Lose weight and keep it off with gymnema


If you have tried every diet on the planet while putting yourself through grueling exercise regimes, all for naught, then take heart because gymnema is here. Often, there is more to your weight crisis than simply a number on the scales or a feeling of lugging excess baggage. From stress to hormones playing havoc to emotional over eating or always pecking at the wrong foods, the reasons can vary enormously. So while gymnema may not have all the answers, it has certainly earned it’s place in integrative weight management. Research suggests that there is evidence to show gymnema’s ability to curb sugar cravings, significantly reduce glucose absorption during digestion and bring balance to your blood sugar levels. This makes it a sought after herb in the treatment of diabetes as well.

Getting down to basics, what exactly is gymnema and how does it work?

Gymnema is a herb found in the tropics of south India and some other parts of Asia. It has been used effectively in the treatment of diabetes and arthritis in the past and has recently been recognized as a panacea for weight problems, especially when the scales swing between extremes.

Gymnema is also a world renowned herb for treatment of diabetes because the leaves and roots contain gymnemic acid and gymnemasaponins which in common parlance is anti-diabetic, anti-sweetener, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypoglycemic.

It has been found that gymnemic acid formulations have proven anti-obesity action. This has been attributed as well to the delayed absorption of blood glucose by gymnemic acid. Gymnemic acid mimics glucose in the digestive tract, locking in the intestine receptors. This effectively blocks out the glucose and prevents the absorption of sugar, thereby reducing the amount of sugar that gets converted to fat and so on. As an aid for diabetes treatment, it works to enhance insulin production, which according to studies could be the effect of regenerated pancreatic cells. Among studies that have been conducted, gymnema was administered to diabetic patients, 22 of them with type-2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes) all of whom were on medication for it. Over an extended period of 20 months, they were also given a dose of gymnema (400 mg) every day. At the end of the study period, 16 of them had significantly reduced their medicine intake and five had given it up altogether. Another study showed that gymnema could be used effectively in the treatment of obesity. It was given to obese rats whose condition had been created by a high fat diet. When the study concluded, it was observed that the rats had reduced their weight and their food intake, a strong suggestion that we just may have an answer to the issue of obesity.

Gymnema can be included into your diet on a regular basis as a tea. The slightly bitter-astringent taste makes for a delicious drink while acting as a medicinal herb all at the same time.

Nanditha Ram
Nanditha Ram is a Reiki master and yoga and wellness coach, holistic therapist, and writer, living and working in New Zealand.