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Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Gymnema sylvestre


Gymnema is a small green plant that grows in South Asia and throughout Africa. It has been used to lower blood glucose and blood pressure. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.


300 milligrams 1 to 2 times daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Diabetes —may reduce blood glucoseA1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Metabolic syndrome B1
  • Obesity C1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe to take gymnema for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period or by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People with diabetes should talk to their doctor before taking gymnema to ensure it will not interact with their medicines.D1


A. Diabetes

A1. Nahas R, Moher M, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Can Fam Physician. 2009;55(6):591-596.

B. Metabolic Syndrome

B1. Zuñiga LY, González-Ortiz M, et al. Effect of gymnema sylvestre administration on metabolic syndrome, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion. J Med Food. 2017 Aug;20(8):750-754.

C. Obesity

C1. Astell KJ, Mathai ML, et al. Plant extracts with appetite suppressing properties for body weight control: a systematic review of double blind randomized controlled clinical trials. Complement Ther Med. 2013 Aug;21(4):407-416.

D. Safety

D1. Shiyovich A, Sztarkier I, et al. Toxic hepatitis induced by Gymnema sylvestre, a natural remedy for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Med Sci. 2010 Dec;340(6):514-517.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 6/22/2020