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Gurmar or Gymnema sylvestre is a very important ingredient in traditional medicine for the treatment of diabetes. Formulations using the herb Gymnema sylvestre have been extensively patented, most of them being in diabetic control and treatment. This herb is known as Madhunashini in Sanskrit and Gurmar or Gudmar in Hindi, literally meaning- the one that destroys sugar!

Gudmar is supposed to suppresses the craving for sweet and sugary foods, in the process reducing the desire to eat. Chewing leaves of gudmar which is bitter in taste keeps the appetite in check. This is probably due to direct interaction of the active ingredients present in leaves (some oleanane type triterpene glycosides called saponins) with the taste buds.

In medicine it is mainly the leaf of the Gudmar plant that is used- either fresh or in dried form. Powder of the dried leaf is given in a dosages of 3-5 grams for treatment of diabetes and other ailments. The powder of the dried leaf is to be stirred in a glass of cow’s milk and taken orally.

Botanical name Gymnema sylvestre 
Common name Periploca of the the woods 
Hindi Gurmar, merasingi 
Gujarati Dhuleti, Mardashingi
Kannada Kadhasige, Sanna gerasehambu 
Malayalam Chakkarakolli, Madhunashini 
Marathi Kavali, Kalikardori, Vakundi 
Sanskrit Meshashringi, Madhunashini
Tamil Adigam, Cherukurinja 
Telugu Podapatri 
Urdu Gurmar, Gurmar booti, Gurmar patta, گرمار 


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