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Herbs for Diabetes

 

There are several plants known to have the ability to lower blood sugar levels. Even if the studies are not verified, they have been widely used to treat hypoglycemia. Studies are being conducted to check on the benefits of these plants. They may help in the control of diabetes but should not take the place of the changing an unhealthy lifestyle. No plant should be substituted for the proper exercise and diet needed to control blood sugar levels.

Onions and Garlic
Folk medicine has often used onion bulbs and garlic cloves to lower blood sugar significantly. Subsequently, scientific studies have proven that the presence of disulfides in onions and garlic such as allyl propyl and diallyl sulfide have played a role in the decrease of blood glucose levels. They have been seen to have actions similar to Tolubutamide, a sulfonylurea drug of the first generation. They act on the pancreas and stimulate the production of insulin so as to control the sugar levels in the blood. It is those patients with type 2 diabetes who benefit the most out of this. A minimum intake of about 50 ml of its juice everyday presents a considerable decline in blood sugar levels. Taken orally 50 ml of their juice daily has been shown to improve glucose control.

Fenugreek Seed
The seed of the Fenugreek plant has been discovered to produce a positive effect in the metabolism of glucose in the body. Fenugreek seeds are chopped finely and served as a flavorful spice in the US. But in India and in Middle East,it is more popular as a treatment for diabetes. These seeds are soaked in water until the following morning, then eaten alone or combined with other foods. There are studies showing a decrease in the fasting blood sugar levels when tested on diabetics. They are also found to lower cholesterol levels since they contain a gel-like soluble fiber which combines with bile acid and lowers cholesterol levels. For therapeutic purposes, about 3 1/2 ounces of fenugreek seeds are to be taken in daily.

Bitter Gourd
The Bitter Gourd, or sometimes called the balsam pear is the most commonly used herb to combat diabetes. It often grows in countries from Africa, South America, and Asia. Just a quarter cup of the extract of bitter gourd is enough to bring down blood glucose levels by twenty percent. Glucose tolerance was also improved in seventy five percent of patients with type 2 diabetes when treated with the extract of bitter gourd. The juice or unripe fruit of the bitter gourd plant has also the ability to bring down blood sugar levels. This is due to the number of sterols it contains that acts like sulfonylurea drugs to produce lowered blood sugar levels. The only setback of this herb is its extremely bitter taste.

Blueberry Leaf Tea
The leaves of the blueberry plant have been found out to have hypoglycemic properties beneficial to diabetics. Several cups of the blueberry leaves is enough to bring down blood sugar levels to normal. The leaves are first soaked in cold water, and then boiled for 5-10 minutes. This preparation should be taken at least a few times a day for three months to be able to see a visible and significant change in blood sugar levels. The anthcyanic acid present in blueberry leaves is the ingredient thought to be the main ingredient in the metabolism of carbohydrates. You may also take in anthcyanic acid in capsule forms available in several health stores.

Prickly Pear Cactus
The nopal, or prickly pear cactus is a food product found in Mexico and is called nopal. It is thought to have hypoglycemic properties. They can be diced and placed in a salad or in tacos. Research in Mexico have shown that when the cactus stem was boiled and then ingested, significant drop in blood sugar within one hour, with glucose levels continuing to decline for two hours. It is also believed to decreases insulin resistance.

Gymnema Sylvestre
A popular practice in alternative medicine in India known as the ayurveda makes use of this plant, Gymnema sylvestre. It is common to find this plant being used in treatments in alternative medicine, especially for diabetes. In fact, studies have shown improvements in the control of blood sugar by patients with type 1 diabetes. It is also effective in treating patients with type 2 diabetes since tests have shown a decrease in the dosage of oral medications sometimes to a point to allow oral agents to be discontinued completely. Unfortunately, the use of this plant has only been seen in abnormal blood sugar levels. The benefits of this plant have not been subjected to controlled studies.

Broccoli
There are a lot of uses for broccoli, especially in the management of blood sugar levels. It is a good fiber source, acts as a powerful antioxidant, composed of several vitamins and nutrients. It is good for patients with diabetes because of the mineral chromium present in the broccoli. Chromium has been seen to play a role in the metabolism of glucose, as well as in the efficient absorption of glucose by insulin. Broccoli contains about 10 mcg of chromium per day. Benefits for diabetics are said to require between 200 to 400 mcg per day.

Bitter Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices have been a common ingredient in the tables of people in Europe to Asia for enhancing the flavor of their dishes. But these spices have also been employed to treat diabetes. In fact, there are a few that have undergone some tests to check on this hypoglycemic property that occurs through the stimulation of the production of insulin, which includes cinnamon, ginger, bay leaf, clover, nutmeg, coriander seed, and nutmeg. Cinnamon, for example, has been seen to lower blood glucose levels even by using only a small amount.

Dandelion Greens
Dandelions have been known to give a hypoglycemic effect when used on patients with diabetes. It is also known for its ease of use, using it as a salad or its extract may be part of the diet.

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