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Useful Tropical Plants

Gymnema sylvestre

(Retz.) Schult.

Apocynaceae

+ Synonyms

Ascletias geminata Roxb.

Cynanchum subvolubile Schumach. & Thonn.

Gymnema affine Decne.

Gymnema alterniflorum (Lour.) Merr.

Gymnema formosanum Schltr.

Gymnema geminatum R.Br.

Gymnema humile Decne.

Gymnema melicida Edgew.

Gymnema mkenii Harv.

Gymnema parvifolium Wall.

Gymnema subvolubile Decne.

Marsdenia geminata (R. Br.) P.I. Forst.

Marsdenia sylvestris (Retz.) P.I.Forst.

Periploca sylvestris Retz.

Periploca tenuifolia Willd. ex Schult.

Strophanthus alterniflorus (Lour.) Spreng.

Vincetoxicum lanceolatum Kuntze

Common Name: Gurmar

Gymnema sylvestre
Flowering stem
Photograph by: Désiré Ravelonarivo
Creative Commons License
Gymnema sylvestre Gymnema sylvestre Gymnema sylvestre Gymnema sylvestre Gymnema sylvestre Gymnema sylvestre

General Information

Gymnema sylvestre is a climbing plant, producing stems up to 3 metres long. The stems scramble over the ground, climbing into the surrounding vegetation.
Gumar is a well-known Ayurvedic herb with a very good reputation in the treatment of diabetes and is also used as a green vegetale. It is gathered from the wild for local use and is also sold in local markets as a food and a medicine[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
,
1401
Title
Vitamin C content of commonly eaten green leafy vegetables in fresh and under different storage conditions
Publication
Tropical Plant Research 2(3): 240-245, 2015
Author
Umaramani M. & Sivakanesan R.
Publisher
 
Year
2015
ISBN
2349 - 1183
Description
 
]. The plant is widely used in India and is also commonly sold in other countries of the world, usually via the Internet.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

Africa - Mauritania to Ethiopia, south to S. Africa; through Arabia to India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.

Habitat

Secondary forest, riverine forest and dry shrub savannah, usually on sandy or loamy soils. It occurs scattered and is locally abundant and common[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
HabitClimber
Height3.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

The plant grows best in areas with a well-distributed rainfall of 600 - 1,000mm annually[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Eaten as a vegetable or added to soups[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The leaves, for a short while after being eaten, have the ability to make even bitter foods taste sweet[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. In India and China the bitter leaves are known as ‘sugar destroyer’, as the taste for sweetness is blocked for some time[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Fruit - cooked[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is roasted then peeled and eaten, after discarding the seeds. The taste is similar to that of potatoes[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Medicinal

Gurmar is an important, bitter-tasting Ayurvedic herb that is used especially to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
]. Both roots and leaves can be used[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
].
The plant contains a group of oleanane type triterpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids, a complex mixture of at least 9 closely related acidic glycosides, which have taste-modifying activity; and gurmarin, which is a sweet taste-suppressing polypeptide. When the leaf is chewed, the ability to taste sweetness is lost temporarily[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Studies have demonstrated that the leaf powder may exert an antidiabetic effect via a number of pathways, including decreasing the uptake of glucose from the small intestine; improvements in glycogen synthesis, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, and hepatic and muscle glucose uptake; as well as the reversal of haemoglobin and plasma protein glycosylation[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The plant is antidote, astringent, diuretic, emetic, hypoglycaemic, purgative, refrigerant, stomachic and tonic[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
]. It is used particularly to reduce sugar levels in the blood and urine[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
]. All parts are used for the treatment of rheumatism, blood-vessel inflammation, haemorrhoids, and snake bites[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

The leaves are used in the treatment of fevers and coughs[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The powdered leaf is considered to help curb cravings for sweets and to have lipid lowering effects, it is added to food additives as a weight loss remedy[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The powder also helps in preventing caries[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Applied externally the leaves are combined with castor oil and used as a poultice to treat swollen glands[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
].

The roots are considered to be a useful antidote to snakebite - they are applied to the wound as a powder, made into a paste with water or given internally as a decoction[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
]. The pounded and cooked roots are added to food and eaten as a treatment for epilepsy[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The pounded cooked root or root powder is applied externally to treat boils[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - it has a short period of viability and so should be sown as soon as it is ripe[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-04-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Gymnema+sylvestre>

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