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Gymnema sylvestre R.Br | by lalithamba
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Gymnema sylvestre R.Br

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Distribution: Common and gregarious on hedges and bushes. Tropical Africa and Peninsular India & Sri Lanka.

Description: Large much branched twining shrubs; branchlets pubescent. Leaves 3-5x1.5-3cm, ovate-elliptic, base obtuse, apex acute, pubescent along nerves beneath. Flowers 3-4mm across, greenish yellow, spirally arranged in lateral corymbose cymes. Follicles 6-7 cm long, linear, inflated in the middle, beaked at apex.

Vernacular name in Telugu: Podapatri. Leaves when chewed neutralizes the taste of sugar. Leaves are used as remedy for diabetes, cough and biliousness. One leaf per day is recommended for diabetics in ehnomedicine. I am not sure weather it cures diabetes or not. Because of numbness of tongue we couldnot relish sweet taste.

Photographed at Eastren ghats of Nellore district, India.

Reference: Flora of Presidency of Madras, Gamble J.S; FBI

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Uploaded on November 6, 2010