Gymnema sylvestre

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Gymnema sylvestre
Gymnema sylvestre.jpg
in Karyavattam University Campus of Kerala, India.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Gymnema
Species: G. sylvestre
Binomial name
Gymnema sylvestre
R. Br.

Gymnema sylvestre (Sinhalese: මස්බැද්ද / Masbadda)(Malayalam:ചക്കരക്കൊല്ലി ,Tamil:சிறுகுறிஞ்சா) is an herb native to the tropical forests of southern and central India and Sri Lanka. Common names include gymnema,[1] cowplant, Australian cowplant, gurmari, gurmarbooti, gurmar, periploca of the woods, meshasringa (मेषशृंग), Bedki cha pala (बेडकीचा पाला) and miracle fruit[2][3](also a common name for two unrelated plants).


G. sylvestre has long been thought of as a medicinal plant in Asia.[4] The plants contain a large number of chemicals, including triterpenoids, which may have pharmacological properties.[4] The constituent saponins have the effect of suppressing the taste of sweetness.[4] Extracts from the plant are the subject of research into potential medicinal and industrial applications.[4]

Alternative names[edit]

Despite the part used being the leaf, one common name of this species is miracle fruit,[1][2][3] a name shared by two other species: Synsepalum dulcificum and Thaumatococcus daniellii.[2]

This species also goes under many other names such as; Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, periploca of the woods and Meshasringa. The Hindi word Gur-mar (Madhunaashini in Sanskrit, Chakkarakolli in Malayalam,Podapatri in Telugu), literally means sugar destroyer. Meshasringa (Sanskrit) translates as "ram's horn", a name given to the plant from the shape of its fruits. Gymnema derives from the Greek words "gymnos" (γυμνὀς) and "nēma" (νῆμα) meaning "naked" and "thread" respectively; the species epitheton sylvestre means "of the forest" in Latin.[5]


  1. ^ a b Duke, James A., ed. (2002). Handbook of medicinal herbs (2nd ed.). CRC Press. p. 855. ISBN 0-8493-1284-1. 
  2. ^ a b c Wiersema, John Harry; León, Blanca (1999). World Economic Plants: A Standard Reference. CRC Press. p. 661. ISBN 0-8493-2119-0. 
  3. ^ a b Rehm, Sigmund, ed. (1994). Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. Springer. p. 91. ISBN 0-7923-2970-8. 
  4. ^ a b c d Fabio GD, Romanucci V, De Marco A, Zarrelli A (2014). "Triterpenoids from Gymnema sylvestre and their pharmacological activities". Molecules (Review) 19 (8): 10956–81. doi:10.3390/molecules190810956. PMID 25072200. 
  5. ^ Wikisource:The New International Encyclopædia/Gymnema

Further reading[edit]

  • Ambasta, S. P. (1986). The useful plants of India. New Delhi: Publications & Information Directorate, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research. ISBN 978-81-85038-02-5. 

External links[edit]