One natural way to control blood sugar is the herb gymnema silvestre, which is the main Ayurvedic herb for treating diabetes according to the Ayurveda Encyclopedia.

This important herb removes sugar from the pancreas, stimulates pancreatic function, helps circulation and facilitates urine excretion.

Gymnema acts to reduces excess kapha (dosha in charge of body structure and lubrication and associated with obesity) and vata (the dosha responsible for movement and the nervous system). Vata imbalances created by stress can promote poor eating habits which can cause diabetes to develop.

Gymnema heals skin disorders and infections, ignites digestion and treats all metabolic disorders including diabetes. It is believed to be regenerative of pancreatic beta cells which means that it may offer diabetics the potential to restore pancreatic insulin production according to Ayurvedic Diet Solutions.

A number of studies demonstrate an increased awareness on the part of the medical research community that gymnema silvestre can help with diabetes treatment. According to WiseGeek, “the unique shape of gymnemic acid molecules are similar to that of glucose, allowing it to fill cell receptors in the lining the intestines, thereby preventing uptake of sugar molecules.” In addition, there is much evidence that it gets rid of sugar tastes in the mouth reducing sugar cravings.

Gymnema silvestre has a long history of helping diabetic patients in India, a history that is making its way to the West.  It is available in a pill form making it easier to use than insulin.  In some cases it may alleviate the need for insulin supplementation. It is a promising treatment for diabetics that is worth looking into because it is relatively inexpensive, and easy to use. Although not recommended for pregnant and lactating women, this herb has proven to be safe over a long period of time.

Gymnema Sylvestre Research

Gymnema has been used by Ayurveda for centuries to help manage blood sugar and manage diabetes.  Western medicine has become interested in this herb and has begun investigating its benefits.  Here are links to some of the studies that bear out that it does in fact lower blood sugar and improve pancreatic function:

  1. A novel Gymnema sylvestre extract stimulates insulin secretion from human islets in vivo and in vitro.
  2. In vitro callus and in vivo leaf extract of Gymnema sylvestre stimulate β-cells regeneration and anti-diabetic activity in Wistar rats.
  3. A novel dihydroxy gymnemic triacetate isolated from Gymnema sylvestre possessing normoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity on STZ-induced diabetic rats.
  4. Gymnema sylvestre for diabetes mellitus: a systematic review.
  5. An overview on the advances of Gymnema sylvestre: chemistry, pharmacology and patents.

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World. In addition, she has created the immersive Emerging Sensitive Program of "sensory processing yoga" using frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. She also offers the Emerging Sensitive Movie Club focused on movies and discussions about living in the world as a sensitive person and navigating the challenging cultural shifts of our times. She is a longtime meditator, reiki master, student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is also an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.