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What Is Gymnema Used for Today?
Gymnema has become increasingly popular in the United States as a supportive treatment for diabetes. However, the evidence that it works remains weak. Only double-blind, placebo-controlled studies can prove a treatment effective, and none have yet been reported for gymnema. Current evidence is limited to a few animal studies and human open trials . 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (For information on the importance of the double-blind design, see "Why Does This Database Rely on Double-blind Studies?" )
Warning:This herb is advocated as a support to standard treatment, not as a replacement for it. Gymnema definitely cannot be used as a substitute for insulin treatment, and has not been proven strong enough for use in lieu of oral diabetes medications. However, there are also potential risks involved in adding gymnema to an existing treatment regimen. See Safety Issues .
- Shanmugasundaram ER, Rajeswari G, Baskaran K, et al. Use of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract in the control of blood glucose in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Ethnopharmacol. 1990;30:281–294.
- Baskaran K, Kizar Ahamath B, Radha Shanmugasundaram K, et al. Antidiabetic effect of a leaf extract from Gymnema sylvestre in non-insulin–dependent diabetes mellitus patients. J Ethnopharmacol. 1990;30:295–300.
- Joffe DJ, Freed SH. Effect of extended release Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract alone or in combination with oral hypoglycemics or insulin regimens for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Control Newsl. 2001;76(1):1-4.
- Shanmugasundaram KR, Panneerselvam C, Samudram P, et al. Enzyme changes and glucose utilisation in diabetic rabbits: the effect of Gymnema sylvestre.J Ethnopharmacol. 1983;7:205-234.
- Prakash AO, Mathur S, Mathur R. Effect of feeding Gymnema sylvestre leaves on blood glucose in beryllium nitrate treated rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 1986;18:143-146.
- Shanmugasundaram ER, Gopinath KL, Radha Shanmugasundaram K, et al. Possible regeneration of the islets of Langerhans in streptozotocin-diabetic rats given Gymnema sylvestre leaf extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 1990;30:265-279.
- Shimizu K, Iino A, Nakajima J, et al. Suppression of glucose absorption by some fractions extracted from Gymnema sylvestre leaves. J Vet Med Sci. 1997;59:245-251.