Gudmar Gymnema sylvestre: Benefits, Remedies, Research, Side Effects

Madhunashini – Gudmar, is a herb popularly known for its anti- diabetic action and is mentioned in Ayurvedic treatment of diabetes, renal calculi, cough, snake poison and jaundice.

Latin name- Gymnema sylvestre R.Br.
Family- Asclepiadaceae

Gurmar – Names in different languages:
English name – Gymnema, Cowplant, Australian Cowplant
Hindi name- Gudmar, Gurmar
Bengali name- Medasinghi
Gujarathi name- Kavali, Gudamar
Kannada name- Madhunashini
Konkani name- kawli
Marathi name- Kavali, Bedakicha phala
Malayalam name- Madhunashini, Chakkarakolli
Oriya name- Mrygosingo
Tamil name- Shirukurinjan
Telugu name- Podapatri, Vodaparthi
Urdu name- Sasinga
Gurmar GudmarSanskrit Synonym:
Madhunashini- Destroys the sweet taste, when the leaf is chewed, it becomes hard for the tongue to perceive sweet taste for 10 – 15 minutes.
Vishani- Destroys the poison
Meshashrungi, Basta shrungi, Shrungika, Ajashringi- Leaf resemble the horn of goat
Tiktadugdha- The juice coming from the plant is bitter
Shree Vruksha – auspicious
Vartika – climber,
Padavruksha, Ghanashrungi, Bahalangaka, Bahalanga, Bahalachakshusha, Vishanika, Kurchaparni,
Sarpadanstra, Akshibheshaja,

Madhunashini is a climber with the stem being weak and covered with small hairs. The leaf is 1-1.2 inch long, ovate elliptical and having small hairs on both the surface. The flowers are pale yellowish green. The flowers are seen in the month of August to September and the fruits are seen in the month of January to March. The plant is seen all over India in the temperate climate.
Gymnema sylvestre MadhunashiniProperties:
Rasa (Taste) – Kashaya (Astringent), Tikta (Bitter)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry)
Vipaka – – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Karma (Actions) – Kaphavata shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and vata dosha)

Part used- Leaf, Root
Decoction- 40 to 80 ml
Powder- 5 to 6 g

Chemical constituents:
Gymnemagenin, the main sapogenin in the leaves, yielded 3.9–4.6% of total gymnemic acids. The leaf also contains quereitol. Apart from these, the whole plant contains Gymnemine, Gymnemagenin and Gypenosies.

Uses of Meshashringi:

  • If the juice of the leaf is consumed or if the leaf is chewed, then the tongue loses the perception of sweet taste for few hours.
  • The fresh juice of the plant Gymnema sylvestre increases the appetite and stimulates the liver for better functioning.
  • The paste of the root of Gymnema sylvestre is applied over the area bitten by snake, to reduce the effect of poisoning and reduce swelling.
  • The paste of the root is mixed with castor oil in area affected with swelling and abdominal area in cases of splenomegaly and hepatomegaly.
  • The decoction of the Meshashringi is given in a dose of 40-50 ml to treat dysmenorrhea, fever, renal calculi and difficulty in micturition.
  • The powder of the seed of Meshashringi is given with honey to treat dyspnea and cough.
  • The fresh juice of the root of the plant is given in a dose of 25-30 ml to treat snake poisoning.
  • The powder of the dried leaf (4 to 6 g) or fresh juice (25-30 ml) of leaf is given to reduce the sugar level in the blood.
  • The paste of the leaf is applied over the area affected with skin diseases.

madhunashini gymnema sylvestre-usesUses of Gurmar as per Ayurveda:
Chakshushya – improves vision, good for eyes, useful in eye disorders
Daha –  burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Asra – blood disorders such as abscess, skin disorders, bleeding disorders such as menorrhagia, nasal bleeding etc.
Shopha  – inflammation
Trushna – excessive thirst
Vami – vomiting
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Hrudroga –cardiac disorder
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Kasa – cough, cold
Kushta – skin diseases
Vrana – Ulcers, wounds
Raktapitta –Bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods, etc
Pama – Keloids, Papules
Kesharanjini –Gives natural black colour to hair.

Gudmar Fruit:
Tikta – bitter
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Sramsana – mild laxative
Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart
Indicated in
Kushta – skin diseases
Meha – diabetes, urinary tract disorders
Krumi – worm infestation

Adverse effects of Madhunashini: Increased or irregular intake of Meshashringi can bring down the blood sugar level below normal leading to hypoglycemia.

Ayurvedic medicines containing Mesh shringi:
Bio- Gymnema capsule: Bio-Gymnema Capsule is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine. It is an anti-diabetic drug useful to reduce blood sugar levels and to manage complications associated with diabetes.

Debix tablet: It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine. It is a nervine tonic, strengthens organs and improves cellular metabolic activity. It stimulates Beta cells of Langarhans for the insulin secretion. It inhibits absorption of carbohydrates from intestine into the blood.

Glukostat capsule: Glukostat capsule is a pancreatic stimulant and insulin sensitizer. It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine. The capsule restores elevated blood sugar level to normal.
It stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin and increases cell receptor sensitivity to the available insulin.

Diabegon capsule: It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine indicated in Ayurvedic treatment of Diabetes mellitus and associated complaints.

Amritamehari churna: Amritamehari churnam is an Ayurvedic medicine in herbal powder form used for the treatment of diabetes. The medicine is also useful to reduce weakness and good in bladder ailments.

Limit capsule: It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine indicated in Ayurvedic treatment of Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

Research on Gymnema sylvestre:
The leaves of the plant are widely used for the treatment of diabetes and as diuretic in India proprietary medicine. G. sylvestre, an Ayurvedic herb, came to be known as “destroyer of sugar” because, in ancient times, Ayurvedia physicians observed that chewing a few leaves of G. sylvestre suppressed the taste of sugar. It is used totally all over India for controlling blood sugar. Several bio-active compounds have been isolated from the herb for diabetes care.

Classical categorization:
Bhavaprakasha- Guduchyadi varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu- Guduchyadi varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Oushadhi varga
Raja Nighantu- Prabadradi varga

Author:  Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
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  1. What is the cause of diabetes (one main root cause like vitiation of vata in artheritis) in Ayurveda? How come this herb doesn’t affect PITTA , it is largely astringent !

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