in the need for smaller doses of oral diabetes drugs to control
the disease. However, it’s critical that people with this disease
don’t abandon proven ways to manage it, from a healthy diet to
regular exercise and medications when needed.

Traditional Ayurvedic medicine uses gymnema to treat a variety
of other disorders as well, including digestion problems, cough,
constipation, and malaria. Animal studies indicate a possible
role for gymnema in lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL
(“bad”) cholesterol. More research on this intriguing
connection is needed.

General Interaction

Gymnema may alter the dosage needed for other drugs commonly
used to treat diabetes, including glipizide, metformin, and insulin.

Note: For information on interactions with specific generic drugs,
see our WholeHealth Chicago Drug/Nutrient Interactions Chart.

Cautions

Gymnema has safely been used for decades in various countries.
Careful long-term studies on its safety have not been done so
far, however.

Consult your doctor about your desire to supplement your diabetes
regimen with gymnema.

Ailments-Dosage

Diabetes 150 mg twice a day


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops

**Pain Relief with Myofascial Balls
Tuesday, October 29, 6-8pm
With Renee Zambo, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist

Course Fee: $65.00
(includes WholeHealth Chicago Myofascial Release Kit, $40 value)

Does that same spot in your neck, shoulders, back or hips seem to bother you every day? Do you have joint aches and pains in the hands and feet? Would you like to learn ways to alleviate that pain and tension?

Join WholeHealth Chicago’s Yoga and Movement Therapist Renee Zambo for an evening of muscle tension release with myofascial therapy balls.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Dandruff, Fungi, and Cancer of the Pancreas

    It’s an eye-catching title, I’ll admit. But the links are quite real and further research may guide medicine in new directions of cancer prevention and treatment. It all starts in your gut microbiome, the totality of microorganisms–bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi–present in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, mouth to anus. Until recently, researchers and clinical physicians alike paid virtually no attention to the microbiome and the Read More

  • New Hope For Sinus Sufferers

    When osteopath Dr. Rob Ivker moved to Colorado in the 1980s to set up his family practice, he had no idea that when he stepped off the plane he’d succumb to symptoms of chronic sinusitis that just wouldn’t go away: stuffy nose, thick mucus, pressure behind his cheekbones and above his eyebrows, dull aching headache, and thick goopy drainage in the back of his throat. Read More

  • Director of IV Therapies Katie McManigal, BSN, ANP

    Most people at some point in their lives have had an intravenous (IV) line. An adept nurse warned you about the tiny pinch of the needle as it was smoothly inserted and taped in place.  Then the  fluid dangling above your head slowly started making its way through a tube and into your body. IVs are all over the place in hospitals. They’re seen in Read More

October Sale – Save 20% off UltraMeal Rice

UltraMeal RICE is a tasty, non-dairy, nutritionally fortified, powdered meal replacement for those who want to support healthy body composition but may be sensitive to soy.

Click here to take advantage of this month’s promotion!