Gymnema sylvestre is a woody climbing shrub that’s native to the tropical forests of India, Africa and Australia. Its leaves have been used in the ancient Indian medicinal practice Ayurveda for thousands of years. Gymnemic acids in Gymnema sylvestre can block the sugar receptors on your tongue, decreasing your ability to taste sweetness. This can lead to reduced sugar cravings. Gymnema sylvestre can also block receptors in your intestines and thus sugar absorption, lowering your post-meal blood sugar levels.