Kicking your sugar habit is anything but easy. Thanks to sugar’s addictive nature, you can have all the motivation in the world but still get hit with a desire to have something sweet after every meal.
We totally get it: That’s why we created our Herbal Balance Tea and Sugar Control Tablets with key ingredients that are clinically proven to curb sugar cravings. One of the stars? Gymnema Sylvestre, a plant long used in traditional healing practices for this very purpose.
In this guide from Sweetkick, we’ll explain exactly what Gymnema Sylvestre extract is, how it can benefit you in dietary supplements, and how you can incorporate it into your plan to say goodbye to sugar — once and for all.
What Is Gymnema Sylvestre?
Gymnema Sylvestre is a plant native to India’s tropical regions. It’s been used for centuries in Ayurveda, a holistic healing practice developed in India. Ayurvedic practitioners used this medicinal plant to battle metabolic conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.
The Hindi word for G. Sylvestre is gurmar, which literally translates as “sugar destroyer.” This is thanks to the plant’s high gymnemic acid content, which can suppress the taste of sugar, making it less appealing to your taste buds.
Traditionally, Gymnema Sylvestre was brewed as tea (which is also our favorite way of consuming the plant). But today, you can find Gymenam Sylvestre in powder, tablet, or extract form.
How Does Gymnema Sylvestre Work?
Gymnema Sylvestre contains high amounts of gymnemic acid, a compound that blocks the taste of sugar.
Gymnemic acid molecules are very similar to glucose, a type of sugar. They can fit into glucose receptors in the tastebuds, which prevents them from being activated by sugar.
They can also do the same with glucose receptors in the small intestine, which can help to keep blood sugar levels stable and balanced — that’s why we feature Gymnema Sylvestre as the star ingredient of our Sugar Control Tablets.
So, gymnemic acid essentially does two things. First, it keeps you from being able to taste sugar. Second, it prevents a spike in blood sugar levels. We don’t know about you, but to us, this sounds like a great combo for reducing sugar cravings.
Keep reading to discover how Gymnema Sylvestre can benefit you in your journey to quit sugar.
What Are the Health Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre?
Gymnema Sylvestre contains certain compounds that block glucose. So, what does that mean for you? Well, it could potentially mean some of the following benefits:
1. It Can Make Sugar Unappealing
By blocking glucose receptors in your tastebuds, Gymnema Sylvestre can make sugar taste like absolutely nothing.
Yes, sugar can give you a burst of energy, but that’s not why we eat it. Rather, it’s the sweet taste that makes people develop a dependence on the stuff.
If you can’t taste the sugar, it loses its appeal — this may lead you to crave it less. You may even less overall.
One study supports this, showing that taking Gymnema Sylvestre reduced sugar cravings and overall appetite, leading to lower food consumption.
2. It May Help Lower Blood Sugar
Gymnema Sylvestre blocks glucose in the small intestine, which may lower blood sugar. One study found that gymnemic acid, the main compound in Gymnema Sylvestre, could help support healthy blood sugar after a meal. Over the long term, this can mean more balanced blood sugar levels.
There are so many benefits to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
When it comes to cravings, stable blood sugar can mean less of a “rollercoaster” — spikes and drops that trigger cravings. The result? A healthy appetite that comes on gradually and goes away after nutritious meals.
3. May Support Insulin Secretion
Insulin is a hormone that gets released by the pancreas when you eat something sweet. Its role is to “unlock” your cells so they can let in glucose and use it for energy.
The less insulin someone has, the more time sugar stays in their bloodstream, which is definitely not great for health.
While researchers don’t have the full picture, Gymnema Sylvestre may help support proper insulin production, making it easy for your body to use glucose for energy.
4. May Aid Weight Loss Efforts
Contrary to most conventional advice, we don’t think that losing weight is as simple as eating less. The type of food you eat can influence your metabolism and play a substantial role in weight loss. This is part of the reason we recommend cutting out sugar and replacing it with nutritious whole foods.
That said, cutting back on calories may help with losing weight.
Gymnema Sylvestre may encourage a lower food intake, which can support weight loss efforts. At the very least, this mighty plant can make sweets less appealing, helping you eat less sweet foods and drink less sugary beverages.
Is Gymnema Sylvestre Safe?
Gymnema Sylvestre is safe for most people, but you should always chat with your doctor before taking any supplement.
If you have blood sugar problems, this is especially important. Because Gymnema Sylvestre may lower blood sugar levels, those who take diabetes medications can experience side effects like lightheadedness, dizziness, and shakiness.
That said, there aren’t any serious adverse side effects associated with Gymnema Sylvestre. So, if a healthcare professional gives you the green light, you can rest well knowing this supplement is effective and safe.
How Do You Take Gymnema Sylvestre?
You can find Gymnema Sylvestre in many different forms, including teas, powders, and capsules/tablets.
If you have dried Gymnema Sylvestre leaf, try steeping it in hot water for at least 15 minutes. If your Gymnema comes in prepared tea bags, then it’s best to follow instructions on the packaging — the plant may be mixed with other teas that require different brewing methods.
You can mix Gymnema Sylvestre powder in a glass of water. Keep in mind: It’s slightly bitter, so mixing it in a smoothie can make it more palatable. If you’re taking capsules or tablets, try to spread them out during the day to get sustained benefits.
As is typical with herbal supplements, there isn’t an ideal dose of Gymnema Sylvestre. How much you take depends on your weight, goals, and, of course, your doctor’s guidance. Always follow the directions listed on the product’s label.
If you’re using Gymnema Sylvestre to reduce sugar cravings, it’s best to take it about 30 minutes before your meal — this will give the plant enough time to exert its powerful effects.
Give Sugar the Boot
Gymnema Sylvestre blocks glucose receptors in the tastebuds and the digestive tract. This may help curb sugar cravings and lower blood glucose levels.
Although more research is needed, Gymnema may also support healthy insulin production and insulin sensitivity, helping the body use glucose properly.
Gymnema Sylvestre can be a major helper if you feel like you’re hooked on sugar — but don’t know where to begin curbing your cravings. Taken 30 minutes before a meal, it can make you lose interest in sweets while decreasing your appetite.
Sweetkick’s Herbal Balance Tea features a combination of dried flowers, roots, spices, and herbs — along with Gymnema Sylvestre. It can help support healthy blood sugar levels, helping you reduce your sugar intake. If you aren’t much of a tea-drinker, we also have our Sugar Control Tablets to make for a quick and easy way to keep sugar cravings at bay — all thanks to Gymnema sylvestre, which helps remove the taste of sweetness.