Gymnema sylvestris

Latin: Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. Family: Asclepiadaceae

Vernacular names: Sanskrit - Meshasringa; Hindi - Gurmar; English - Gurmar; Unani - Gokhru; Tamil - Sirukurinjan

Part Used: root, leaves

Ayurvedic Energetics:Rasa: astringent, pungent Veerya: heatingVipaka: pungentGuna: light, dry

Doshas: KV - ; P+

Pharmacological Action: diuretic, astringent, hypoglycemic, refrigerant, stomachic

Clinical Research:The leaf powder caused a clinically insignificant decrease in serum glucose in normal rats but a significant reduction in serum glucose in experimentally induced hyperglycemic animals. Body weight and urine output both increased in rats treated with the herb. Both of these effects may be due to stimulation of pancreatic insulin secretion. There is however currently no good evidence to show that G. sylvestre powder or extract has any effect on the serum or urine glucose concentrations of humans suffering from diabetes mellitus. no water-soluable or alcohol-soluable constituents which have glucose-destroying action in vitro have been isolated.

Traditional Uses: Diabetes mellitus, snakebites (root powder), fever, and cough. In Ayurveda, G. sylvestre also is used to treat somatic burning sensations, biliousness, hemorrhoids, and urinary disorders. When chewed the leaves have the remarkable property of abolishing the ability to taste sweet andbitter substances. It also has a mild laxative effect, probably due to its anthraquinone content which irritates the bowel walls (similar to Cassia angustifolia, rhubarb, or the aloes.)

Indications: type 2 diabetes mellitus as an adjunct to other treatments, snakebite.

Formulations and Dosage: leaf powder 2-4 g. tidleaf decoction 30 ml.


Gymnema sylvestre R. Br.


A woody climber with small yellowish flowers and simple, opposite, ovate - elliptic hairy leaves. It is found wild in various deciduous forests of India.


English Periploca of the woods

Hindi Gudmar, Merasimgi

Kannada Kadhasige

Malayalam Cakkarakkolli, Madhunasini

Tamil Sirukurumkay, Sakkaraikkolli

Telugu Podapatra


It is found in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra, Punjab, Haryana., Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar & Bengal.

Part Used: Whole plant


The stem is bitter astringent, acrid, thermogenic, anti-inflammatory, anodyne, digestive, livertonic, emetic, diuretic, Stomachic, stimulant, anthelmintic, laxative, cardiotonic, expectorant, antipyretic and uterine tonic. It is useful in inflammations, hepatosplenomegaly, dyspepsia, constipation, jaundice, haemorrhoids, strangury, renal and vesical calculi, helminthiasis, cardiopathy, cough, asthma, bronchitis, intermittent fever, amenorrhoea, conjunctivitis & leucoderma.

The fresh leaves when chewed have the remarkable property of paralysing the sense of taste for sweet and bitter substances for sometime.


Soil and Climate

The plant grows in a variety of soil and agro-climatic conditions in tropical and sub-tropical regions up to 600 m.

Nursery Raising and Planting

Mature seeds are collected during October-December and sown in poly-boxes/bags or small plots in nursery. The raised seedlings are transplanted in field during February-March. The plant grows well with the on-set of rainy season. The climber is given proper support for its better 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 Hoeing

Periodical weeding and hoeing is required, particularly during and after rainy season.

Manure and Fertiliser

Compost or Vermicompost is preferred for application while preparing the soil for nursery and in the field plantation.


Periodic irrigation as and when required may be done weekly/fortnightly.


After one-year leaves are ready for harvesting. The leaves are usually collected during October-February and are cleaned and dried in shade. The roots are collected during summer and are cleaned, washed and cut in to pieces and dried.


Major ConstituentsGymnemic acid

Other Constituents

Gymnemic acid I, II, III and IV are isolated from leaves and their structure elucidated. Gymnemagenin a hexahydroxy triterpene was isolated from the plant.

Active Constituents

Various fraction obtained from the plant leaves shows Antieurodonic effects.

Analytical Profile

Analytical profile developed for gymnemic acid using Merck LiChrosorb RP-18 column with eluent CH3CN/ 2-PrOH/ H2O/ AcOH (35/10/54.9/0.1) @ 2.0 ml/min. Detector RI, Temp. 20°C.


Input cost per hectare Rs. 6,250/-

Output cost per hectare Rs. 15,000/-

Net income per hectare Rs. 8,750/-