Herbs that Help Manage Diabetes
In managing diabetes, research has shown herbs can provide symptomatic relief, prevent secondary complications, help regeneration of beta cells to overcome insulin resistance. Herbs and plant foods are not just rich sources of antioxidants, but they also keep cholesterol and blood sugar levels in control. In modern medicine, a drug can either lower blood sugar or manage liver glycogen level, but not do both. But some studies have shown herbal extracts to have successfully achieved these dual results.
Studies have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of fenugreek which is rich in alkaloids like gonelline, nicotinic acid, and coumarin.
Researched benefits of fenugreek include
- Glucose and lipid lowering effects
- Rich in fiber that has anti-diabetic benefits
- 15g of fenugreek soaked in water showed significant reduction in postprandial glucose levels.
Triphala (three fruit combo) is a popular Ayurvedic formulation that consists of extracts of three power fruits—Indian gooseberry (Amalaki), Beleric ( Bibhitaki) and Black Myrobalan whole (Haritaki), all rich in antioxidants.
Indian gooseberries are good coolants that reduce Pitta dosha and work on the liver and immune system, while Beleric manages kapha and improves respiration. Haritaki is an effective detox agent and balances all the three doshas.
A cumulative study in 2013 showed curcumin present in turmeric can decrease and stabilize glucose levels in the blood. Researchers also found curcumin particularly helpful in diabetes prevention.
Moringa oleifera may help lower blood sugar levels. One study shows, taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder every day for three months reduced fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5%, on average.
Another study found that adding 50 grams of moringa leaves to a meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21%.
Scientists believe these effects are caused due to the presence of plant compounds such as isothiocyanates.
The tropical fruit contains no sucrose and is known for its hypoglycemic effect. The seed of Jamun also helps control blood sugar levels. It contains jamboline which stops conversion of starch into sugar subsequently controlling the blood sugar.
Amruth (heart-leaved moonseed) or Giloy can be given to people with any or all of the Doshic imbalances. For some it works as a detox herb and for some it is a rejuvenating herb. Some of its benefits include
- Builds immunity
- Enhanced memory
- Keeps infections at bay
- Helpful in managing diabetic symptoms
- Removes worms.