Gymnema sylvestre

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Gymnema sylvestre

  1. 1. www.natureherbs.org 2012GudmarGYMNEMA SYLVESTRE R.BR. Family – AsclpiadaceaeAbstractGymnema sylvestre is regarded as one of the plants with potent anti diabetic properties. Thisplant is also used for controlling obesity in the form of Gymnema tea. The active compound ofthe plant is a group of acids termed as gymnemic acids. It has been observed that there couldbe a possible link between obesity, Gymnemic acids and diabetes. This review will try to putforth an overall idea about the plant as well as present a molecular perspective linking thecommon medicine to the most common metabolic disorders.Keywords: Gymnema sylvestre, antidiabetic, obesity, Gymnemic acids, herbal drugIt is a woody climber with small yellowish flowers and simple opposite, ovate -elliptic hairyleaves. It is found wild in various deciduous forests of India. The leaves of this plant have beenused in India for over 2000 years to treat madhu meha, or “honey urine.” Chewing the leavesdestroys the ability to discriminate the “sweet” taste, giving it its common name, gurmar, or“sugar destroyer.”natureherbs@ymail.com | +91 841 888 5555
  2. 2. www.natureherbs.org 2012ConstituentsPlant constituents include two resins (one soluble in alcohol), gymnemic acids, saponins,stigmasterol,quercitol, and the amino acid derivatives betaine, choline and trimethylamine.1• Medicinal Uses: * Diabetes * Diet/weight Loss• Properties: * Astringent * Refrigerant• Parts Used: leaf• Plant Class: Woody Perennial• Etymology: From the Hindu gurmar - destroyer of sugar.• Flowers/Fruit/Seeds: Pale yellow, bell shaped flowers• Parts used: Leaf• Leaves: Narrow tipped, elliptic, smooth green leaves• Distribution: Native to the southern tropical forests of India.natureherbs@ymail.com | +91 841 888 5555
  3. 3. www.natureherbs.org 2012Other names :Sanskrit: Meshashringi, madhunashini,Hindi: Gur-mar, merasingi,Marathi: Kavali,kalikardori, vakundi,Gujrathi: Dhuleti, mardashingi,Telugu: Podapatri,Tamil: Adigam, cherukurinja,Kannada: SannagerasehambuLOCATION: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra, Punjab, Haryana., Tamil Nadu,Andhara Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar & Bengal.CULTIVATION:SOIL AND CLIMATETHE PLANT GROWS IN A VARIETY OF SOIL AND AGRO-CLIMATIC CONDITIONS IN TROPICAL ANDSUB-TROPICAL REGIONS UP TO 600 M.NURSERY RAISING AND PLANTINGMature seeds are collected between October-December and sown in polyboxes/bags or smallplots as nursery. The seedlings raised are transplanted in field during February-March. Theplant grows well with the on-set of rainy season. The climber is given proper support for itsbetter growth and development. It can also be planted in between trees as intercropping.The plant can also be propagated through cuttings and planted during rainy season.WEEDING AND HOEINGPeriodical weeding and hoeing is required, particularly during and after rainy season.MANURES, FERTILISERS AND PESTICIDESThe medicinal plants have to be grown without chemical fertilizers and use of pesticides.Organic manures like, Farm Yard Manure (FYM), Vermi-Compost, Green Manure etc. may beused as per requirement of the species. To prevent diseases, bio-pesticides could be prepared(either single or mixture) from Neem (kernel, seeds & leaves), Chitrakmool, Dhatura, Cowsurine etc.IRRIGATIONPeriodic irrigation as and when required may be done (weekly/fortnightly).natureherbs@ymail.com | +91 841 888 5555
  4. 4. www.natureherbs.org 2012HARVESTING/POST-HARVESTINGAfter one-year leaves are ready for harvesting. The leaves are usually collected during October-February and are cleaned, dried in shade. The roots are collected during summer and arecleaned, washed and cut in to pieces and dried.Benefits and Uses of GurmarGurmar (Gymnema sylvestre) has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatmentof diabetes, upper respiratory infections, and fevers. The main point of interest in the west isgurmar leafs effects on insulin levels and blood sugar given the rising epidemic of adult onsettype 2 diabetes. Gurmar acts to normalize blood sugar levels only lowering glucose in thosewho are hyperglycemic. This herb also has a positive effect on triglycerides andcholesterollevels as well. Gurmar is of interest to dieters as well. Taken over a long period of time it hasbeen shown to reduce the sugar cravings that can hijack your sensible eating plans.Plant descriptionG. sylvestre (Asclepiadaceae), a vulnerable species is a slow growing, perennial, medicinalwoody climber found in central and peninsular India. It is a potent antidiabetic plant and usedin folk, ayurvedic and homeopathic systems of medicine. It is also used in the treatment ofasthma, eye complaints, inflammations, family planning and snakebite. In addition, it possessesantimicrobial, antihypercholesterolemic, hepatoprotective and sweet suppressing activities. Italso acts as feeding deterrents to caterpillar, Prodenia eridania; prevent dental caries causedbyStreptococcus mutans and in skin cosmetics.natureherbs@ymail.com | +91 841 888 5555
