Potential antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Gymnema sylvestre related to diabetes
Velvizhi Gunasekaran, Saranya Srinivasan and Sadras Sudha Rani
Diabetes Mellitus is characterised by an elevated blood sugar level and is often associated with damage to multiple organ systems mediated by free radicals. Gymnema sylvestre is a traditional medicinal plant useful in diabetics because of its ability to suppress sweet taste and anti-obesity effects. This study was conducted to assess its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Methanolic extract was prepared from dried Gymnema leaves. Three different methods – DPPH free radical quenching activity, reducing power assay and hydroxyl free radical quenching activity, were used to study its antioxidant activity. All three methods showed significant antioxidant activity of the extract. Gymnema extract also showed significant antimicrobial activity against the bacteria P aeruginosa, S aureus and the fungus F oxysporum. Gymnema sylvestre has strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activity as tested by different methods. This raises the possibility that it can provide long term benefits in diabetics by reducing long term complications.