Gymnema Sylvestre for Sugar Cravings

When it comes to sugar, too much of a tasty thing can take its toll. Gymnema sylvestre can help cut sugar cravings and keep you in control of your sweet tooth.

Gymnema Sylvestre for Sugar Cravings from Wile, a few leaves with some little white flowers are in focus, while the background is green and blurred.

Cut Sugar Cravings with Gymnema Sylvestre

Oh, sugar. The sweet siren that helped our ancestors survive by attracting them to crucial calories is singing still. Or make that screaming? 

The difference is that while our lives no longer rely on occasional foraged berries, our evolutionary drive for sugar keeps luring us to a 10pm scoop of ice cream.

From coffee drinks to wine roadies and snack aisles, sugar has infiltrated the American diet, creating a “comfort food” industrial complex beyond Tollhouse’s wildest dreams. You may have a sweet tooth or get sucked into the hidden sugars of refined carbs like bread and pasta—we relate to both.

Sugar cravings can trick your body and brain into overindulging beyond what feels good to you or supports your overall health. Addressing this is not (just) about weight and vanity. As you hit this life stage, there are a number of reasons to keep an eye on your sugar intake:

  • High blood sugar has been linked to worsening perimenopausal issues like hot flashes and mood swings.
  • Sugar can mess with hormonal balance overall.
  • It can possibly impact brain health down the road, and more. 

In a cruel twist of fate, midlife's compromised sleep and hormonal shifts can kick sugar cravings into overdrive just when it might be time to cut back. Thankfully, gymnestra sylvestre is an effective herb that can help you take control of your cravings. 

Gymnema sylvestre is great for reducing sugar cravings and curbing stress eating, but to be clear, we have no diet culture agenda. This is not a call to cut all “treats” from life. There’s no shame in our eating game; take pleasures where you choose. We’re simply offering natural ways to support changes you may want to make. 

Why We Love Gymnema Sylvestre

  • Gymnema sylvestre is an important ingredient in our Stave the Crave chai. Paired with calming herbs that curb stress-eating at the source, gymnema dulls the taste of sweet foods, so it can make oreos seem less enticing and help you make conscious choices about which snacks would really hit the spot. 
  • Gymnema sylvestre contains a wide variety of potent medicinal compounds. There’s promising research that gymnema could be used for digestive and liver support as well as a natural antiviral and antibiotic ingredient. This is one herb to watch!

Key Benefits: 

Cuts sugar cravings - gymnema sylvestre leaves contain gymnemic acid, which binds to sugar receptors on the tongue and decreases the intensity of sweet tastes. Most people find that sweets are less appealing after taking gymnema and consume less sugar.

Lowers blood sugar - gymnema sylvestre temporarily decreases the effectiveness of intestinal sugar receptors so they absorb less of it into your bloodstream. So not only does gymnema help you eat less sugar, it keeps it from staying in your body. These benefits are drawing attention and research to gymnema as a potential support for diabetes symptoms. 

Decreases inflammation - gymnema contains compounds called tannins and saponins that naturally reduce inflammation. The combined effects of tannins and saponins with decreased sugar consumption make gymnema sylvestre a great herb to keep inflammation at bay.

Traditional Uses:

Gymnema sylvestre’s main traditional use is as an Ayurvedic diabetes treatment. It has also been used for inflammation, asthma, and snakebites. 

About the Plant: 

Gymnema sylvestre, which is also known as gymnema, gurmar, and Australian cowplant, is a climbing shrub with woody branches, oval leaves ending in a point, and clusters of small yellowish flowers. It grows in tropical and subtropical forests throughout Africa, Asia, and Oceania. 

Found In:

Things to Know about Gymnema:

Gymnema sylvestre is generally considered very safe, but it’s not for everyone. Because it can lower blood sugar, avoid taking this herb if you already have low blood sugar and discontinue use if you start getting headaches or feeling nauseous, lightheaded, or shaky.

You should also avoid taking gymnema if you’re on medication to manage diabetes. 

Gymnema sylvestre is not recommended for children or for pregnant or breastfeeding people.

Clinical Research
  • Al-Romaiyan, Altaf, Bo Liu, Reg Docherty, Guo H. Huang, Stephanie A. Amiel, Shanta J. Persaud, and Peter B. Jones. “Investigation of Intracellular Signalling Cascades Mediating Stimulatory Effect of aGymnema SylvestreExtract on Insulin Secretion from Isolated Mouse and Human Islets of Langerhans.” Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 14, no. 12 (December 1, 2012): 1104–13.
  • “Effect of Extended Release Gymnema Sylvestre Leaf Extract (Beta Fast GXR).” Diabetes in Control Newsletter 76, no. 1 (October 30, 2001).
  • Khan, Farzana Naheed, Md. Moklesur Rahman Sarker, Long Chiau Ming, Isa Naina Mohamed, Chao Zhao, Bassem Y. Sheikh, Hiew Fei Tsong, and Mohammad A. Rashid. “Comprehensive Review on Phytochemicals, Pharmacological and Clinical Potentials of Gymnema Sylvestre.” Frontiers in Pharmacology 10 (October 29, 2019).
  • Pothuraju, Ramesh, Raj Pal Sharma, Jayasimha Chagalamarri, Surender Jangra, and Praveen Kumar Kavadi. “A Systematic Review ofGymnema Sylvestrein Obesity and Diabetes Management.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 94, no. 5 (March 30, 2014): 834–40.
  • Tiwari, Pragya, Ahmad Khurshid, and Mohammad Hassan Baig. “Gymnema Sylvestre for Diabetes: From Traditional Herb to Future’s Therapeutic.” Current Pharmaceutical Design 23, no. 11 (2017): 1667–76.
  • Tiwari, Pragya, Bhartendu Nath Mishra, and Neelam S. Sangwan. “Phytochemical and Pharmacological Properties ofGymnema Sylvestre: An Important Medicinal Plant.” BioMed Research International 2014 (January 6, 2014): 1–18.
  • Christiansen, Sherry. “The Health Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre.” Verywell Health, February 28, 2023.
  • Ld, Amy Goodson Ms, Rd, Cssd,. “6 Impressive Health Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre.” Healthline, June 18, 2018.
  • Women’s Health Team. “Controlling Your Blood Sugar Can Improve Your PCOS and Hormone Imbalance.” Cleveland Clinic, February 15, 2023.

This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one medical consultation with a professional. Wile, Inc researches and shares information and advice from our own research and advisors. We encourage every woman to research, ask questions and speak to a trusted health care professional to make her own best decisions.
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