  5. 5. www.natureherbs.org 2012G. sylvestre is a large, more or less pubescent, woody climber. It is occasionally cultivated asmedicinal plant. Leaves are opposite, usually elliptic or ovate (1.25–2.0 inch × 0.5–1.25 inch).Flowers are small, yellow, in umbellate cymes. Follicles are terete, lanceolate, upto 3 inches inlength.natureherbs@ymail.com | +91 841 888 5555
  6. 6. www.natureherbs.org 2012Phytochemistry of G. sylvestreG. sylvestre leaves contain triterpene saponins belonging to oleanane and dammarene classes.Oleanane saponins are gymnemic acids and gymnemasaponins, while dammarene saponins aregymnemasides. Besides this, other plant constituents are flavones, anthraquinones, hentri-acontane, pentatriacontane, α and β-chlorophylls, phytin, resins, d-quercitol, tartaric acid,formic acid, butyric acid, lupeol, β-amyrin related glycosides and stigmasterol. The plant extractalso tests positive for alkaloids. Leaves of this species yield acidic glycosides andanthroquinones and their derivatives.Gymnemic acids have antidiabetic, antisweetener and anti-inflammatory activities. Theantidiabetic array of molecules has been identified as a group of closely related gymnemic acidsafter it was successfully isolated and purified from the leaves of G. sylvestre. Later, thephytoconstituents of G. sylvestre were isolated, and their chemistry and structures werestudied and elucidated.Mechanism of Action of Gymnemic Acidsnatureherbs@ymail.com | +91 841 888 5555
  7. 7. www.natureherbs.org 2012Gymnemic acid formulations have also been found useful against obesity, according to recentreports. This is attributed to the ability of gymnemic acids to delay the glucose absorption inthe blood. The atomic arrangement of gymnemic acid molecules is similar to that of glucosemolecules. These molecules fill the receptor locations on the taste buds thereby preventing itsactivation by sugar molecules present in the food, thereby curbing the sugar craving. Similarly,Gymnemic acid molecules fill the receptor location in the absorptive external layers of theintestine thereby preventing the sugar molecules absorption by the intestine, which results inlow blood sugar level.G. sylvestre leaves have been found to cause hypoglycemia in laboratory animals and havefound a use in herbal medicine to help treat adult onset diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). WhenGymnema leaf extract is administered to a diabetic patient, there is stimulation of the pancreasby virtue of which there is an increase in insulin release. These compounds have also beenfound to increase fecal excretion of cholesterol, but further studies to prove clinical significancein treating hypercholesterolemia (high serum cholesterol) are required. Other uses forGymnema leaf extract are its ability to act as a laxative, diuretic, and cough suppressant. Theseother actions would be considered adverse reactions when Gymnema is used for its glucoselowering effect in diabetes.Gymnema leaf extract, notably the peptide ‘Gurmarin’, has been found to interfere with theability of the taste buds on the tongue to taste sweet and bitter. Gymnemic acid has a similareffect. It is believed that by inhibiting the sweet taste sensation, people taking it will limit theirintake of sweet foods, and this activity may be partially responsible for its hypoglycemic effect.There are some possible mechanisms by which the leaves and especially Gymnemic acids fromG. sylvestre exert its hypoglycemic effects are:1) it increases secretion of insulin,2) it promotes regeneration of islet cells,3) it increases utilization of glucose: it is shown to increase the activities of enzymes responsiblefor utilization of glucose by insulin-dependant pathways, an increase in phosphorylase activity,decrease in gluconeogenic enzymes and sorbitol dehydrogenase, and4) it causes inhibition of glucose absorption from intestine.The gymnemic acid components are believed to block the absorption of glucose in the smallintestine, the exact action being unknown. It could be involve one or more mechanisms.One of the mechanisms responsible for adult onset diabetes mellitus is a form of insulinresistance, which is attributed to the inability of insulin to enter cells via the insulin receptor.Gymnema may overcome this resistance, but require further studies to confirm its validity andalso whether the effect is clinically relevant. Should this effect be proven, Gymnema may proveuseful in both adult onset (NIDDM) and juvenile onset diabetes mellitus (IDDM) to help insulinenter cells. In the case of IDDM, the insulin is injected by syringe and is not secreted from thepancreas.natureherbs@ymail.com | +91 841 888 5555
