18 - 2010

Herbs, Supplements & Diabetes – Natural Medicine for Diabetes

Diabetes is a growing health problem – and the good news is that it can be partially controlled by what we eat. Get some new ideas in this guest post from Laura Soderberg at Find Nutrition Supplements.

Herbs have been proven to be very useful in the treatment of diabetes. Using herbs is not new: In days past, whenever we fell sick our grandmother would just boil some herbs and give  them to us to drink, and as if by magic our ailment would disappear. Many people or homeopathic practitioners also make use of plants and plant extracts to cure diabetes and other sicknesses. Here under are herbs that have been scientifically proven to be helpful, effective and non-toxic. Anyone can safely give it a try. (Note from Cheap Like Me: As with any health advice, please do your own research and check with your doctor or medical resource to be sure you will stay safe. I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice, just some suggestions from Laura Soderberg.)

Many people don’t know that just sprinkling cinnamon on your foods can lower your blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. The components in cinnamon have insulin-like properties and it also helps the body to use insulin more efficiently, so more glucose can enter cells. Study has shown that just 1/2 teaspoon a day can significantly lower blood sugar levels. It is recommended to add powdered cinnamon to your whole wheat toast, oatmeal, baked pies, or even chicken dishes. Better still, soak a cinnamon stick in hot water to make a soothing and curative cup of cinnamon tea or add cinnamon to whatever you would normally eat.

Pterocarpus marsupium
Pterocarpus marsupium, commonly known as Indian Kino, is a large tree which is mainly found in central, western, and southern parts of India and Sri Lanka. The heart wood, leaves and flowers of that tree are used in ayurvedic medicine; the heart wood is used as an astringent and to treat inflammation and diabetes. Pterocarpus marsupium has shown to have remarkable anti-diabetic action with no side effects. In clinical studies Pterocarpus marsupium  has been seen to reduce the glucose absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, and improve insulin and pro-insulin levels. In a clinical study which consisted of newly-diagnosed and untreated Type II diabetics, varying doses of an extract of Pterocarpus marsupium from two to four grams a day over a period of 12 weeks were given and no alternate medication was administered. Within one month the patients’ diabetic condition greatly improved. Diabetics can boil 10 to 15 Pterocarpus marsupium leaves in a cup of water for 30 minutes and drink the water two times daily for a month. They will notice an improvement in their blood sugar level. It has also been effective in beta cell regeneration, and so far no other drug has been able to do that.

Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd or bitter melon or bitter cucumber is a tropical vegetable. According to studies, bitter gourd may lower blood glucose concentrations. It contains charantin and an insulin-like protein known as polypeptide-P, or plant insulin. It is believed that bitter gourd acts on both the pancreas and in nonpancreatic cells, such as muscle cells. Oral administration of 50-60 ml of bitter gourd juice has shown positive results in clinical tests. Diabetics taking hypoglycemic drugs or insulin should use bitter gourd with caution as it will further lower the glucose level and can cause severe hypoglycemia.

Genera Sylvestre
Another name for Genera Sylvestre is “sugar destroyer.” The leaves of Genera Sylvestre are dried and pounded and made into a juice or capsule and given to people with high blood sugar. Their level of blood sugar is greatly improved and this is being used in India for the treatment of diabetes. It also helps the body to improve its insulin to lower blood sugar in both type I and type II diabetes. Genera Sylvestre also helps to protect the organs in our body from being affected by high blood sugar.

Fenugreek’s leaves are used as an herb and its seeds as a spice. Clinical studies have shown that fenugreek seeds have anti-diabetic properties as they can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. 5 to 30 g of fenugreek seeds should be taken three times per day with meals; however, this is not recommended to pregnant or nursing mothers.

Ginseng has been proven to improve the release of insulin from the pancreas and to increase the number of insulin receptors and it is also believed to have a direct blood sugar-lowering effect. The dosage recommended is 100-200 mg daily.

Niacinamide (also known as Nicotinamide which is a form of Vitamin B3) has been proven to prevent or slow down the destruction of the pancreatic beta cells. It can even prevent diabetes 1 from occurring in the first place and if taken immediately as type 1 diabetes has been diagnosed it may help restore the beta cells and make the pancreas return to its normal state.

For both type 1 and type 2 diabetes natural herbs and supplements can help to combat the disease; however, type 1 diabetic patients require the conventional insulin therapy. They can combine herbal therapy with their conventional one for better health. The herbal therapy will help to preserve the function of beta cells and maybe reverse the autoimmune system. When these therapies help with better absorption of insulin, patients can have lower dosages of conventional medicines and also reduce high blood sugar levels after meals.

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