Gymnema - What is it & How to use

Gymnema contains substances that decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestine. Gymnema may also increase the amount of insulin in the body and increase the growth of cells in the pancreas, which is the place in the body where insulin is made.

Effectiveness

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for GYMNEMA are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • Diabetes.Early research shows that taking gymnema by mouth along with insulin or diabetes medications can improve blood sugar control in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
  • Weight loss. Early research shows that taking a combination of gymnema, hydroxycitric acid, and niacin-bound chromium by mouth can reduce body weight in people who are overweight or obese.
  • Cough.
  • Increasing urine excretion (diuretic).
  • Malaria.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Snake bites.
  • Softening the stool (laxative).
  • Stimulating digestion.

More evidence is needed to rate gymnema for these uses.

Dose

The appropriate dose of gymnema depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for gymnema. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Safety Concerns

Gymnema is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately for up to 20 months.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking gymnema if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Gymnema can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use gymnema.

Surgery: Gymnema might affect blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using gymnema at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interaction with medication

Moderate
Be cautious with this combination.
Insulin
Gymnema might decrease blood sugar. Insulin is also used to decrease blood sugar. Taking gymnema along with insulin might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your insulin might need to be changed.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Gymnema supplements seem to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking gymnema along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.