Ayurveda is all about a balance between body, mind and spirit. Treating lifestyle diseases using a holistic approach can be a slow process, but it reaps benefits over time. Herbs like Gurmar have been proven to cure many allergies and metabolic disorders. Its properties make Gymnema sylvestre suitable for regulating diabetes as well.Contents:
Gurmar/Gudmar (Gymnema sylvestre) is a perennial woody climber, native to the Asian subcontinent. Since time immemorial, its leaves, roots, flowers and fruits have been used as important ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine to cure metabolic disorders, obesity, snakebites, arthritis and digestive issues. Its herbal extracts are used to prepare dietary supplements. The Gurmar leaves’ extract contains gymnemic acid, which suppresses sweet taste receptors on our taste buds, decreasing our sugar cravings.
Interestingly, Gurmar or Gymnema sylvestre is effective against both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, making it one of the best herbs for diabetes control.
Firstly, Gurmar (aptly called ‘Madhunashini’) inhibits sugar receptors in the tongue, making one less attracted towards sugary foods.
Secondly, consumption of Gymnema sylvestre increases the production of beta-cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for secreting insulin (the sugar-regulating hormone).
Thirdly, Gurmar reduces sugar absorption by the intestine, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose post meals.
Lastly, its anti-inflammatory property (linked with decreased triglyceride levels) helps maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. The antioxidants present in Gurmar leaves additionally make them the best herbs for diabetes as their consumption lowers blood glucose levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.
All these properties render the consumption of Gurmar/Gymnema leaves for diabetes control effective.
consumed in powdered form (around 1 tsp) mixed with plain water, 30 mins after lunch or dinner.
Another way is consuming 2 g of powdered Gurmar leaves with cow milk or honey on an empty stomach.
However, it is advisable to read label instructions and cautionary guidelines before consumption, as different brands have different dosage advisories.
The best time to consume Gymnema sylvestre leaves for diabetes is half an hour post-lunch and post-dinner, since the main action and regulation of sugar absorption in the bloodstream takes place then.
However, as a precautionary measure, Gurmar can even be consumed 5 mins before taking a sugar-rich meal so that the sweet sensory taste bud receptors are subdued, and the desire for excessive intake of sugar is curtailed.
Optimal doses of Gurmar/Gymnema sylvestre have widespread benefits, but this should be strictly avoided by children, pregnant and breastfeeding women or women trying to conceive, persons suffering from hyperacidity or before and after surgery.
Side effects associated with Gurmar leaves for diabetes (in high doses) include hypoglycemia, nausea, dizziness, headache and liver toxicity.
Apart from being the best herbs for diabetes control, Gurmar leaves are also used in weight loss, cough, as an antidote for snake bites, as appetite suppressants, diuretics, laxatives, boosting heart health and improving lipid levels.
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