Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect how your body reacts to blood glucose, also known as blood sugar. Glucose is crucial because it is what gives energy and helps build cells and tissues.
It also fuels the brain.
If you have diabetes, no matter the type, it means that your blood sugar is too high.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes — when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes — and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy but may resolve after the baby is delivered.”
Studies have shown that some herbs can help with diabetes by increasing the production of insulin and insulin sensitivity, inhibiting intestinal intake of glucose, and reducing inflammation.
A compound in billberries called anthocyanosides has shown the ability to promote blood vessel strength, which could help protect against retinal damage in people with diabetes
Bitter melon has been shown to lower blood sugar. A study from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica showed that extracts from bitter melon worked similar to insulin, inhibiting sugar intake in the intestines and better glucose absorption.
“The advantage of bitter melon is that there are no known side effects. “Practitioners of Chinese medicine have used it for hundreds of years to good effect,” states Garvan scientist Jiming Ye
Cinnamon has the ability to control blood sugar. A study published American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that cinnamon sped up the emptying of the stomach, resulting is lower blood sugar after eating. Cinnamon has also shown benefits of persons with type 2 diabetes, by improving insulin response, therefore regulating blood sugar.
This herb is often used for culinary purposes, but also has benefits for diabetes. A study from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences showed that when fenugreek seeds were soaked in hot water, they helped control blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.
It contains a compound called allicin, which lowers excess levels of glucose in the blood. Garlic also helps stimulate the production of insulin.
This herb hails from China and has shown blood sugar benefits.
Research from St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto showed that taking ginseng before a meal reduces blood sugar in people with and without diabetes by about 15 to 20 percent compared to a placebo.
This potent herb has been used for over two millenniums in south and central India. The name gymnema translates to “sugar destroyer,” which is very fitting for what it does. It has shown the ability to control blood sugar by decreasing sensitivity to glucose and increasing activity of the enzymes that stimulate the production of insulin. Please talk to your doctor or health practitioner before taking this supplement, as there may be side effects.
Prickly pear cactus:
The fruit of the prickly pear cactus has shown significant benefits in blood sugar control. The fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber, and contains chemicals that work similar to insulin.
An animal study in Mexico showed these benefits. More studies need to be conducted on humans before it is considered an effective treatment for diabetes, but results are promising.
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