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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.