Gurmar is native to
the tropical forests of southern and central India. Ayurvedic texts,
Gymnema is referred to as Gurmar, which means “sugar killer” in
Sanskrit. This plant was also called Meshashringi or "ram's horn" in
when chewed deadens the sense of taste of sweet. It is a plant used
traditionally for treatment of “sweet urine” or diabetes or hyperglycemia.
Its leaf extract suppress glucose absorption and reduce the sensation of
sweetness in foods, reduce sugar cravings – effects which may deliver
important health benefits for individuals who want to balance blood sugar
levels or body weight. Its leaf contains Gymnemic acids, which are known
to suppress transport of glucose from the intestine into the blood stream.
Gymnema sylvestre have been used for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes
mellitus in India for centuries. The effects of a novel high molecular
weight Gymnema sylvestre extract, Om Santal Adivasi, (OSA(R)) on plasma
insulin, C-peptide and glucose in a small cohort of patients with T2DM are
reported here. Oral administration of OSA(R) (1 g/day, 60 days) induced
significant increases in circulating insulin and C-peptide, which were
associated with significant reductions in fasting and post-prandial blood
glucose. In vitro measurements using isolated human islets of Langerhans
demonstrated direct stimulatory effects of OSA(R) on insulin secretion
from human ß-cells, consistent with an in vivo mode of action through
enhancing insulin secretion. These in vivo and in vitro observations
suggest that OSA(R) may provide a potential alternative therapy for the
hyperglycemia associated with Type 2 diabetes mellitus.