Diabetes mellitus has become one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders across the world. According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes is a growing challenge in India with estimated 8.7% diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years. Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels(high blood glucose). Diabetics are often asked to take extra care of their diet. They are advised to regulate their intake of sugary goods, refined carbs and trans-fats. In Ayurveda, diabetes is referred to as "Madhumeh", and as part of its treatment, Ayurveda, too, suggests avoiding excess intake of sweets and simple carbohydrates. The ancient system of medicine also suggest few herbs that could come in handy to manage blood sugar levels naturally and check fluctuations. One such herb is gurmar. In fact, when translated in Hindi, gurmar translates to 'the sugar destroyer'.
What Makes Gurmar Effective in Managing Diabetes
Gurmar(Gymnema sylvestre ), is a perennial woody vine that grows in tropical areas of India, Africa, and Australia. It has been used in Ayurveda for treating range of conditions like allergies, cough and constipation.
Gymnema sylvestre leaves contain triterpenoid saponins, flavonols, and gurmarin. Triterpenoid saponins, have the effect of suppressing the taste of sweetness on the tongue from sugar, stevia and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
A study published in the Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, tried to investigate Antihyperglycemic effects of gymnemic acid IV, a compound derived from Gymnema sylvestre leaves in diabetic mice. The study noted that gymnema extract if taken orally along with insulin or diabetes medications, it could lead to blood sugar reduction in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes is enhanced.Previous studies have also shown how Gymnema sylvestre extracts may play an instrumental role in reducing cravings for sugar.
How to eat gurmar for diabetes:
Dr. Shikha Sharma, Wellness Expert and Founder of NutriHealth tells us, that having one teaspoon of powdered Gurmar leaves along with water half an hour after lunch and dinner may help regulate the absorption of carbohydrates in the body.
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