Pregnancy Use

There is insufficient reliable information available about the safety of gymnema in pregnancy.

PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• Gymnema suppresses the ability to taste sweet on the tongue.

• Clinical studies have shown that gymnema can be used to help control blood sugar levels in diabetes.

• When used with hypoglycaemic medications, blood sugar levels need to be monitored to prevent hypoglycaemia.

• Preliminary research suggests that it may also have a role in elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this herb do for me?

Gymnema has the uncanny ability to reduce the tongue's perception of sweetness. It can also stabilise blood sugar levels and may be useful as a weight-loss aid.

When will it start to work?

It reduces the taste of sweetness rapidly, lasting for several hours, but effects on blood sugar develop with long-term use.

Are there any safety issues?

Diabetic patients on medication should carefully monitor their blood sugar levels when taking this herb, because it may further reduce levels.

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