Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gymnema sylvestre

Family : Asclepiadaceae

Synonym(s) : Periploca sylvestris Willd., Gymnema melicida Edgew.

English Name : Australian Cow Plant and Ram's Horn

Origin : Southern India


A large, more or less pubescent, woody climber. The leaves are opposite, elliptic or ovate; the flowers are small, yellow and in umbellate cymes; the follicles are terete, lanceolate and up to 3 inches in length.


Forests of central and peninsular India.

Parts Used : Leaf, root, plant and aerial part

Herb Effects

Alleviates spasms (50% EtOH aerial part extract); antidiabetic. stimulates insulin production and/or secretion and antiviral (leaf); inhibits high blood sugar levels (leaf extract); increases the secretion of gastric juices. laxative. diuretic, acrid, alexipharmic, anodyne, anthelmintic, antipyretic, astringent, bitter, cardiotonic, digestive, emetic,expectorant, laxative, stimulant, stomachic, uterine tonic.

Active Ingredients

Gymnemic acid, hentriacontanol, anthraquinone derivates and several O-iso-propylidene derivatives of gymnemagenin (leaf); from 50% EtOH extract of aerial part.

Medicinal Use

For diabetes and snakebite (powdered root), in cough, biliousness and sore eyes, as a remedy for diabetes (leaves).


Leaf powder: 2 to 4 grams per day.
400 to 600 mg daily of an extract standardized to contain 24% gymnemic acid.


1. Anil, K.I., Nazaam, P.A., Joseph, L, Vijay Kumar, N.K. - Response of "Gurmar" for in vitro propagation. V.42(6); P 365-368, 1994 (Eng.Recd 1996,6 ref).

2. Chakravarthi,D and Debnath, N.B. 1981 Isolation of Gymnemagenin, the Sapogenin from Gymnema Sylvestre R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae). Journal of the Institution of Chemists (India) 53, 155-158

  1. Chandel et al., Biodiversity in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in India.

4. Glaser,D.;Hellekant, Gwalior., Brouwer, J.N., and Van der wel. Happy (1984) Effects of Gymnemic Acid and on sweet taste perception in primates . Chemical Sciences 8,367- 374.

5. Gupta, S.S(1961) Inhibitory effect of Gymnema Sylvestre (Gurmar) on adrenaline induced Hyperglycemia in rats, Indian Journal of Medical Sciences 15, 883-887.

6. Imoto, T.; Miyasaka, A., Ishima. R and Akasaka,K (1991) A novel peptide isolated from the leaves of Gymnema Sylvestre I. Characterization and its suppressive effect on the neural responses to sweet taste stimuli in the rat . Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 100A, 309-314.

7. Kennady, L.M. (1989) Gymnemic Acids; specificity and comperitive inhibitation. Chemical Senses 14, 853-858

8. Mukherjee,P.K., rajesh Kumar,M., Saha,K., Giri,S.N., Pal, M, Saha B.P. Preparation and evaluation of Tincture of Gymnema Sylvestre (Family- Asclepiadaceae) by Physico- Chemical, TLC and Spectroscopic characteristics. - Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research, V.55(3): P.178-181,1995 (Eng.14 Ref).

9. Shanmugasundaram, K.R., Panneerselvam, C., Samudram, P and Shanmugasundaram E.R.B. (1983) Enzyme changes and glucose utilisation in diabestic rabbits; the effect of Gymnema Sylvestre, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 17, 704-708.

10. Stocklin, W.(1969b) Chemistry and Physiological properties of Gymnemic acid, the anti-saccharine principle of the leaves of Gymnema Sylvestre, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 7, 205-234.

11. Yoshikawa, K.,Amimoto, K, Arihara, School and Matsuura, K.(1989a) Structure Studies of new anti-sweet constituents from Gymnema Sylvestre. Trtrahedron Letters 30, 1103- 1106

12. Yoshikawa,K, Amimoto,K, Arihara,S and Matsuura, K (1989b) Gymnemic Acid V,VI and VII from Gurmar, the leaves of Gymnema Sylvestre R.Br. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bullitin 37, 852-854.

13. Yoshikawa,K, Arihara,S, Matsuura, K and Miyase,T (1992a) Demmarane Saponins from Gymnema Sylvestre, Phytochemistry 31, 237-241

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