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Gymnema sylvestre - all information


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Introduction Gymnema sylvestre  is an herb native to the tropical forests of southern and central India and Sri Lanka. Chewing the leaves suppresses the sensation of sweet. This effect is caused by the gymnemic acids.  G. sylvestre  has been used in herbal medicine as a treatment for diabetes for nearly two thousand years.   Two small clinical trials have shown gymnema to reduce glycosylated hemoglobin levels. 2


VERNACULAR NAMES Sanskrit : Meha shringi, madhu – nashini Marathi : Kalikardodi, Vakundi Hindi : Gurmar Bengali : Merasingi Gujrati : Mardasaingi Kannada: Sannagerashambu Tamil : Adigam Telugu : Podapatri 3

Alternative names:

Alternative names The Hindi word Gur-mar, Madhunaashini in Sanskrit, Chakkarakolli in Malayalam, Podapatri in Telugu literally means sugar destroyer Meshasringa (Sanskrit) means - "ram's horn", a name given to the plant from the shape of its fruits. 4


BIOLOGICAL SOURCE 5 The drug consists of leaves of plant Gymnema sylvestre. Family - Asclepiadaceae


GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCE It is found in India Malaysia, Srilanka, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, tropical Africa and the southwestern region of the People’s Republic of China. It is found in deciduous forests of India. In India it is found commonly distributed in the hills of Bihar, M.P., Orissa and Deccan Peninsula 6


TRADITIONAL USES Susruta describes G. Sylvester, as a destroyer of madhumeha (glycosuria) and other urinary disorder. Jungle Irulas inhabitants of Nagari Hills of the North Arcot District, Bombay and Gujarat from India have the habit of chewing a few green leaves of G. sylvestre in the morning in order to keep their urine clear and to reduce glycosuria. Bourgeois classes of Bombay and Gujarat also chew fresh leaves for the same effect. 7

Cultivation Parameters:

Cultivation Parameters ALTITUDE – 600 meters from sea level TEMPERATURE – Ranging from 25 to 30 degree Celsius. RAINFALL – 50 – 200 cm per annum. TYPE OF SOIL – It can grow in variety of soils, preferably loamy soil with rich organic matter. 8


CULTIVATION DETAILS Time of Cultivation : seeds are sown in the nursery beds, in December to January. Seedlings are transplanted in field during February to march Stem cutting are transplanted in fields, at the onset of monsoon i.e. in months of June – July. Fertilizers: During the preparation of land for cultivation application of 20 tones of FYM/hectare is preferred. Intercropping: In many cases gymnema is also planted under eucalyptus, coconut or mango tree. Harvesting : After one year of cultivation, leaves become ready for harvesting. They are usually collected during winter season i.e. October to February. 9


The harvested leaves are cleaned of external matter by washing with water and are shade dried. 10 COLLECTION


MORPHOLOGY The plant is large stout woody climber containing hairy branchlets. Leaves: Leaves are opposite, elliptic or ovate containing acute apex and base is rounded in shape. It is rarely pubescent on upper surface but lower surface is more pubescent It is 5 – 7 cm in length. Odor: It has a pleasant, aromatic odor. Taste: It is tasteless. The taste glands are paralyzed for some time when leaf is chewed against sweet and bitter taste for few hours. 11


MICROSCOPY Powder: The powdered material is slight yellowish green in color. 12

Microscopic examination of powder::

Microscopic examination of powder: The adaxial epidermal cells are small and polygonal in shape. The epidermis is apostomatic. 13

b) The abaxial epidermis is stomatiferous, with paracytic or anisocytic stomata:

b) The abaxial epidermis is stomatiferous, with paracytic or anisocytic stomata 14

c) Rosette type calcium oxalate crystals are abundant on the surface of epidermal cells and in the mesophyll tissue. Broken fragments of thin and long vein terminations are seen in the powder with cluster of short and lobed tracheids:

c) Rosette type calcium oxalate crystals are abundant on the surface of epidermal cells and in the mesophyll tissue. Broken fragments of thin and long vein terminations are seen in the powder with cluster of short and lobed tracheids 15


CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS It contains triterpene saponins - gymnemic acids and gymnemasaponins and gymnemasides. The individual gymnemic acids (saponins) include gymnemic acids I-VII, gymnemosides A -F, gymnemasaponins. 16

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Apart from the saponins, The leaves also contain: resins Albumin Chlorophyll Carbohydrates tartaric acid formic acid butyric acid anthraquinone derivatives inositole alkaloids, organic acid (5.5%), parabin , calcium oxalate (7.3%), lignin (4.8%), cellulose (22%) Chemical constituents contd ……. Formic acid 19


IDENTIFICATION TESTS Hydrochloric extract when shaken with water with the addition of dilute acid gives a foamy appearance. It shows following colors under U.V. light: 20

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PURITY TESTS Maximum moisture content not more than 6% Total ash content Not more than 12% Heavy metals in leaves or leaves extract Not more than 40 ppm Heavy metals in final dosage form Not more than 10 ppm 22

Mechanism of action of G. Sylvester (Gymnemic Acid):

Mechanism of action of G. Sylvester ( Gymnemic Acid) G. Sylvester leaves have been found to cause hypoglycemia in laboratory animals and shown a use in herbal medicine to treat diabetes mellitus in adults. These compounds have also been found to increase fecal excretion of cholesterol 23

Mechanism by which it produces hypoglycaemic activity:

Mechanism by which it produces hypoglycaemic activity 24


PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES OF GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE Antiobesity Study: G. Sylvestre helps to promote weight loss possibly through its ability to reduce cravings for sweets and control blood sugar levels. A standardized G. sylvestre extract in combination with niacin-bound chromium and hydroxycitric acid has been evaluated for antiobesity 25

2. Antidiabetic Activity:

2. Antidiabetic Activity 26 Paliwal et al have investigated that gurmar leaf powder had positive and encouraging effects over blood glucose levels.

3. Hypolipidaemic Activity:

3. Hypolipidaemic Activity The administration of leaf extracts to hyperlipidaemic rats for two weeks have been found to show reduction in elevated serum triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) – cholesterol in dose dependent manner. 27

4. Antimicrobial Activity:

4. Antimicrobial Activity The ethanolic extract of G. sylvestre leaves showed good antimicrobial activity against Bacillus pumilis, B. subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus and no activity was found against Proteus vulgaris and Escherichia coli. The aqueous and methanolic extract of G. sylvestre leaves also showed moderate activity against the three pathogenic Salmonella species ( Salmonella typhi, S. typhimurium and S. paratyphi). 28

5. Anti-Inflammatory Activity:

The aqueous extract of G. sylvestre leaves was investigated for evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity in rats at a dose 200, 300 and 500 mg/kg in carrageenin-induced paw edema. The aqueous extract at 300 mg/kg decreased the paw edema volume by 48.5% with in 4 h after administration. 29 5. Anti-Inflammatory Activity


No side effects have been reported secondary to gymnema use. Safety in pregnancy has not been established 30 SIDE EFFECTS AND TOXICITY


DRUG INTERACTIONS No “serious” neither “significant“ interaction have been reported. Drug interactions may occur from the additive effects of using more than one hypoglycemic agent chlorpropamide insulin metformin tolbutamide 31


MARKETED FORMULATION 32 Directions for taking Himalaya Gymnema: 1 capsule twice daily with meals. TABLETS

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33 Directions As a dietary supplement take 1 Ml, 1-2 times a day in a small amount of water Directions steep tea bag(s) in a cup of boiling water for 3~5 minutes.

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34 Ingredients Cinnamon, Chamomile, Gymnema, Bitter Melon, Stevia, Natural apple flavor Directions Use 1 tsp per 250ml of water; heat water to 75°C/167°F (just before boiling);


Refernces “Cultivation of medicinal plants” , Dr. C.K. Kokate, Dr. A.S. Gokhale, Prof. S.B. Gokhale, Nirali Prakashan 3 rd edition page no. 7.77 – 7.78 “Text book of pharmacognosy”, G.K. Singh, Anil Bhandari 134 - 135 35


refrences 36

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