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11 Herbs That Help Manage Diabetes

One of the most common health conditions to affect people, irrespective of age and gender, diabetes is of two types, type 1 and type 2. About 90 per cent of the cases diagnosed worldwide is type 2, where the body does not produce the required amount of insulin. In type 1, your body does not produce any insulin at all. A long-term condition, diabetes requires proper medication and lifestyle changes. With various means derived for managing and controlling the condition, the most effective ones are herbal supplements, diet restrictions and few home remedies [1] .

When one has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is always necessary to consult with the doctor as to what he/she needs to take depending on the type of diabetes. Before you add a new pill or a new ingredient to your diet, consulting a doctor is critical. It is also vital that diabetic patient check the sugar level every month on a mandatory level so that one is aware as to how much sugar to consume or not to consume [2] .

Although there is various diabetes medication available in the market which helps control your blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, there are some natural ways to manage the condition. Read on to know about the herbal remedies for diabetes will help keep you healthy and eventually control your sugar level in the body.

Herbal Remedies To Manage Diabetes

1. Fenugreek

The use of fenugreek is used to lower blood sugar levels in the body and increases insulin sensitivity. Rich in amino acids, the seeds of fenugreek help increase your insulin sensitivity. A study revealed that people who consumed 25 g of fenugreek seeds daily had controlled blood sugar as well as the post-meal spikes. Avoid excessive intake of fenugreek seeds as it can lead to various side effects like stomach upset, dizziness, bloating, gas, and headache [3] .

Soak 10 grams of fenugreek seeds in hot water overnight and consume it the next morning.

2. Haridra

Consuming this herb can help maintain the insulin balance in your body [4] . The herb is available in powdered form, which can be consumed once or twice daily.

Take 5 to 10 grams of Haridra powder and mix with milk or honey. You can have it before or after food.

3. Bitter melon

Consuming bitter melon juice is known to be one of the most effective and natural ways to control diabetes. The juice aids in controlling your blood sugar levels effectively. It helps control the sugar absorption in the intestines and over-consumption can lead to a gastrointestinal problem [5] . The leaves of bitter gourd are also beneficial for treating diabetes.

You need to drink around 50 to 100 ml which is equivalent to 5-6 spoons of the juice daily.

4. Gymnema sylvestre

Widely used in ayurvedic treatments, the herb helps control and manage your blood sugar levels effectively. Gymnema sylvestre has the ability to alter the taste of sugar for 15 to 50 minutes. Known for reducing the absorption of sugar by the intestine, gymnema sylvestre increases the glycemic control in people diagnosed with type-2 diabetes [6] . Apart from that it also aids in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL.

Consult your doctor before consuming the herbal pills, so as to determine the dosage.

5. Ginseng

This Chinese herb has amazing properties - it boosts the immunity and also aids diabetics by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates by the body. Ginseng has the ability to lower blood sugar by 15-20 per cent. Fran Kaufman, MD and the president of the American Diabetes Association even asserted that Ginseng seems to possess an effect beyond medication [7] .

You can consume 3 grams of dried and powdered ginseng, up to two hours before a meal,

6. Bilva

Possessing hypoglycaemic action, the herb has anti-diabetic properties. Using bilva has been asserted to help control diabetic polyuria and help the pancreas in the production of insulin [8] . the herb has properties which will is effective to regulate the blood sugar and to help combat diabetic complications.

The advised dosage of bilva is 500 mg per day. However, it is advised to consult a doctor before deciding on the amount of consumption.

7. Ginkgo biloba

Widely used by herbalists to treat the side effects of diabetes, ginkgo biloba help improve blood flow and also prevent diabetic retinopathy [9] .

Consume 120 mg of a ginkgo leaf extract daily for 6 months.

8. Bilberry

If a diabetic patient consumes bilberry herb on a daily diet it will help to lower blood sugar in the body. The herb contains powerful antioxidants in its fruit and leaves, which plays a significant role in managing the condition [10] .

You can consume 20 to 60 grams of the herb daily.

