(BeWellBuzz) As consumerism becomes the way of the world, obesity becomes the messenger to every home with more and more people fall prey to weight gain. The bigger problem is that weight gain is not an end in itself. It sparks off a number of other serious health ailments including diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular problems.
It is a fact that major cause of rapid weight gain lies in sugar cravings. It is also not difficult to guess that what you eat translates to how you look and feel.
So, is there a way to control or even stop sugar cravings the natural way? The good news is that there is.
Gymnema Sylvestre is an herb that is known to traditional medicine for ages now. With its naturally diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and laxative properties, Gymnema Sylvestre puts a cap on sweet cravings effectively.
Gymnema Sylvestre is a plant native to tropical Australia and Africa. It is also found in the central and western parts of India. The herb has gradually found many takers also due to its anti-diabetic properties. It acts as an anti-sweetener by slowing down body’s absorption of available sugars. This, in turn, balances the glucose levels in the body. Therefore, essentially, Gymnema Sylvestre has a multi-pronged approach.
Let’s see how this wonder herb makes it easy for you to deal with your sweet tooth.
How does Gymnema Sylvestre work?
Inhibits sweetness – You are used to experiencing the taste of sweet in your mouth always. This sweetness is what leads you to indulge your sweet tooth. Chewing on Gymnema leaves or drinking Gymnema tea can reduce this sweetness. Gymnemic acids, which are bioactive constituents found in the herb, help in reducing sweetness experienced inside the mouth.
Moreover, there is evidence that this could have some link to appetite suppression as well. For example, a Behavior and Physiology study done in the 80’s carries testament that Gymnema could actually have the power to reduce appetite. The study was carried out on people with average weight who were fasting. Of the lot, it was observed that all those who took Gymnema an hour before food ate less.
Prevents sugar absorption – After you have downed all that sweet, digestion kicks off. During this time, the body starts absorbing sugar. Gymnema Sylvestre prevents the absorption of sugar during the digestion process.
In terms of structure, Gymnemic acids are similar to glucose. This similarity is also reflected in their behavior within the intestine. Once ingested, Gymnema Sylvestre releases Gymnemic acids that latch on to the intestinal receptors. This prevents glucose from latching on to the receptors, as a result, stopping the system from absorbing sugar.
The herb’s ability to block sugar absorption is good news especially for diabetics. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Library of Medicine, Gymnema Sylvestre can help in controlling blood sugar levels in both Type 1 as well as Type 2 diabetics.
Improves insulin production – Diabetes is a disease that commonly affects insulin production. Gymnema Sylvestre, when given to diabetics, can positively affect the level of insulin production. At the Postgraduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, India, researchers have found Gymnema supplements to cause a spike in insulin production.
Similar results were found in a 2012 study that was carried out in King’s College, London. The pancreas produces insulin in the body and it is believed that Gymnema supplements improve the regeneration of pancreatic cells.
Are there side effects?
Gymnema Sylvestre is safe to be consumed by most people under most circumstances. However, there could be certain exceptions to this, such as:
- Pregnancy – Not a lot is known about how this herb reacts when consumed by pregnant women. You may want to avoid use even when you are lactating.
- Diabetes – While Gymnema Sylvestre is known to help the diabetic condition, it may be important to keep an individual under monitoring. Since the herb controls the blood sugar levels in diabetics, it is necessary to watch out for low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.
- Surgery – Gymnema Sylvestre is known to affect blood glucose levels. The use of supplements may not be advisable before or after a surgery as there could be a potential blood sugar control issue.
- Use of other medication – If you are using other supplements like aspirin and white willow bark, it might not be a good idea to start taking this herb. The herb may react with other supplements, blood sugar levels may dip dangerously, resulting in hypoglycemia.
What is the ideal dosage?
Gymnema Sylvestre supplements are available both in capsule and powdered forms. If you prefer capsules, take a 100 mg capsule three to four times daily. If you prefer it in powdered form, take about two to four grams daily. Alternatively, you could also buy Gymnema Sylvestre leaves and pour hot water over them to make tea.