Let’s cut straight to the chase, does a single herbal diabetes cure exist? Well in a universe of infinant possibilities I am sure the answer is yes, but right here and now on planet earth there no known diabetes cures herbal or otherwise. There are however many herbal extracts which may help to stabilise or lower your blood sugar levels. I like to keep many of these in my kitchen at home, but I don’t look at any of them as a herbal diabetes cure. In fact you should be cautious with some of these herbs. If they are taken in conjunction with insulin or other diabetes medication they may lower your blood sugar to dangerous levels.
Only a guide
This is by no means a definitive list. Just be cautious and don’t go overboard. None of these herbs or foods should replace proper diet and exercise. Drink plenty of water everyday, exercise and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Here are some herbs and extracts that people might not immediately think of when managing their diabetes.
Here they are…
Aloe vera is said to have some impact on managing blood sugar levels, in particular aloe vera juice. There has been research that suggests aloe vera can also help to remove unwanted body fat which is good news for diabetics. The properties of aloe vera can make cuts and wounds heal faster than normal.
Avocado seed extract, recent research suggests that it can help lower blood sugar levels and help protect pancreatic islet cells. While certainly not a cure for diabetes, avocado itself if full of goodness and healthy fats. I always have plenty of avocado in my salads at home. If it helps stablisie my blood sugar and protect my pancreas then all the better.
Beans the musical fruit ;o) a real super food. They contain plenty of carbs but also plenty of fibre which aids the digestion process. Research suggests that beans can stimulate insulin production which is good news for type 2 diabetics. Beans taste great and are good for your insides, so they get two thumbs up.
Bilberries are very similar to blueberries. Research suggests the bilberries can promote blood vessel strength which is good news for diabetics, especially as the small blood vessels at the back of our eyes can be at risk. There is some evidence to suggest that these berries can help lower blood sugar levels also. Bilberries like all berries are also full of antioxidants. They are a great way to start the day.
Bitter melon I have tried it before and the name says it all – bitter. You are best looking for this ingredient in a tablet somewhere. It is said to act as a hunger supressant and be good for lowering blood sugar levels. There is probably the largest amount of research to suggest that it does have some impact on sugar levels so this maybe one to keep in mind, just don’t mind the taste. Yuck.
Cinnamon. Interestingly there is research to suggest that cinnamon can help to improve insulin sensitivity. Consuming 1 gram of cinnamon per day can help manage type 2 diabetes. It can also boost the bodies immune system and improve cardiovascular risks. Dont get your daily cinnamon intake from doughnuts!
Fenugreek. There is a lot of talk about this one. I cant claim to have tried it. The seeds are said to improve insulin sensitivity and can help to reduce cholesterol which is important for diabetics. The seeds are also very high in fibre.
Fig leaf is big for diabetes treatment in Europe. Again there is limited research and don’t hold your breath that western doctors are going to throw millions into researching this one. A lot of these herbs are for the true believers and what price can you put on mind over matter?
Garlic is great for the common cold and contains many antioxidant properties. I always put lots of fresh garlic in my meals at home. I have never seen a dramatic effect on my blood sugar levels but there is evidence to suggest it might. It is also said to be good for circulation which is very important for diabetics. Go for the garlic.
Ginger is great. I love ginger on many foods including fish and I love the taste in stir fries. Ginger has a very low GI and has been used in ancient natural remedies for centuries. There is research to suggest that it is good for blood sugar control in type 2 diabetics. It is also very good for your eyes and may decrease the risk of eye problems down the road.
Ginseng comes in may different forms. Many people swear by the healing properties of ginseng. I have taken it before and have never found it to decrease my blood sugar levels to any great degree. There has been research that suggests it can lower blood sugar levels by as much as 9% which is interesting. For overall health benefits ginseng is good.
Honey is often used as a sugar substitute by diabetics which is ok as it is sweeter than granulated sugar. Just be aware that honey will raise your blood sugar levels like sugar does. There is some evidence that long term honey consumption can have a regenerative effect of beta cells. I certainly don’t eat honey thinking of my beta cells but I love it. If there are positive side effects for diabetes too, bring them on!
Milk thistle may have some effect on insulin secretion. There is very little hard evidence that this is the case. A lot of these herbs are found in ancient Chinese medicines that were used to fight diabetes.