Gymnema sylvestre is an Indian herb used Ayurveda, the ancient Hindi medicine system of India. Also referred to as Gurmarbooti, gurmar, periploca of the woods in English and meshasringi (meaning “ram’s horn”) in Sanskrit, it is a woody climbing plant that grows in the tropical forests of central and southern India. The leaves are used in herbal medicine preparations, which, when chewed, interfere with the ability to taste sweetness, which explains the Hindi name gurmar—“destroyer of sugar.” Gymnema sylvestre’s primary application was for adult-onset diabetes (NIDDM), a condition for which it continues to be recommended today in India. The leaves were also used for stomach ailments, constipation, water retention, and liver disease.
Gymnema is native to the jungles of southern India. It has been clinically proven to reduce excessively high blood sugar levels, apparently by boosting the amount of insulin available to process sugar. It also exhibits cholesterol-lowering activity, although not to a degree that makes it useful. Gymnema leaves, when chewed, have the unusual ability to block the taste of sweetness.
Gymnema leaves contain Gymnemic acid as an effective substance. Gymnemic acid has a structure with tri-terpenoid combined with glucuronic acid and several fatty acids. We have established analytical method of Gymnemic acid by HPLC method, and extract and refine Gymnema syrvestre extract with a clear guideline of effective substance. Gymnemic acid combined with the recognized site of sugar, and so it prevents sugar from combining with the site. It have suppressive activity of absorption of sugar.