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For 10,000 years, humans have been infatuated with the sweet taste of sugar. Since the first sweet taste of mother’s milk some 2 million years ago, our early human ancestors established a very strong brain-gut neural pathway establishing that the sweet taste was safe and made them feel happy. It also gave them energy, and the more of it they could forage, the better.
Two million years later, we have finally achieved what our early primate ancestors sought to accomplish – we can have the sweet taste whenever we want! Today, we have compelling evidence that more is not better. In fact, sugar has been implicated in just about every chronic and degenerative condition that plagues modern humans today, extending its sticky fingers to cardiovascular and colon health, brain function, and more. (1,2,3)
So, after years being hooked on the sweet stuff, for our future’s sake, it’s time to cut back on, reduce, or altogether avoid sugar consumption. To support this process, I want to tell you about a plant that, many thousands of years ago, was named gurmar, which literally means, “sugar destroyer.” This plant actually blocks the ability to taste and absorb the sweet taste.
The Original Trick-or-Treat
Years ago, when I would teach herbal seminars, I would have students pass around and taste the powdered form of herbs as I would discuss each of their properties. After a few ‘earthy’ tasting herbs, I would slip in gurmar, or sugar destroyer. Right after the students tasted the gurmar, which is quite bitter, I would pass around chocolate kisses to reward their palate with a well-deserved sweet taste.
After I passed around the chocolate kisses, I would pass around a trash can so that they could spit them out. The students found that after the gurmar touched their tongues, for the next 10 minutes or so, they surprisingly could not taste anything sweet. (4) The chocolate kiss literally tasted like cardboard, and they all immediately and agreeably spat it out.
Now you know how this plant was named “sugar destroyer,” as it literally destroys the taste of sugar. Not only will this plant block any enjoyment you might desire from tasting your favorite sweet, it has the same effect in the intestinal tract. (4)
How It Works
In the intestines, sweet tastes absorb very quickly in the form of glucose – which quickly delivers energy, a post-sugar ‘high,’ and a feeling of contentment. Gurmar will block intestinal sugar absorption, leaving the brain wondering, “What happened to my sugar rush?” By blocking the sugar from being absorbed, fats are metabolized instead as an alternative energy fuel. The result, according to the studies, is that the gurmar reduces sugar cravings and excess weight gain, and balances blood sugar levels. (4-9)
The actual botanical name for this party-pooping, sweet taste-destroying herb is Gymnema sylvestre. The active chemicals responsible for blocking the sweet taste are called gymnemic acids and gurmarin. Studies show that gurmarin and gymnemic acids also boost the natural production of insulin in the pancreas, which helps the body naturally balance blood sugar, cravings, and weight. (4,6,8,9) In one study, these effects were improved when gurmar was combined with shilajit. (5)
Consider adding this herb to your regime. This herb is safe for children. Give them 1 capsule (500mg) per day to curb their sweet tooth.
Let’s make strides towards breaking our scary 2 million year-old dependency on sweets, and re-claim our health and vitality!