Gymnema sylvestre is a plant native to the tropical forests of India, where it has been long used as treatment for diabetes. Recent scientific investigations have confirmed its effectiveness, and what’s more, in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Gymnema has no other known uses, but it probably constitutes the most practical herbal recommendation for improving blood sugar control in persons with diabetes.
Unfortunately, when the herbal extract was introduced into the US sometime ago, it became the object of advertising hype and absurd claims, which ended up by partly discrediting one of the best of nature’s medicines against diabetes.
It seems that gymnema extracts enhance glucose control in diabetic cases, by regenerating the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. This is corroborated by two facts. First, it exerts its blood sugar lowering properties with both types of diabetes; and second, this happens strictly in cases of diabetes only. When given to healthy volunteers, it did not produce any hypoglycemic effect. In addition, gymnema has no known side effects.