9. Saptarangi

This herb for diabetes regulates the level of sugar in the body. Diabetic patients should consume this herb at least twice in a week if your levels are high [11] . Salacia or saptarangi help lower haemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

You can consume it as tea or take the supplement with food for 6 weeks.

10. Neem

The bitter neem is one of those herbs which is good for diabetic patients. It regulates the metabolism rate in the body and enhances insulin receptor sensitivity [12] .

The dosage of the herb depends on the individual's age, health, and several other conditions.

11. Jamun leaves

An effective remedy for managing diabetes, the leaves of jamun help control the frequency of urine and lowers the urine and blood sugar level in your body [10] .

The dosage of the herb depends on the individual's age, health, and several other conditions.

Some of the other effective herbal remedies for diabetes are aloe vera, cinnamon, milk thistle and ginger [13] .

Note: Make sure to consult a doctor before incorporating the herbal remedies into your daily diet.

View Article References
  1. [1] Yeh, G. Y., Eisenberg, D. M., Kaptchuk, T. J., & Phillips, R. S. (2003). Systematic review of herbs and dietary supplements for glycemic control in diabetes.Diabetes care,26(4), 1277-1294.
  2. [2] Al-Rowais, N. A. (2002). Herbal medicine in the treatment of diabetes mellitus.Saudi medical journal,23(11), 1327-1331.
  3. [3] Shekelle, P. G., Hardy, M., Morton, S. C., Coulter, I., Venuturupalli, S., Favreau, J., & Hilton, L. K. (2005). Are Ayurvedic herbs for diabetes effective?.
  4. [4] Farzaei, M. H., Rahimi, R., Farzaei, F., & Abdollahi, M. (2015). Traditional medicinal herbs for the management of diabetes and its complications: an evidence-based review.Int J Pharmacol,11(7), 874-887.
  5. [5] Wang, H., Shi, S., & Wang, S. (2018). Can highly cited herbs in ancient Traditional Chinese medicine formulas and modern publications predict therapeutic targets for diabetes mellitus?.Journal of ethnopharmacology,213, 101-110.
  6. [6] Le, Q. U., Lay, H. L., & Wu, M. C. (2019). Herbs for the Management of Diabetes Mellitus in Traditional Vietnamese Medicine.Journal of Applied Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics,7, 1-7.
  7. [7] Kaur, N., Kishore, L., & Singh, R. (2016). Attenuating diabetes: What really works?.Current diabetes reviews,12(3), 259-278.
  8. [8] Reddy, A. M., Babu, M. V. S., & Rao, R. R. (2019). Ethnobotanical study of traditional herbal plants used by local people of Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve in Eastern Ghats, India.Herba Polonica,65(1), 40-54.
  9. [9] Kumar, S., Gupta, A., Ghungralekar, R., & Deshpande, V. S. (2017). Suitability for Consumption of Chyawanprakash-A Herbal Formulation in Controlled Type II Diabetics-A Open Label Clinical Study.Altern Integr Med,6(230), 2.
  10. [10] Raj, R., Sahay, S., & Tripathi, J. (2016). Medications of diabetes mellitus and antidiabetic medicinal plants: A review.Drugs,1(1), 19-28.
  11. [11] Budhwat, P. P., Wagh, R. G., & Patil, P. A. (2018). A clinical study on the effect of Bilvapatra Ghana in the management of Madhumeha with respect to Type II Diabetes Mellitus.Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences (ISSN 2456-3110),3(5), 27-29.
  12. [12] Njoroge, G. G., Koske, J. A., & Simbauni, J. A. (2016). A Screening Experiment on a Diabetes Mellitus Herbal Formulation.American Journal of Theoretical and Applied Statistics,5(6), 387-394.
  13. [13] Qureshi, J. A., Memon, Z., Mirza, K. M., & Saher, F. (2018). Herbal Approach towards the Cure of Diabetes Mellitus—A Review.Asian Journal of Medicine and Health, 1-12.

Story first published: Thursday, June 13, 2019, 15:30 [IST]
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