Gudmar (Gymnema Sylvestre) is a type of Ayurvedic tree that is a well-known remedy in Ayurveda as its leaves have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is useful in treating diabetes, malaria and snakebite. This herb helps in preventing the absorption of sugar. Gudmar is also used for the treatment of diseases other than diabetes, such as helping to lose weight and lowering lipids. Apart from this, it also has antiallergenic and antiviral properties. Gudmar reduces skin irritation and inflammation. In this way, it helps in protecting the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. It is used in the treatment of asthma, eye problems, osteoporosis, hypercholesterolemia, cardiopathy, constipation, microbial infections, dyspepsia, etc.
Gudmar trees are very large in size and their branches are thin and ruddy. Its leaves are small flat, oval in shape and its stalk is 0.6 to 1.2 cm. Its flowers are yellow in colour while the seeds are brown and yellow.
Benefits of Gudmar
Gudmar is beneficial in diabetes-
Gudmar, also known as Sugar destroyer has some anti-atherosclerotic properties which prevent the deposition of fat in the arteries. Apart from this, the consumption of gudmar helps in reducing the number of lipids. It is very beneficial in type 2 diabetes. Gudmar leaves have certain properties due to which the urge to eat sweets decreases. It also controls hyperglycemia in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. In this way, it is an effective treatment to reduce type 2 diabetes.
Keeps cholesterol in control-
Having too much cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease. To reduce it, gudmar is used around the world. Gudmar helps in reducing harmful LDL cholesterol and triglyceride. It has some antioxidant properties which protect against the absorption of harmful cholesterol and triglyceride in the intestines. Apart from this, it is also beneficial in reducing the level of blood sugar and controlling the urge to eat sweets.
Gudmar reduces blood pressure-
Hypertension(high blood pressure) affects more than two million adults in India. This is a significant problem that can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart disease, heart failure, kidney failure, and other serious conditions. Common symptoms of high blood pressure include severe headache, nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds, etc. Gudmar contains an acid called gymnemic which helps in inhibiting the activity of angiotensin (known to increase blood pressure) protein present in the body which helps in reducing blood pressure.
Gudmar is useful in PCOD-
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOD) is a problem related to ovaries in women. In this, the sex hormones in women become unbalanced. This problem is usually found in obese women. Among them, 30-40 per cent of women are found to be affected by the level of glucose tolerance. Gudmar has anti-oxidant properties which reduce the urge to eat carbohydrates and sugars which further helps in reducing obesity.
Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS may also have infertility problems. Therefore, it is beneficial to consume a suitable diet and supplements to control PCOS.
Gudmar keeps the liver safe-
Supplements made from gudmar act as a tonic to protect the liver. The Paliyar tribes living in the Sirumalai hills of Madurai in Tamil Nadu use the leaves of gudmar for the treatment of jaundice because it has liver-healing properties.
Keep the skin healthy-
Gudmar has anti-bacterial properties which are used to treat skin disorders and infections. Such problems are common in diabetes. Gudmar is used as a natural remedy for white spots on the skin (leukoderma) and is used in cosmetics.
Gudmar is beneficial in weight loss-
Obesity is caused by the accumulation of fat and carbohydrates in the body. Obesity is genetic and common in people with diabetes. According to one hypothesis, there is a relationship between diabetes, gymnemic acid and obesity. Some research has found that gudmar extract helps in reducing weight in animals and humans.
Gudmar is helpful in arthritis-
Gudmar is a popular traditional remedy for ailments like arthritis. Its consumption helps in preventing the emergence of gout. It has anti-inflammatory properties which help in the treatment of gout. Gudmar is also a good diuretic and thus helps in reducing weight.
Side effects of Gudmar
- Gudmar is extremely effective in lowering blood sugar. Therefore, it may be unsafe to consume it along with medicines that lower blood sugar.
- Side effects such as headache, nausea and dizziness may appear due to its excessive consumption.
- Those who are allergic to milkweed (plants from which a milky sap) should avoid it.
- It is not considered safe for pregnant or lactating women and young children. Therefore, they should avoid consuming Gudmar.
Where is Gudmar found?
Gudmar trees are found in the forests of different parts of India like- Madhya Bharat, Western Ghats, Konkan, Travancore region.