You know what rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme are, right? They’re herbs!
What about gymnema? Do you know what that is?
It sounds like a weird noise a baby might make, but it’s actually an herb, too – just like cilantro, oregano and all those other ones you have in your spice cabinet right this very second.
There’s a major difference between gymnema and all those other herbs, though. Unlike the more familiar herbs, these powerful little plants aren’t just good for eating. They’re also medicinal, too!
It’s true: the gymnema plant has been used for centuries to treat a whole slew of health problems and ailments. They can boost your health, improve your immune system and even help you lost weight.
It’s no wonder they’re becoming more and more popular in the health and nutrition community.
Want to learn more about these wonder herbs? Keep reading.
What is Gymnema?
Gymnema is a plant that is native to India. Its official name is “gymnema sylvestre,” which when translated to Hindi, means “destroyer of sugar.” It is woody, has climbing branches and can typically be found in tropical forests in the region.
It is the leaves of the gymnema that are used as an herb, and these can be dried, ground or even made into an extract that can be taken orally, put in a capsule or added to food. The leaves can also be used to make tea.
Historically, gymnema has been used as a holistic health treatment in the Indian culture. It has been in use for more than 2,000 years, primarily as a treatment for diabetes and its symptoms.
What Does Gymnema Do?
The main benefit of gymnema is that it has hypoglycemic properties, meaning it can lower your blood sugar and keep insulin levels stable. This is hugely important if you’re diabetic, but it can have health benefits for anyone – no matter what current conditions you suffer from.
Gymnema also helps reduce the levels of lipids (fats) in your bloodstream and has anti-atherosclerotic properties, which means it helps keep your arteries from getting clogged or blocked with plaque. This, in turn, can stave off heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular problems.
If you’re trying to lose weight, gymnema has another huge benefit, too: It actually helps stave off sugar cravings. You see, gymnema contains acids that desensitize your tastebuds – particularly when it comes to sweet-tasting foods. This could help you steer clear of those break room donuts, and keep your caloric intake to a minimum. It even works on artificial sweeteners, so you’ll no longer give in to those never-ending Diet Coke cravings.
Gymnema can also be used to:
- Improved digestion
- Treat malaria
- Alleviate coughs and respiratory problems
- Treat snake bites
- Soften the stool and act as a natural laxative
- Serve as a diuretic
- Treat allergies
- Fight off viruses and infections
Research also shows that gymnema has certain properties that promote weight loss as well – especially when combines with hydroxycitric acid and niacin-bound chromium supplements. Studies have shown this can significantly drop body weight if continued for at least an 8-week period.
There’s evidence that it may suppress your appetite, too. In fact, in a recent study, scientists found that taking gymnema just an hour before eating actually reduced the amount a person would consume. If done daily, imagine how much calorie loss that would amount to!
Things to Know Before Trying Gymnema
As amazing as gymnema’s benefits sound, it’s important to note there are some possible risks, too. In particular, gymnema could lead to too-low blood sugar levels if consumed too often or in too high doses. Like high blood sugar levels, this can be dangerous to your overall health. It could cause dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, fainting and, in severe cases, even a coma.
Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new supplement or herb, and make sure it doesn’t counteract with any of your current medications, supplements or health conditions. You’ll also want to discuss proper dosing to prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping too low. Dosing typically is around 400 to 600 mg per day, but the exact amount really depends on a number of factors, including your age, overall health and more, and it is best evaluated by a medical professional.
Give Gymnema a Whirl
Do you want to start enjoying the amazing benefits of gymnema? Then head to your local health or nutrition store, and pick up a bottle of gymnema supplements. These will typically come in pill or powder form, or if you can manage to find dried gymnema leaves, you may be able to make a hot daily tea as well. Both will have the same effects. Just be sure to speak to your doctor first, and make sure it’s safe for your specific condition.
Have you ever tried gymnema before? Are you planning to? Let me know in the comments.
Don’t forget to share this article with all your friends and family, so that they can also discover the amazing benefits of this exotic herb.
Together we can make this world a happier, healthier world!