Herbals for the Management of Diabetes

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Many people with Type 2 diabetes use plants, or plant parts, for the self-management of their medical problems. This is what most people refer to as herbal medicine, botanical medicine, or phytomedicine. In the United States more than one-third of people with diabetes use herbal or traditional and alternative medicine alone, or in combination with their prescribed anti-diabetic medication, according to the Johns Hopkins Point-of-Care Information Technology Center (Johns Hopkins POC-IT Center).

There are many types of herbal preparations used for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. In fact, in almost every culture there is one herbal medicine intended for the management of increased blood sugar levels. However, there are only a few tested and evaluated systematically and scientifically for this purpose.

Here is a list of the most commonly used herbal and medicinal plants for the management of Type 2 diabetes:

Ginseng: Ginseng is one of the most popular medicinal herbs globally.

There are two major types of this herb:

1. Asian ginseng, the Panax ginseng
2. American ginseng, the Panax quinquefolius.

The active compounds in the ginseng herbs that makes them useful are the ginsenosides. According to one particular study, information from the Johns Hopkins POC-IT Center states ginsenosides can potentially improve insulin resistance. Ginseng can be safely used at a dosage of 1 to 3 grams per day.

However, the adverse effects of using this herbal medicine include:

*nervousness and palpitations, and

Ginseng is also known to interact with the action of warfarin, an anticoagulant (more commonly referred to as a blood thinner). Ginseng unfortunately causes warfarin to be less effective.

Cinnamon: There is new evidence cinnamon can be helpful in regulating blood sugar. Cinnamon is not just another spice that can be used for cooking and baking. According to Johns Hopkins POC-IT Center, cinnamon can increase the effectiveness of insulin therefore improve your blood sugar level. Human trials indicate that taking between 1/4 and one teaspoon of cinnamon every day helps control blood sugar levels. However, various results from other studies contradict these findings. The safety profile of cinnamon is clean and there are no drug interactions noted with the use of cinnamon.

Bitter melon: Different cultures and traditions used bitter melon (Momordica charantia) for the management of diabetes. Many people believe it can decrease insulin resistance… bitter melon is composed of several compounds with confirmed blood sugar lowering properties. It must be pointed out though, clinical trials regarding this herb show contradicting results.

Although taking as little as 2 ounces of the juice has shown good results in clinical trials, adverse effects with the use of bitter melon include:

*gastrointestinal symptoms, and
*favism, or bursting of red blood cells,

with the ingestion of seeds in certain G6PD deficient diabetics.

Fenugreek: The herb fenugreek is one of the most impressive natural substances helpful for people with diabetes. Fenugreek is a traditional spice often used in curry in Asia and the Mediterranean countries. Fenugreek is believed to contain 4-hydroxyisoleucine, a chemical that can enhance insulin production and secretion by the pancreas. Some clinical studies claim its effectiveness in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. It lowers blood sugar much the same way that drugs in the class of sulfonylureas (such as glyburide) do.

Adverse reactions related to fenugreek use include:

*flatulence, and

However, no herb to drug interaction has been observed.

Fenugreek helps you lose weight because the seeds of fenugreek are rich in dietary fiber, so it delays stomach emptying and after-eating sugar spikes. As the seeds are bitter, taking supplements may be the better choice. As lowered blood sugar is an expected effect of using fenugreek, if you combine it with medications and do not monitor yourself properly, you could find yourself with very low blood sugar. Make sure you see your doctor regularly to supervise your regimen.


Diabetes Mellitus Herbal Home Remedies

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Diabetes Mellitus is most common among obese and older people. This chronic metabolic disorder prevents the body from using glucose either partially and/or completely. Most often, it is characterized by elevated glucose concentration in the blood. Since the pancreas produces insulin and controls the amount of glucose in the blood, without the necessary insulin, blood sugar increases in the blood because the body simply cannot use or store the glucose.

Several home remedies for Diabetes Mellitus have proven beneficial in controlling diabetes. The most common used is bitter gourd. Bitter gourd contains a hypoglycemic or insulin like compound which has been very valuable in lowering both urine and blood sugar levels.

