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Herbal Solutions For Diabetes And Pre-Diabetes Conditions

Jun 28, 2008
Herbal remedies have been used in diabetes over the ages and can have practical applications for the modern era also.

There are a number of plant species known to have insulin-like acting substances. This article aims to tackle these various natural plant remedies for diabetes.

To understand all the plants and how they interact would of course require many years of study, and this summary is just a very, very brief overview.

Keep in mind that there can be interactions between herbs, medications, and other elements, and that the health, constitution and individual issues of each person is different. It is important, therefore, to seek the guidance of a medical practitioner,particularly one with knowledge of natural alternatives, before undertaking changes and taking medications or herbal substances.

Of the many herbal options, but a few are:

* European blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) Traditional herbal medicine has been emphasizing on the leaves of this plant species as having a natural sugar lowering action. Otherwise known as bilberry, you can take this herbal remedy by steeping 2 to 3 handfuls of leaves in four cups of hot water for one hour. You need to take 3 cups of the concoction every day. Latest research has also shown that the berries or their extract are even more beneficial.

* American ginseng (Panax ginseng) This contains saponins which displayed hypoglycemic effect and promoted insulin production in animal studies conducted in 1985. Another study showed that American ginseng was successful in preventing the elevation of type II diabetics' blood sugar level.

* Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) The hypoglycemic action of this herb's active ingredient charantin, is said to be more potent than that of Tolbutamide, a popular hypoglycemic drug. The American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy published a study done in 2003 demonstrating the hypoglycemic effect of this herb. This vegetable which is grown in the Philippines, India, Malaysia and Australia, can be sauteed, steamed, or served as a salad. Bitter melon's fresh juice, tea, and dried herb are also effective in controlling blood sugar levels.

* Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) Endemic to India's tropical forests, this herb is used to reduce glucose in the blood and to help repair pancreatic cell damage. The leaves are known to increase blood insulin levels. An extract preparation contains 300 mg of its active ingredient.

* Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) In both animal and human studies, fenugreek has shown to have anti-diabetic effects. According to some trials, this herb is beneficial to both types of diabetes. Other studies have also confirmed its lipid lowering action. Taking 15 g of powdered fenugreek seed that has been soaked in water caused a remarkable reduction in the levels of after-meal blood glucose. Complementary use of fenugreek seeds further lowers insulin resistance and enhances lowering of blood sugar in type II diabetics.

* Crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia speciosa) Traditionally used as diabetes treatment in Asia. Although the results have been promising, more studies are still needed to establish its long term safety and efficacy.

* Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) Usually taken as herbal tea, this herb works to lower the blood levels of sugar, cholesterol and even triglycerides. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Holy Basil demonstrated a 17.6 % decrease in blood glucose. This enabled the researchers to conclude that this herb is a valuable herbal remedy for mild to moderate diabetes.

These are just some of the known herbs with blood sugar lowering effect. There are still several plant species which may effectively reduce blood glucose as well, including aloe vera, psillium, cinnamon, garlic, Asian ginseng and salt bush.

It is worthwhile considering the herbal options, in consultation with your medical advisor, particularly as many pharmaceutical prodcts can have potential adverse side effects. And these can be considered, in conjunction with suitable diet and excercise towards achieving improved sugar levels.
About the Author
Courtesy Jules Hawk. For more information on Natural Health Solutions for Diabetes, visit: http://www.diabetesnaturalhealth.com
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