Gymnema: Where in the World
habitat and range for gymnema

Gymnema sylvestre is native to the tropical forests of southern and central India and Sri Lanka.

Gymnema: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on gymnema

Gymnema sylvestre is an herb of the Asclepiadaceae family. It is an extensive, much-branched, twining shrub. Leaves are 3-6 x 2-3 cm, ovate or elliptic-oblong, apiculate, rounded at base, sub-coriaceous. Flowers are minute, greenish-yellow, spirally arranged in lateral pedunculate or nearly sessile cymes. Corolla lobes are imbricate. Follicles are solitary, up to 8 x 0.7 cm, terete, lanceolate, straight or slightly curved, glabrous. Seeds are ovate-oblong, glabrous, winged, and brown. Flowering occurs in August-March; fruiting occurs in winter.

common names & nomenclature
The Hindi word Gur-mar, literally means sugar destroyer. Meshasringa from 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 and nēma meaning "naked" and "thread" respectively; the species epithet sylvestre means "of the forest" in Latin.

Also known as:
gurmar, gurmarbooti, gymnema, cowplant, australian cowplant, gurmari, periploca of the woods, meshasringa

Gymnema: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting gymnema

Gymnema sylvestre thrives in subtropical and tropical climates in full sun to part shade. Once established, Gymnema sylvestre is hardy and grows well in the warm planting areas of the United States where temperatures remain above 55 degrees F.

Gymnema sylvestre grows best in well-draining soils rich in humus and organic materials.

Sow seeds once they are ripe in a warm greenhouse. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant into individual pots and grow on until the following spring. Plant out in the garden, but if winters are cold (below 55 degrees F), bring the plant back into the greenhouse to protect it from the cold temperatures.

Harvest the leaves once they are 1 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches long. They should also be dark green. Dried leaves can be ground into powder and stored for later use.

Store dried leaves or powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.