Indian Gooseberry has been an all natural remedy for treating diabetes mellitus and is high in vitamin C. Just a tablespoon of this juice, mixed in with a cup of bitter gourd juice, as described above, taken daily for about two months will reduce blood sugar levels.

Jambul Fruit is a black berry and another excellent source of home remedies and/or herbal remedy treatments for diabetes mellitus. The Jambul Fruit has a specific effect on the pancreas which regulates the amount of insulin being produced and has the capabilities of turning starch into sugar when an increase production of glucose is found. One teaspoon of powder should be mixed with one cup of milk and taken twice daily.

Grapefruit. If it were eaten more frequently, some believe, the diagnosis of diabetes would be less. Grapefruit eaten three times a day has been known to regulate and treat diabetes mellitus naturally.

Mango Leaves. Leaves of the mango tree are considered an effective treatment in diabetes. By soaking 15 grams of leaves in 250 ml of water overnight, squeezing them in the morning and consuming, this method has been known to control early diabetes.

Other foods like string beans, onions, garlic and cucumbers are valuable foods and treatments when trying to control diabetes mellitus naturally.

By not missing meals, consuming a well-rounded diabetic diet and daily exercise are also great ways to naturally treat diabetes mellitus. You can naturally treat your diabetes with any of the preferred methods listed above and staying active. At each meal be sure to consume some sources of protein but do not over indulge in high protein foods as it can lead to renal problems. Be sure to watch your fat intake as many foods have some invisible amounts of fasts. Avoid these invisible fats by eliminating egg yolk, whole milk and red meats. Rather, eat egg whites, drink skim milk and skin-less chicken. When using butters, limit the quantity of the spread, as these also contain damaging invisible fats.

As with any new regimen always consult your physician prior to starting anything new, discuss any medications you are taking and any possible drug interactions. This article is not meant to cure and/or diagnose disease. It is simply to give you the knowledge of natural home remedies for diabetes mellitus so you can make an informed decision.


Natural Cures for Diabetes

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According to the American Diabetes Association, around 21 million people suffer from diabetes in the United States. A larger and larger percentage of these people are turning to natural cures for diabetes.

Currently there is no known cure but the general routine for a person that has been diagnosed is to alter their lifestyle, eating habits and exercise routine. There has been, however, some new research that has led to the belief that a cure for diabetes is found in alternative and natural medicine, not through traditional medicine, which has thus far failed to produce a cure. Natural treatments have shown a lot of promise in being able to reduce or stop this horrible disease.

Natural Medicine Defined

Natural medicine may also be called holistic medicine or alternative medicine. It is a medical path that is focused on using Eastern methods or folk medicine methods of treatment for diseases, injuries and other medical ailments. In most cases treatments are done with the thought that treating what is wrong needs to be done with a whole body approach and not just focusing in on the specific problem. Natural medicine does not involve the use of traditional medications. Instead it uses herbs, other natural substances and therapeutic methods to treat patients.


Acupuncture is something widely used in Eastern medicine. It is a concept based upon the idea that the body has several areas that when stimulated will affect the flow of energy in the body and help the body to naturally heal itself. The idea of energy is something widely used in Eastern medicine since the belief is that it is the energy flow of the body that determines overall health.

Acupuncture is used to help fix blood flow within the body and to improve the function of the pancreas. Different methods of treatment may be used by the acupuncturist when treating a patient with diabetes.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is something that has been long used in folk medicine. It is said to have great powers and be able to heal. Vinegar, specifically, has been proven to have an effect on blood sugar levels. In a patient with diabetes, supplements of apple cider vinegar can help to lower blood sugar, bringing about stability and stopping the need for medications.

Various Herbs

Herbs are often used as well. There are many herbs that have shown to be effective in controlling the blood sugar levels. Some of the herbs used include aloe vera, cinnamon and garlic.

Natural approaches to curing diabetes are not something that many doctors will accept. Most likely a doctor will push a patient to start taking medications and to use other methods of treatment. They do this simply because they are on the side of science and anything that can’t be proved beyond a doubt in a lab is not something they want to back.

Natural methods are very difficult, sometimes impossible to prove, but that does not mean they are not effective. For someone looking to cure their diabetes, though, using natural methods along with proper diet and exercise is one of the best ways.