A new line of diabetes remedy that is gaining fast popularity nowdays is herbal treatment, with an assortment of plant-derived herbal cures being promoted as capable of controlling blood sugar levels.
Recent scientific investigation has confirmed the efficiency of many of these herbal preparations, some of which are remarkably effective. Herbal supplements along with proper diet, exercise can really help a person keep his blood sugar in check, and then avoid the serious complications associated with the disease.
Herbs have remedial powers to restore balance to the body, enabling it to rely on its own healing powers. People who decide to try herbs many times find themselves feeling better, and there before that their diabetes is well under control. But, one must also simultaneously keep monitoring his blood sugar level, to see that it is within the normal range.
It is not intended through this article to diagnose, prescribe, or cure diabetes, but only provide information about alternative diet and references to plant descriptions which have relevance to diabetes mellitus.
Some of the well known herbs that help keep diabetes under control –
1. Fenugreek (methi) – Fenugreek seeds to be soaked overnight in a glass of water. Next morning have the water and chew the seeds – proves very beneficial in controlling sugar.
Known side effects of high doses include mild digestive pain. Fenugreek should not be used by pregnant or nursing women.
2. Indian Kino or Pitasara – has a long history of use in India as a treatment for diabetes. The flavonoid – epicatechin, extracted from the bark of this plant helps reduce sugar levels.
3. Aloe vera – regarded as a 'healing herb.' Dried aloe vera sap and gel (taken from the inner portions of the leaves) is traditionally used to treat diabetes, as it is believed that it helps lower fasting blood glucose levels as well as HbA1c.
4. Cinnamon bark- Makes human fat cells more accessible to insulin. Increases the conversion of glucose to energy manifold times. It also blocks the formation of dangerous free radicals.
5. Basil (tulsi) – studies have shown a positive effect on postprandial and fast glucose, The herb facilitates the insulin secretion process.
6. Tian hua fen (trichosanthis) – shown to reduce blood sugar levels in Chinese research studies. It is very commonly used in herbal formulas for diabetics.
7. Gymnema Sylvestre (Gurmar or Cherukurinja) – Gymnema, an Ayurvedic herb helps the pancreas in the production of insulin in Type 2 diabetic patients, as well as improves the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
8. Onion and garlic – Onion and garlic have significant blood sugar lowering action. Onion extract reduces blood sugar levels during oral and intravenous glucose tolerance. Thus, onion affects the hepatic metabolism of glucose and increases the release of insulin, so preventing insulin's destruction.
Garlic and onions are beneficial for their cardiovascular diseases. They are found to lower lipid levels, inhibit platelet aggregation and are antihypertensive.
9. Stevia – Stevia has been used traditionally to treat diabetes, and has beneficial effects on glucose tolerance. Stevia has been studied in animal experiments, but is yet to fly large, controlled human studies.
10. Ginkgo biloba – Ginkgo biloba extract is useful for prevention and treatment of early-stage diabetic neuropathy.
11. Asian ginseng – Asian ginseng is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat diabetes. It has a direct blood sugar lowering effect as it advances the release of insulin from the pancreas and increases the number of insulin receptors.
12. Bitter Melon – The blood sugar lowering action of the freshly extracted juice or the pulp extract of the unripe fruit has been widely accepted. 50-60 ml of the juice if taken orally shows effective results. Excessive high doses of the juice can cause abdominal pain and diarrohea.
13. Bilberry – helps lower the risk of diabetic complications, such as diabetic cataracts and retinopathy (eye damage).
Certain precedents to be followed while taking herbs along with diabetic drugs –
"Some diabetes drugs and herbs should not be taken together as the herb may affect positively or negatively the drug's effect on the person. People with any sort of renal disease, liver problem or any other chronic illness are at an extra risk for complications.
«People with some heart disease if taking a blood thinner such as aspirin, ecospirin should avoid taking garlic, ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng as it can lead to increased bleeding.
«If taking a herbal remedy, do not stop your current diabetes drugs if any.
«If taking a diabetes drug, ginseng can further lower blood sugar levels, possibly causing low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.
«If taking herbal supplements for diabetes, do it under medical supervision if possible. Keep monitoring sugar level regularly, to check for any sudden fall in glucose levels.
«Do not take any extra dose. More will not make your sugar less.
If you are a diabetic and taking medication to control blood sugar levels, it is best to have your blood sugar monitored while taking these herbs. Consult your doctor to adjust the dosage of medications accordingly, so that the blood sugar does not drop too drastically. It is likely that one will ever be able to taper off the herbs and medication, and control sugar through exercise and diet.
Source by Ashi Jas