By Ankit Saneja, Chetan Sharma, K. R. Aneja, Rakesh Pahwa
Gymnema Sylvestre R. Br. (Asclepiadaceae) is a herb distributed throughout the world. The leaves of the plant are widely used for the treatment of diabetes and as a diuretic in Indian proprietary medicines. Gymnemic acid is the main active chemical constituent isolated from the Gymnema Sylvestre plant. The plant is documented to possess beneficial effects as digestive, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, hypoglycemic and antihelmentic. It is believed to be used in dyspepsia, constipation, jaundice, haemorrhoids, cardiopathy, asthma, bronchitis and leucoderma. A scrutiny of literature revealed some notable pharmacological activities of the plant such as antidiabetic, antiobesity, hypolipidaemic, antimicrobial, free radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory. The present review is an attempt to highlight the various ethnobotanical and traditional uses as well as phytochemical and pharmacological reports on G. sylvestre.
Key Words : Gymnema sylvestre, ethnobotanical uses, pharmacognosy, pharmacological activities, phytochemistry
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