Gymnema extract is an herbal tincture containing concentrated parts of the gymnema climbing plant which grows in India, Japan, and Sri Lanka. This supplement has a reputation as a sugar blocker. It not only prevents spikes in blood sugar, but can also reportedly kill sugar cravings and the appetite. Some reports also suggest it balances the body’s insulin production.
These characteristics of the gymnema extract have made it an aid for diabetics and dieters. Many people who thwart their health and diets by compulsively eating sugary desserts claim they can usually wean themselves from these snacks after treating themselves with this extract. Sufferers of diabetes who run the risk of blindness and amputation are able to reduce superfluous glucose consumption, studies suggest. Sports players who struggle to avoid excess carbohydrates also find help in taking gymnema, which is loaded with chromium.
Another boon of gymnema extract is that it lowers cholesterol by balancing triglycerides. The pancreas also functions better after the addition of gymnema as a dietary supplement. Antiviral powers of this herb can reportedly make users resistant to influenza. An enhancer for other herbs, gymnema extract generally makes those substances perform better when blended with additional botanicals. For that reason, gymnema extract is often sold in mixtures with herbs like fenugreek and bilberry.
The herb extract of gymnema is highly concentrated and is applied under the tongue with an eye dropper. The standard dosage for the extract is 25 ml to 75 ml a week spread out over several days, although many consumers take this much a day. Those seeking the benefits of gymnema, but who would prefer not to use a liquid tincture, can purchase loose dried leaves for making tea. Preliminary studies suggest tea infusions of the herb can coat the teeth and discourage plaque. Leaves can also be chewed.
When using capsules, users reportedly experience benefits when taking 5g to 50g daily. The tablet form of gymnema yields effects at roughly 10g to 12g a day, which is the equivalent of one whole gymnema leaf. The tablets are made to be swallowed whole and never chewed for the best impact. Side effects of excess consumption include possible irritation of membranes in the mouth and stomach.
Gymnema benefits are not permanent; the herb must be taken consistently over long periods of time to reap significant improvement. The suppression of sugar cravings may occur in the first week of supplementation or even immediately. The balancing of blood sugar and blood cholesterol generally takes place after a month.