Toxic hepatitis induced by gymnema sylvestre, a natural remedy for type 2 diabetes mellitus Academic Article uri icon


  • Toxic hepatitis or drug-induced liver injury (DILI) encompasses a spectrum of conditions ranging from mild biochemical abnormalities to acute liver failure. Recent studies report that 35% to 48% of patients with diabetes use some form of complementary and alternative medical therapy. Moreover, >800 plants have been traditionally used for the treatment of diabetes. Despite this widespread use, only few were supported by rigorous clinical evidence. Gymnema sylvestre, also known as gurmar (sugar destroyer in Hindi), is a plant considered to be with potent antidiabetic effects and, hence, widely used in folk, ayurvedic and homeopathic systems in medicine. The authors were unable to find previous reports associating G sylvestre to liver injury. Herein, the authors report a case of DILI in a patient who was treated with G sylvestre for diabetes mellitus and review the literature to suggest possible mechanisms that led to this acute condition.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010