Gymnema sylvesre is a herbal supplement that is growing in popularity as a way to decrease blood sugar levels, help fight obesity, and lower blood triglycerides. Though this supplement has been found to be very safe when used right, abusing it can result in serious health concerns, and can even lead to coma or death.
What is Gymnema Sylvestre
As with any dietary supplement that you are considering including in your diet, it is important to understand a bit about gymnema sylvestre before evaluating whether or not it is a good supplement for you. Gymnema sylvestre is an herb which is native to India, and whose name means "destroyer of sugar." As the name suggests, this herb is most commonly used for the treatment of conditions related to sugar imbalances, such as diabetes, obesity, and other similar health concerns. Though when used properly, gymnema sylvestre has been found to be actually quite healthy, improper use can result is serious and even life-threatening conditions.
Treatment of Diabetes
As discussed above, one of the most popular ways in which gymnema sylvestre has been used is for the treatment of diabetes. One study that examined the effects of gymnema sylvestre on type I diabetics found a significant improvement in blood sugar levels and insulin requirements. These results were mirrored in another study which evaluated the effect of this herb on type II diabetics. It is important to note that in this study, the patients received an extract from the leaf of the gymnema sylvestre herb.
Decreased Sugar Cravings
Another great dietary benefit associated with gymnema sylvestre is a decrease in sugar cravings. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who struggle against an affinity for sweets in their goal to lose weight. Research has found that when the leaves of the gymnema sylvestre plant are applied directly to the tongue or are chewed, there is a decrease in the ability of the subject to taste sweet foods. This may limit cravings and binges, thereby helping to achieve significant weight loss results.
Finally, gymnema sylvestre has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of high triglyceride levels. Lowering your blood triglycerides can help in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Possible Risks of Gymnema Sylvestre
As discussed above, one of the primary used of gymnema sylvestre is for the treatment of high blood sugar levels. While these high sugar levels can be very dangerous, having a blood sugar that is too low can also result in serious health conditions, including lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, nausea, and even coma. It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking gymnema sylvestre to find out whether or not this herbal supplement is right for you. Always remember that is it better to be safe than sorry.