For weeks I have been getting a great deal of emails pushing on various herbal remedies for diabetes. I guess it is finally time to research them somewhat, although it scares me to open this can of worms: nothing invites comment spam like mentioning dietary supplements.
Well, I’m taking the plunge anyway, but do not be surprised if your comment peddling some herbal product is instantly eliminated.
Thus, for those of you genuinely curious, as I am, I have discovered the following interesting pieces of information about a few herbal substances that appear to get a valid impact on diabetes or your general wellbeing.
(NOTE: I have compiled this info from several sites and by the study of D-author Gretchen Becker. A great comprehensive overview can be available from Diabetes Self-Management magazine.)
* Cinnamon — well-documented studies reveal that cinnamon helps lower BG levels and “normalize” lipids in Type 2 diabetics. Pros have even gone so far as to telephone cinnamon (and its water-soluble extract) “a pure model of insulin” since the consequences were so profound. That this spice is really helpful. (Who knew? Too bad I’m not a cinammon lover)
Decision Ginseng — among the most popular nutritional supplements in the united states, sold in pill form and in herbal teas, chiefly as an energy booster. It’s been reported to lower BG levels, however, the numerous varieties have different effects, thus you may wind up increasing your BG, sources say.
* Bilberry — (not blueberry) leaves have also been reported to help with BG control, consumed in an anti-diabetic tea. The berries are a rich source of antioxidants (chemicals that may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases) and may improve flow, thus have been suggested as a treatment for diabetic retinopathy. But use in tiny quantities, please, as too much bilberry could be poisonous.
* Gymnema Sylvestre — an Indian herb used in Ayurveda, the ancient Hindi medicine system of India. Injesting the leaves causes gradual hypoglycemic activities, and also helps lower serum cholesterol and triglycerides. A 2001 study by CDE’s in Nebraska verified that this herb improves glycemic control in Type 2 patients, significantly reducing postprandial BG and decreasing A1c results (!)
* Gingko Biloba — used chiefly to increase flow. But as it’s a blood thinner, must be used with caution, particularly if you’re already taking any other type of blood-thinning substance.
* Evening Primrose Oil — research suggest that the GLA (gammalinolenic acid) in evening primrose oil helps prevent — and reverse — that the nerve damage (neuropathy) commonly caused by diabetes. General recommended dose: 1,000 mg evening primrose oil three times a day.
* Saw Palmetto — a spikey-looking bush with berries, recommended for all from enlarged prostate issues to breast augmentation. It is use in “peripheral” diabetes therapy is seemingly for treating infections of the gastro-urinary tract, and also increasing the potency and role of the bladder.
The thing to keep in mind is that almost all doctors and medical governments are luke-warm at best on the worth of carrying much of the stuff, particularly the drugstore-marketed “solutions” — reminding us that many materials are ineffective or potentially even dangerous. After years of school and expertise with patients, I think they may have a point.
For example, a prominent endocrinologist whom I interviewed recently had this to say when I asked her about nutritional supplements (the packed kind), including beta complex, omega complex, also :
“Many of these are simply hype… However, in the event that you came to me on one of these nutritional supplements, and you believe in it, I’d say OK. I wouldn’t protest unless it is hurting you in some manner — damaging your liver or putting an extra strain on your kidneys.”
Right. It is after the damage is done, just that I for one wouldn’t wish to discover the hard way. Any thoughts here? I’m Certain you have many 🙂
Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For additional information click here.
This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog concentrated on the diabetes community. The content isn’t medically reviewed and does not stick to Healthline’s editorial instructions. To learn more about Healthline’s partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.
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