Sunday, 19 December 2010

Gymnema sylvestre: Gurmar controls blood sugar naturally

By Syed AkbarGymnema sylvestre or Gurmar is hailed as a natural `sugar buster'. As its Hindi name Gurmar suggests, the plant has properties to kill sugar (Gur, jaggery or sugar; mar, kill) in the blood stream. Its wonderful hypoglycaemic (sugar lowering) properties have made this herb a natural choice of Ayurveda and Unani doctors as an anti-diabetes drug. It is a time tested herb as its formulations have been in use in traditional systems of  medicine in different parts of the world for at least 2500 years.

Herbalists often call Gymnema as a miracle fruit. However, its leaves are used in herbal formulations. The fruit is not used. Gurmar's action is quick and instant. If you want to test whether Gurmar leaves  have hypoglycaemic properties, take a leaf, wash it properly and chew it. For the next two hours you will not be able to  taste or feel anything sweet. Sugar will not "taste" sweet to your taste buds.

Ancient Ayurveda texts had dwelt at length on the health benefits of Gurmar (mesha-shringi in Sanskrit) in diabetics. It is also known as Madhu-naashini in Sanskrit. Modern experiments, both in vivo and in 
vitro, have shown that Gurmar works well with type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes. In case of type 1 or 
insulin dependent diabetes, intake of Gurmar reduces the need of external insulin injections. Type 1 diabetics will  have to take insulin supplement along with Gurmar.
Home remedies
If you want to fight obesity by reducing the intake of sugar, chocolates or sweets, just  chew a leaf or two of Gurmar. It will reduce your craving for sugar or sweet preparations. Gurmar leaf acts on the 
taste buds that recognise sweetness and thus your cravings for sugary things will go down the natural way.

Gymnema herbal tea is readily available in the market. You may try this special tea to keep your blood sugar levels under check, in case you are a diabetic. Non-diabetics may also drink Gymnema herbal tea as a general tonic, as the herb is considered as a body "refrigerant".

Herbal practitioners believe that Gurmar has special properties that fights snake venom. Snakebite is often treated by using a paste prepared from the root of Gurmar plant.

Fever (high body temperature) can be brought down through Gurmar extracts available with herbal stores.

Finely ground and sieved seeds of Gurmar are often prescribed for asthma.

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