Over the past few years, multiple scientific studies have been carried out that show a promising link between many herbs and improved blood sugar levels among diabetics. It is no wonder, of course, since herbs have been around for thousands of years now and have been the only available treatment method for our ancestors.
Although today we have a variety of antidiabetic drugs that we can rely on, often, patients refer to natural herbs as well, trying to control their blood sugar levels. Maybe you, too, have been thinking about this idea. If that is the case, we would like to help you out by representing these amazing herbs with scientifically-proven blood sugar lowering properties.
These herbs will help you lower your blood sugar levels
- Aloe vera
Most of us have used Aloe vera to soothe a sunburn or help reduce visible wrinkles and fine lines, so you might be surprised to learn that you can also use Aloe vera to treat prediabetes and diabetes type 2. Although more research needs to be done on the exact mechanisms of action that take place, Aloe vera is suggested to work by stimulating insulin production in the pancreatic cells.
It has shown beneficial effects in lowering fasting blood sugar levels and A1C in people with prediabetes and diabetes type 2. Most studies have tested the effects of the use of oral capsules, 1,000 mg daily, or two tablespoons of Aloe vera juice. Aloe vera can interact with certain medications, so do check with your doctor first before using it.
Multiple studies suggest that our beloved spice – cinnamon, can be used in the battle against diabetes. According to a 2018 study, cinnamon can be a good addition to the diabetes treatment since it does help lower the blood sugar levels and improve diabetes control.
In three-month research, patients with diabetes type 2 have been taking cinnamon before their breakfast. As compared to placebo, cinnamon achieved better results in decreasing fasting blood sugar. Cinnamon helps improve insulin sensitivity, thus allowing sugar into the cells and lowering blood sugar levels.
Although not a specific herb, but rather a compound found in the stems of certain plants, berberine is suggested to be quite beneficial for those struggling with diabetes type 2. A review that looked at the results of 27 studies concluded that berberine, when combined with a healthy lifestyle – a healthy diet and regular physical activity, efficiently reduced the fasting blood sugar levels and A1C. A healthy lifestyle alone or in combination with placebo achieved less effective results in lowering the blood sugar levels in those with diabetes type 2.
The researchers also mentioned how berberine was more effective when combined with proper diabetes medication, causing grater changes in blood sugar levels as compared to when medication has been used alone. It is suggested that berberine works by improving insulin sensitivity and increasing the sugar uptake from the blood into the muscles, thus causing the high blood sugar levels to lower.
- American Ginseng
American Ginseng, which is a powerful herb, may help improve insulin sensitivity while also increasing its production in the cells. By doing so, American Ginseng has been shown to lower the blood sugar levels post-meal in both healthy individuals and individuals with diabetes type 2, according to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition. For the best effects, American Ginseng is recommended to be taken two hours before a meal.
Fenugreek is a popular herb, having helped thousands of people with their cholesterol issues, digestive issues, menstrual cramps, fever, etc. But Fenugreek can also help delay or even prevent the onset of diabetes type 2. Science suggests that those who have been taking Fenugreek seed are less likely to develop diabetes type 2 during their lifetime. What Fenugreek does is increasing the insulin levels in the body, which helps lower the high blood sugar.
Gymnema, also known as Gymnema Sylvestre, is an ancient Indian herb whose name translates into “sugar destroyer.” Back in 2013, a review explained how the use of Gymnema had helped people with both diabetes type 1 and type 2 to experience a significant improvement in their condition. Both ground Gymnema leaf and Gymnema leaf extract can lower the blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production.
Ginger is yet another herb used as a part of traditional medicine. Today it is a part of many cuisines, and it can probably be found in your very own kitchen right now. While ginger does a great job at strengthening our immune system, preventing heart disease, and lowering your risk of cancer, among other benefits that it provides, it can also be used to improve your diabetes symptoms.
It was a study published in the Journal of Ethnic Foods that talked about the blood sugar-lowering abilities that ginger has. The researchers did mention; however, that ginger did not reduce the insulin levels in the body but rather improve insulin resistance. The subject requires more research to be done before any certain conclusions could be made.
Diabetes affects more and more people each year. Despite the variety of medications, some of us are having a hard time adjusting to the new lifestyle that the treatment plan for diabetes often requires. But the truth is that medications often require a bit of help to fully deliver the wanted effects.
As science suggests, some medications seem to work better once combined with the wondrous effects of the many natural herbs provided by Mother Nature herself. Cinnamon, ginger, Berberine, and American Ginseng, among the others which we discussed today, and which you probably already have in your kitchen, have all been backed up by science, being able to help lower your high blood sugar levels.
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