Diabetes is a disease that is really widespread in the modern world. It is a disorder that is diagnosed when someone has issues with the level of insulin and blood sugar in the human body. What poses a greater challenge are the consequences and the complications associated with the disease rather than the disease itself. Those with diabetes can narrate how managing the disorder comes with a lot of sacrifice, effort and perseverance.
There are two types of diabetes and they are:
- Type 1 – In this case, your body does not make insulin
- Type 2 – Either the body is unable to make enough insulin or it doesn’t utilize the insulin produced properly. This is the most common type.
Scientists and other medical practitioners have come up with various suggestions or treatment options for Type 2 Diabetes. In the process of trying to find a solution to this life-long disorder, researchers have also realized that some supplements and herbs can help a lot in curbing the disease. By combining traditional methods with certain useful herbs, those suffering from diabetes 2 can finally get relief.
Following is a list of 7 natural herbs and supplements that are of immense help to those with Type 2 Diabetes.
Top 7 Type 2 Diabetes Herbs & Supplements
According to research, the aloe vera plant has anti-diabetic properties. It is suggested that aloe can lower the level of blood sugar in your system. Aloe Vera is a widely used plant species that has many uses. Well, most are familiar about the plant being used to protect the human skin from damaging sun rays. What most don’t know is the fact that the plant has many lesser-known health benefits. The benefits of Aloe Vera range from digestive problems to easing the symptoms of diabetes 2.
According to one review that analyzed several studies, the Aloe Vera plant exhibits promising anti-diabetic properties. During the study, subjects showed reduced blood sugar levels and higher levels of insulin. Extensive studies have found out that Aloe Vera boosts the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas in type 2 diabetics.
In a nutshell, this plant not only helps victims regain their healthy sugar levels, but also protects against further harm. More research needs to be done in order to finally be sure of the effects. You can consume Aloe Vera in different ways. Some take it as a supplement while others prefer the juiced pulp sold in the market.
This is another fragrant herb that we are familiar with. Cinnamon is extracted from the bark of trees. It is commonly found in the kitchen where some people use it as a spicy fragrance. Walk to a place where there are people with Type 2 Diabetes and you will find this herb. They love it because of its unique ability to sweeten drinks without necessarily adding in extra sugar. However, there is more to this fragrant herb than that.
According to one review that was carried out using subjects who had Type 2 Diabetes and metabolic syndrome, cinnamon has been linked to positive outcomes in the following areas:
- Insulin Level
- Body Mass
- Blood Sugar Level
- Time The Body Takes To Process Food
- Blood Pressure
- Level Of Antioxidants
- Insulin Sensitivity
It is pretty clear that this fragrant herb is very crucial among those with Type 2 Diabetes. According to the findings of research studies, the cinnamon type used determines the overall results. However, only the highest quality of cinnamon sold in form of capsule is recommended in complementary treatment. Remember to seek the advice and guidance of a healthcare practitioner before using any of these products.
With its roots lying in Indian medical fruits and traditional Chinese medications, Bitter Melon is a very useful fruit. Research shows that the seeds can be utilized in cutting down on the levels of blood sugar. Also referred to as Momordica charantia, bitter lemon is a medicinal fruit that has been in use for centuries in India and China. Most people use it to prepare food dishes. The good news is that more medicinal properties of this fruits are still being unveiled.
Based on one discovery that was backed by scientific evidence, bitter melon has the potential to help relieve many symptoms of diabetes. Actually, according to the findings of one review, many parts of the medicinal fruit are used to help diabetes patients. In a research study, researchers realized that those who took fruit juice containing bitter lemon recorded improved blood sugar tolerance while those that consumed blended vegetable pulp together with water recorded lower levels of blood sugar in 86% of those having Type 2 Diabetes.
I admit to the challenge of eating or drinking bitter lemon. However, with time, you can acquire the taste. Additionally, similar results were noted with other fruits when consumed as supplements. There is lack of adequate scientific back up to these claims. However, bitter lemon plays a great role in treating Type 2 Diabetes and can be a great alternative to insulin. It can also eliminate the need to rely on drugs.
Since ancient times, this herb has been is use, especially in the treatment of many ailments. Milk thistle is also known as liver tonic. Silymarin is a milk extract with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is exactly what makes milk thistle an herb worth mentioning. It is the most studied extract that most people with diabetes find irresistible. Even though it is still very early to claim that this herb can be used exclusively in the treatment of diabetes, many research studies on silymarin are quite promising.
Nevertheless, this extract is popular in the care routine because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It acts as a shield against further diabetes damaging effects. Some take it as a supplement.
Fenugreek seeds have the potential to reduce the level of sugar in the blood. The chemicals and fibers contained in these seeds are responsible for the slow digestion of carbohydrates (sugar). Additionally, they prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.
A study done recently found out that those with prediabetes had a lower chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes if they consumed fenugreek seeds. Fortunately, they can be taken in powder form. Studies show that the seeds have the ability to reduce your sugar level and also boost the production of insulin. In addition, the seeds lower the level of cholesterol.
Depending on your personal preference, you can grind fenugreek seeds into powder, pour in warm water or cook them with other dishes. They are also available in form of capsules (supplement).
Unlike other herbs, this is relatively new in the Western market and has its roots in India’s native homes. It is also known as the sugar destroyer because of its ability to significantly lower blood sugar level. According to a recent review, use of Gymnema resulted in amazing results.
In one study, people with Type 1 Diabetes were given the leaf extracts of this herb over a period of one and a half years. In the end, they recorded much lower blood sugar levels compared to the control group which was only given insulin.
Other studies suggest that some individuals respond better when given both the extracts and the leaf. Overall, this herb is of great benefit to those having diabetes.
For many years, we have used ginger to treat various digestive issues and to reduce inflammation. According to the findings of recent studies, ginger is also able to reduce insulin resistance. Reviews have shown that this ancient herb has the potential to help with diabetes symptoms.
It has been found that taking supplements containing ginger helped a lot in cutting down the level of blood sugar and reducing insulin resistance. It is not clear how this is achieved yet so more research is needed to verify the claims.
For many years, we have taken ginger in various ways. Some people brew it into tea, some take it as a capsule while others add the raw herb to their dishes.
Important Tips For Those With Diabetes
It is not advisable to commence taking a new supplement or herb before seeking the advice of a healthcare professional. In a move to establish the right dose, doctors will normally recommend that you begin with a lower dose and move up the ladder gradually.
Kindly note that different medications react differently. It is, therefore, important to know the reaction of certain medications such as those for high blood pressure and blood thinners with supplements or herbs. Get professional advice before using any new supplement to avoid severe consequences.
In addition, it is of uttermost importance that you only buy herbs from a reliable source. This is why the FDA monitors all herbs. Some products may be contaminated and contain harmful fillers or recommend the wrong dosage.
Most importantly, supplements and herbs are just complementary medical options and cannot in any way replace medication. However, by working with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner and using high-quality products, herbs can be of great use to those with diabetes.