2 Herbs to Love: Gymnema & Guggul

You might want to love these Ayurvedic herbs. The actions of these two herbs will support your heart because they address two major factors that contribute to heart disease, blood sugar and cholesterol. Find out what’s to love about the two classic Ayurvedic herbs, gymnema and guggul, along with tips for purchasing to ensure quality, purity, and efficacy.


Gymnema Sylvestre literally translates to sugar destroyer in Hindi. It’s a woody, vine-like plant that climbs bushes and trees. It has been used for over 2000 years in India for the treatment of blood sugar problems and obesity.

You can test the sugar destroying properties for yourself. Break open a capsule of gymnema, swish it around in your mouth and on your tongue, and then eat something sweet.

Gymnema produces gymnemic acid, which neutralizes the sweet flavor of sugar. This is an important quality for two reasons.

  1. It helps curb the craving for sweets almost immediately
  2. After a week or so of regular use, it begins to have the same neutralizing effects inside of the body. Some research suggests gymnema actually prevents the absorption and activity of glucose molecules through the intestinal tract.

Gymnema has regenerating affects on the beta cells of the pancreas (the large gland behind the stomach that secretes enzymes and produces insulin), and plays a key role supporting pancreas regeneration.

Gymnema is also antiviral and increases blood oxygen uptake. In clinical studies participants reported a sense of well being, better alertness, and less exhaustion.


Guggul is a yellowish resin from the medium sized thorny mukkul myrrh tree found throughout India. Guggul has been traditionally used to lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and support healthy circulation. You will also find guggul in many arthritis support products.

Clinical tests in India have found that about 75 percent of people who used guggul for 3 months saw their blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels go down by 20-25%.

Purchasing advice

Our advice in past posts about buying supplements from companies that specialize in what they sell holds true in the case of these two herbs. They are Ayurvedic herbs, so buy from an herbal company, better yet, an Ayurvedic herbal company.

Companies that successfully sell supplements internationally, with outstanding reputations, will follow the strictest protocols for purity. Products should be tested according to the World Health Organization pharmaceutical standards. Soil and raw materials must be tested for microbial contamination and heavy metals. Batch testing should be performed using methods like chromatography and atomic absorption spectrometry to assure standardization and consistency. Organic herbs should be used whenever possible. Ask your Ayurvedic supplement company if they go to these lengths to ensure you are getting a safe and effective product.

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