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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Gymnema Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

Native to the forests of India, Gymnema sylvestre(also called gumar) has a coincidental double relationship to sugar: When placed on the tongue, it blocks the sensation of sweetness, and when taken internally, it might help control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. (There doesn’t seem to be any connection between these two uses.)

Practitioners of Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India) first used gymnema to treat diabetes almost 2,000 years ago. In the 1920s, preliminary scientific studies found some evidence that gymnema leaves can reduce blood sugar levels, 1 but nothing much came of this observation for decades. Research in India picked up again in the 1980s and 90s, leading to the publication of promising preliminary studies in people.


Gymnema is usually taken at a dosage of 400 to 600 mg daily of an extract standardized to contain 24% gymnemic acid.


  1. Lininger SW, Wright J, Austin S, et al. The Natural Pharmacy. Rocklin, Calif: Prima Publishing; 1998:276


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