Gymnema. Gymnema silvestre (Willd.) R. Br.—This is a woody climber, belonging to the Asclepiadaceae, which grows in Australia, India and also in Africa. The root has for a long time been employed by the natives as a remedy in snake bite, and it is affirmed by T. Dyer (Nature, 1887) that directly after the eating of one or two leaves it is impossible to taste sugar, though other tastes are not obscured. Thus, pungency alone is detected in gingerbread, and a sweet orange tastes like a lime. The active principle, gymnemic acid, C32H55O12, was discovered by Hooper, and has been used with considerable success as a remedy for parageusia and hallucinations of taste. The 1 per cent. aqueous solution is to be applied with a brush to the inside of the mouth, or a hot infusion (15 per cent.) of the crude drug may be used. (See Th. M., vs.)
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.