FoodGurmar: The ancient 'sugar destroyer' battling diabetes and obesity

Gurmar: The ancient 'sugar destroyer' battling diabetes and obesity

The most valuable part of the plant is precisely the leaves, from which the dry material for brewing is produced.
The most valuable part of the plant is precisely the leaves, from which the dry material for brewing is produced.
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3:22 PM EDT, March 20, 2024

Gurmar, an Ayurvedic herb, offers numerous health advantages, particularly for individuals grappling with diabetes. It has been found to potentially aid in shedding extra weight by reducing blood sugar levels.
This perennial vine boasts elliptical leaves and small yellow blossoms. Known as the "sugar destroyer" in India, it has been utilized for around two thousand years to address various health issues, including digestive disorders, constipation, and diabetes. Gurmar was also traditionally employed in Ayurvedic medicine to rid the body of parasites, thanks to its pronounced anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

Gurmar, the "sugar destroyer"

Intriguingly, the consumption of this plant's leaves can diminish the craving for sweet foods. For instance, a banana tasted after chewing gurmar leaves loses its distinct sweetness, becoming bland and flavorless. This effect stems from gymnemic acids, which attach themselves to taste receptors on the tongue.
Research indicates these acids possess anti-diabetic qualities, curtailing sugar absorption in the intestines and boosting insulin levels in the bloodstream. One study highlighted that consuming approximately 400 mg of gurmar extract over 18 to 20 months enabled some diabetics to lower their medication doses.
Apart from mitigating sweet cravings and enhancing carbohydrate metabolism, gurmar serves as a benefactor for those battling obesity. Another noteworthy feature of this unique plant is its ability to impede lipid absorption, thus reducing "bad" cholesterol levels.

How to use Gurmar?

Investigations published in the "Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants" reveal that gurmar is replete not only with gymnemic acids but also flavonoids, cinnamic acid, folic acid, vitamin C, formic acid, and butyric acid.
Gurmar© Wikimedia Commons | Lalithamba from India, CC BY 2.0
The plant's leaves, processed into a dry form for brewing, represent its most beneficial component. Gurmar is also available in powder, tablet form, and as an element in dietary supplements. Though its consumption is deemed safe, a lack of comprehensive research advises against its use by pregnant individuals and children. Those on anti-diabetic drugs should exert caution to prevent hypoglycemia. Moreover, gurmar may interact with medications like aspirin and St. John's wort.
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