What is it?
Gymnema is an herbal medicine that has been used for the treatment of diabetes, high cholesterol, and acne due to too much sugar in the blood.
Other names for Gymnema include: Gymnema sylvestre, and Gurmarbooti.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.
Tell your doctor if you
- are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
- are breastfeeding
- have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease
Talk with your caregiver about how much Gymnema you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Gymnema. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.
To store this medicine:
Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.
Drug and Food Interactions:
Do not take Gymnema without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:
- Medicine used to lower blood sugar (examples: insulin, metformin (Glucophage(R)), glyburide (DiaBeta(R), Glynase(R)), glipizide (Glucotrol(R)), pioglitazone (Actos(R)))
- Before taking Gymnema, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- If you have diabetes, you should only use Gymnema under the supervision of your health care professional (1)
- Taking Gymnema may increase the taste of bitter things (6)
Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.
- Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
- Chest pain
- Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin
Other Side Effects:
This medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.
1. Lininger S (ed): The Natural Pharmacy. Prima Health Publishing, Rocklin, CA; 1998.
2. Baskaran K, Ahamath BK, Shanmugasundaram R et al: Antidiabetic effect of a leaf extract form Gymnema sylvestre in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients. J Ethnopharmacol 1990; 30:295-305.
3. Shanmugasundaram ERB, Rajeswari G, Baskaran K et al: Use of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract in the control of blood glucose in insulin-dependent diabtes mellitus. J Ehtnopharmacol 1990; 30:281-294.
4. Shanmugasundaram ERB, Gopinath KL, Shanmaugasundaram KR et al: Possible regeneration of the islets of Langerhans in streptozotocin-diabetic rats given Gymnema sylvestre leaf extracts. J Ehtnopharmacol 1990;30:265-79.
5. Kapoor LD: Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1990.
6. Lawless HT: Evidence for neural inhibition in bittersweet taste mixtures. J Comp Physiol Psychol 1979; 93(3): 538-547.
Last Updated: 1/4/2011