Gymnema Sylvestre (GS) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the last 2000 years, mainly for diabetic management and blood sugar disorders.
Since 1930s, it has been used for stomach ailments, IE, constipation, weight loss management, a digestive stimulant, liver disease, pancreatic impairments, and water retention.
These days, GS is used for metabolic disorders such as ME, Fibromyalgia and general burn out Metabolic Disorders is very problematic in recent years. It is also used for the treatment of malaria and a snake bite antidote.
Early research suggess that taking specific combination of GS extract, hydroxycitric acid and niacin-bound chromium by mouth for 8 weeks reduces body weight in people who are overweight or obese.
HS has been investigated on rats and mice to prevent cavities.
A study done on GS showed that taking 400mg daily reduced the amount of insulin needed by people with diabetes on insulin therapy (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2259216)
Some researchers believe that taking Gymnema may boost the body's ability to produce insulin on its own by regenerating beta cells.
One study with GS has shown to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The "traditional" method for treating high LDL would be to take statins such as Lipitor. However, using GS COULD help with lowering the LDL in your body.
It stops sugar cravings when you put part of the plant on your tongue. In Hindi, Gymnema translates to "sugar destroyer".
Taking too much has been linked to liver toxicity. However, 200-600mg a day which has been shown to be safe. However, because it hasn't been passed by the FDA, you should speak to your Doctor first especially if you are taking medication for diabetes, cholesterol, liver function. It is not suitable as a replacement for a drug, but it could be considered in a treatment plan, especially because the above complaints are based mostly on a lifestyle change for the treatment of the complaint.
Below is the brand I have. It passed by the Certified Organic Federation.
Before using GS or any other supplement, make sure to talk to a health care professional and your medical team.