Gymnema is an herb indigenous to the tropical forests of central and southern India and Sri Lanka. The scientific name of this herb is Gymnema Sylvestre, though it is sometimes referred to as Shardunika, Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, Cowplant, Australian Cowplant and Meshasringa. Gymnema belongs to the family of Asclepiadaceae from the kingdom of Plantae, and was initially known as the Meshashringi in Sanskrit - meaning the Ram's Horn. The plant is described as a big woody climber, with ovalish leaves and yellow flowers. The beneficial characteristics of this herb are found in its leaves and roots.
Known in Indian folklore as the Sugar Destroyer, Gymnema is best know for its purported ability to suppress the sensation of sweetness on the taste buds. This particular effect is attributed to eponymous gymnemic acids, which may help individuals maintain normal blood sugar levels while promoting healthy blood flow through the body. Gymnema has been used for thousands of years and is continually being researched for its unique dietary qualities.