Herbal Medicine for Diabetes
Diabetes is a common health condition caused by high blood sugar levels, requiring ongoing management and lifestyle changes to remain healthy. Herbal remedies are some of the best approaches to managing diabetes, and are widely used to help manage symptoms, lower blood sugar and more.
How Does Herbal Medicine Help Diabetes?
Herbal remedies can help in a variety of ways to help manage diabetes. Specifically, herbal remedies are effective in:
- Decreasing Blood Sugar Levels: Certain herbs, such as gymnema sylvestre, American ginseng, fenugreek, holy basil extract and bilberry can help to lower blood glucose levels, improving diabetes management and reducing the risk of developing additional complications.
- Altering Insulin Sensitivity: Some herbs can increase insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial if insulin resistance is present. For example, extracts from cinnamon bark and aloe vera can help to decrease insulin resistance, allowing the body to better use insulin.
- Reducing Severity of Diabetic Complications: There are several potential complications with diabetes, including nerve damage, kidney disease, and increased risk of infections. Herbs can help to improve the body’s response to such complications, reducing their severity.
Herbs Commonly Used to Manage Diabetes
Below are some of the most common herbs used to manage diabetes:
- Gymnema Sylvestre: This herb is known for its ability to help lower blood glucose. Additionally, it can help to reduce blood cholesterol levels, improving health and reducing the risk of conditions like heart disease that can be co-occurring with diabetes.
- Bilberry: Bilberry has multiple medicinal properties, including its ability to regulate blood sugar, cholesterol and blood fat levels. It can also improve overall health, and reduce symptoms like fatigue that often accompany diabetes.
- Aloe Vera: Consumption of aloe vera can help to reduce fasting glucose levels, as well as raise the body’s insulin sensitivity, resulting in more efficient use of sugar in the body.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is known for its anti-diabetic properties, resulting in an increase in insulin sensitivity. Further, it can help decrease high cholesterol and fat levels, often present in those with diabetes.
Considerations When Using Herbal Remedies
Despite their potential benefits, herbal remedies should not be used indiscriminately, as some can interact with medications, or be contraindicated for certain underlying conditions. Before administering any herbal treatments for diabetes, it is important to talk with your healthcare provider first.