[ Read before I.H.A., Bureau of Materia Medica, June 7, 1935].

Gymnema Silvestre…

Gumar, a large, woody, much-branched climber that runs over the tops of high trees, grows in India and tropical Africa. The root is considered a remedy for snake-bite in India. They also chew the leaves to reduce glycosuria and for furunculosis.

A peculiar quality of Gumar is that when the leaves are chewed the sense of taste for sweets is lost and also the taste for bitter. Sugar is like sand in the mouth and quinine like so much chalk. The United States Dispensatory lists is among unofficial drugs and remarks that “it has been used with considerable success as a remedy for perversions and hallucinations of taste”. J.F. Caius of St. Xaviers College, Bombay, has made a study of the medicinal plants of India and has received the highest honors for his research. He sent me a quantity of the root, together with a report of his experiments with the plant.

In Caiuss experiments, the drug had no effect on dogs to which had been given injections of either the columbrine or viperine venoms. The following extracts from the pharmacological tests of Caius will serve as suggestions for its homoeopathic use:.

1. It has some definite relation to sugar, because when powdered leaves were mixed with diabetic urine the percentage of the sugar in the urine was reduced. The powdered leaves tested on a diabetic carbuncle apparently brought about excellent results.

2. The amount of ash of the dried leaves is very high, being over 11 per cent and about a half of this was calcium carbonate. A typical Calcarea diabetic should respond to the remedy in absence of better indications.

3. Lethal doses of a preparation from the leaves caused paresis of the hind legs of rabbits, followed by paresis of the fore limbs and then collapse. This can be interpreted as a homoeopathic indication where a weakness of the limbs is present.

4. Loss of appetite and diarrhoea and in some cases vomiting occurred soon after administration. This is a gross indication in diabetics that is useful to remember.

5. The blood sugar content is uniformly lowered by all the pharmacological products of Gumar except that of ethyl acetate extract. This raises the sugar content of the blood instead of lowering it. Homoeopathically, the ethyl acetate extract product may be the best one to use.

Experiments were made at the pharmacological laboratory of Haffkine Institute by Caius and Dr. Mhaskar to treat adult male patients who were suffering from glycosuria uncomplicated from any disease. They intended to treat only such patients as had failed to respond, after a long diabetic trial, by a lowered blood sugar. Eight cases were treated. In one case, blood sugar came to normal and the urine sugar fell down to zero in a period of three months and did not recur during the several months that he was observed. In two other cases, normal conditions were established after two or three months of treatment, but they were then lost sight of. In two other cases the sugar was reduced but went up again because of indiscretion in diet. The two other cases showed little, if any, improvement. In those cases which improved, thirst and polyuria diminished. The sense of well-being increased and the patient put on weight.

It is well to keep this remedy in mind in cases where there are no good indications for some other drug.

A pharmacological study of the drug is being made at the Hahnemann College in Philadelphia under charge of Garth Boericke.

Caius observed that four other Indian plants also reduced blood sugar in his experiments, namely:.

1. Azadirachta indica. Juss. (Melia Azadirachta, Linn.) –margosa bark.

2. Hydrocotyle Asiatica.

3. Butea monosperma, O. Kuntze, (Butea frondosa, Koenig).

4. Eugenia jambolana, Lam. (Jambol or Black Plum).

A quantity of these plants also have been sent me by Caius, and these are being pharmacologically studied at Hahnemann College along with Gumar.

We have confirmed the usefulness of this remedy in diabetes and it has a relationship specific enough to call for a thorough proving.



DR. ALFRED PULFORD: I want to thank Dr. Stearns for bringing up this matter. While Dr. Stearns and I may not agree on the difference between matter and energy, still, Dr. Stearns and Dr. Grimmer have been a great asset to homoeopathy and have enriched it materially.

DR. WAFFENSMITH: I also want to thank the doctor for this interesting paper. Some thirteen to fourteen years ago when I first came to New York City, it was through the courtesy of Dr. Stearns and his offer for me to assist him in his clinic, and the many favors he did for me, that I remained here in the East, and I want to take advantage of this opportunity to express my gratitude to him and also to recognize the long years of valuable labor that he has contributed to the science and art of homoeopathy.

DR. V. E. BALDWIN: May I ask can this tincture of Gumar be secured in any of the pharmacies ?.

DR. K. A. MCLAREN: May I ask the doctor were these improved cases given the tincture of were they given potencies up to the thirtieth or two hundred?.

DR. CAMPBELL: When I saw Dr. Stearns a year ago he mentioned this remedy and I procured it from Ehrhart & Karl. Dr. Beatrice Becker had a patient who corresponds from quite a distance. The case was reported 2 per sugar in his urine and a condition of psoriasis which he had had for several years.

With practically no indication, empirically, Gumar was sent him and the 10M. potency repeated at two months intervals over a period of perhaps six or eight months.

We had a letter from him recently after the expiration of six months since his last dose. He reports that the urine is entirely free of sugar, even after eating a meal very rich in carbohydrates, and his psoriasis has been cured completely.

DR. STEARNS: In answer to Dr. Baldwin, Ehrhart & Karl have the potencies and probably you could get some of the tincture at Hahnemann in Philadelphia, if you want the tincture.

In answer to Dr. McLaren, they were given potencies.

I want to speak a word about the difference between energy and matter. There is no difference. You know the law of Einstein that matter and energy are the same things in different guise, and I believe that when a substance is diluted, we simply reduce matter to the state of energy, but that matter reduced to energy by that method still retains the full characteristics which belong to it in its ordinary state.

DR. PULFORD: You know the most confusing thing in this matter to me is the fact that we cannot construct a storage battery out of electricity.

DR. STEARNS: Electricity is not a manifestation.

Guy Beckley Stearns