  8. 8. www.natureherbs.org 2012The leaves are also noted for lowering serum cholesterol and triglycerides. The primarychemical constituents of Gymnema include gymnemic acid, tartaric acid, gurmarin, calciumoxalate, glucose, stigmasterol, betaine, and choline. While the water-soluble acidic fractionsreportedly provide the hypoglycemic action, it is not yet clear what specific constituent in theleaves is responsible for the same. Some researchers have suggested gymnemic acid as onepossible candidate, although further research is needed. Both gurmarin (another constituent ofthe leaves) and gymnemic acid have been shown to block sweet taste in humans. The majorconstituents of the plant material 3B glucuronides of different acetylated gymnemagenins,gymnemic acid a complex mixture of at least 9 closely related acidic glucosides.The following figure could provide a diagrammatic representation for explaining the action ofgymnemic acids on the intestinal receptors. The basic function of the acids is to bind to thereceptor on the intestine, and stop the glucose molecule from binding to the receptor. Thus,gymnemic acids prevent the absorption of excess glucose.Diabetes MellitusDiabetes mellitus can be defined as a group of syndromes characterized by hyperglycemia,altered metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins along with an increased risk ofcomplications from vascular disease. It is characterized by polydipsia (chronic excessive thirstand fluid intake), polyphagia excessive eating), glycosuria (excessive glucose in the blood) and“acetone breath” i.e. the breath of the patient smells of acetone due to an abnormal increaseof ketone bodies in the blood. The classification of diabetes can be done in two types as: Type-1(insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM) and Type-2 (non-insulin-dependent diabetesmellitus, NIDDM).Herbal medicines for treatment of diabetesThe Indian subcontinent has given to the medicinal world, natural remedies such as Ayurveda,Yunaniand Siddha. Based on such systems, we can find not only new remedies; but also newlead molecules may be obtained. Though data from clinical trials are positive, furtherinvestigations coupled with extensive clinical trials are required. Most of the drugs from plantsources are secondary metabolites, which have no role in plant metabolism; but are postulatedto play a significant role in the plant defense mechanism. However, not much difference is seenin the basic metabolic processes in plants as well as animals.One of the alternative medicines to both diabetes and obesity could be G. sylvestre plantpreparation, as it known to have a good effect for curbing of diabetes by blocking sugar bindingsites and hence not allowing the sugar molecules to accumulate in the body.Obesity and Its Impact on the Human BodyObesity, technically, is characterized by the increased storage of tri glycerides (fat molecules) inthe adipose tissue thereby causing insulin resistance. It could also be defined as the conditionnatureherbs@ymail.com | +91 841 888 5555
  9. 9. www.natureherbs.org 2012of a human being in which the body contains more fat than required and which can lead to adiseased state. Obesity is usually caused by an abnormality of feeding regulatory mechanism.This can result from either psychogenic factors that affect this regulation or actualabnormalities of regulatory system in hypothalamus. But in many cases no specific cause can beidentified. Contributing factors include genetic factors, eating habits childhood over nutritionand social customs, among many others. Obesity also plays an important role in thedevelopment of diabetes. It decreases the number of insulin receptors in insulin target cellsthroughout the body, thus making the amount of insulin that is available, less effective inpromoting its usual metabolic effects.Exploring the link between obesity and diabetesIt is a well-known fact that molecular mechanisms underlying the link between obesity anddiabetes have been elusive, but new research studies show that there could be a enzymatic linkbetween the two most common metabolic disorders. Initially, the trend towards the link wasthe presence of free fatty at higher levels in obese people than in non-obese people. In 2001,there were reports of a missing link in the form of some chemical substance that proves theinability of the body insulin to control blood sugar levels.Claire (2001) in his recent research studies suggested a new theory. It is a well-known fact thattype II diabetes is the most common form of disease and when the insulin of the body loses itsability for glucose uptake, the diseased condition of the body gives way to obesity. Also, it wasreported that nearly 80% of the diabetes patients are obese. The fat cells of the body wereshown to produce a hormone called resistin (resisting of insulin) The energy from stored fat istransported in the body in the form of fatty acids by virtue of which the their levels increase inthe body, thus causing an important factor in insulin resistance built up throughout the body.This hormone impairs insulin action and causes intolerance to glucose or blood sugar.The following diagram would explain the relation of resistin to other parts of the body that areinvolved in diabetes and obesity. Thus, the newly discovered protein, resistin, could be anunderlying the link between obesity and diabetes. Research scientists all over the word startedstudying the molecular mechanisms that lead to linkages between obesity and diabetes.natureherbs@ymail.com | +91 841 888 5555

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