Herbs & Home Remedies
The Best Herbal Home Supplements for Type 2 Diabetes
Although research is limited in this area, some herbal supplements do show promise in treating type 2 diabetes, including:
This plant has been used for thousands of years for its healing properties. Some studies suggest that the juice from the aloe vera plant can help lower blood sugar in people with types 2 diabetes. The dried sap of the aloe vera plant has traditionally been used in Arabia to treat diabetes. These range from helping digestive issues to possibly even relieving type 2 diabetes symptoms.
Their results strongly suggested an antidiabetic potential for aloe. Subjects given aloe showed lower blood sugar levels and higher Hormones levels. Further tests showed that aloe helps to increase how much Hormones is produced by the pancreas. This could mean that aloe helps to restore bodies with type 2 diabetes or protect them from further damage. The researchers called for more studies to be done on aloe and its extracts to be certain of these effects.
There are many ways to take aloe. Juiced pulp is sold in many markets and added to drinks, and extracts are put into capsules to be taken as supplements.
Cinnamon is a fragrant herb created from the bark of a tree and is commonly found in kitchens. It has a sweet and spicy fragrance and taste that can add sweetness without any additional sugar. It is popular with people with type 2 diabetes for this reason alone, but there is much more to cinnamon than just flavor.
A review found that subjects with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes who were given cinnamon showed positive results in many different areas such as:
- blood sugar levels
- Hormones levels
- Hormones sensitivity
- blood fat levels
- antioxidant levels
- blood pressure
- body mass
- time to process food
These are important markers for people with diabetes. From this research, it may be said that cinnamon is important for everyone with type 2 diabetes to take.
The researchers did note that the type of cinnamon and the amount taken does have an effect on the results, however. Only the highest quality cinnamon or cinnamon extracts in capsule form should be used as a complementary treatment method.
Consuming about half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can result in significant improvement in blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Momordica charantia, also known as bitter melon, is a medicinal fruit. It has been used for centuries in the traditional medicine of China and India. The bitter fruit itself is cooked into many dishes, and the plant's medicinal properties are still being discovered.
One discovery being backed by science is that bitter melon may help with symptoms of diabetes. One review noted that many parts of the plant have been used to help treat diabetes patients.
Bitter melon seeds were given to both people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to reduce their blood sugar levels. Blended vegetable pulp mixed with water also lowered blood sugar levels in 86 percent of the type 2 diabetes patients tested. The fruit juice of the bitter melon also helped to improved blood sugar tolerance in many cases.
Eating or drinking the bitter melon can be an acquired taste. Luckily, similar effects were noted with extracts of the fruit taken as supplements as well. There is not enough evidence to suggest that bitter melon could be used instead of Hormones or medication for diabetes. However, it may help patients to rely less on those medications or lower their dosages.
It is believed to relieve thirst and fatigue, which are possible symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that extract of bitter melon can reduce blood sugar.
Fenugreek is another seed with the potential to lower blood sugar levels. The seeds contain fibers and chemicals that help to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates like sugar. The seeds may also help delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
A recent study found that people with prediabetes were less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes while taking powdered fenugreek seed. This was caused by the seed increasing the levels of Hormones in the body, which also reduced the sugar in the blood.
Researchers found that the seed helped to lower cholesterol levels in patients as well.
Fenugreek can be cooked into certain dishes, added to warm water, or ground into a powder. It can also be added to a capsule to be swallowed as a supplement.
Ginger is another herb that science is just discovering more about. It has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine systems.
Ginger is often used to help treat digestive and inflammatory issues. However, a recent review posted to shows that it may be helpful in treating diabetes symptoms as well.
In their review, researchers found that supplementing with ginger lowered blood sugar levels, but did not lower blood Hormones levels. Because of this, they suggest that ginger may reduce Hormones resistance in the body for type 2 diabetes.
It is important to note that the researchers were uncertain as to how ginger does this. More research is being called for to make the claims more certain. Ginger is often added to food raw or as a powdered herb, brewed into tea, or added to capsules as an oral supplement.
Okra, a vegetable used in stews and gumbos, reduces Hormones resistance and slows glucose absorption in rodents. You can cook with okra, eat it raw, or soak it in water and drink the water. You can also buy capsules.
Guava fruit slows glucose entry into the blood and lowers glucose levels. You can eat it raw. You can also brew a glucose-lowering tea with the leaves. Drink it with meals to help reduce after-meal glucose spikes.
Mulberry leaves appear to be another good option for people with diabetes. They probably work the same as guava, by keeping glucose in the intestines instead of absorbing it.
Apple cider vinegar is known to reduce after-meal and fasting blood sugars in many people.
Cloves protect the heart, liver and lens of the eye of diabetic rats, according to studies. This spice contains 30% of the antioxidant phenol in dry weight, along with antioxidants anthocyanins and quercetin. As a result, cloves have antiseptic as well as germicidal properties. It also offers anti-inflammatory, analgesic and digestive health benefits for diabetics.
Another study done with 36 participants with T2D divided into four groups wherein they were given 0, 1, 2 or 3 g of cloves/day for 30 days followed by a 10-day washout period had the following results.
- Serum glucose decreased from 225 ± 67 to 150 ± 46 mg/dL
- Triglycerides decreased from 235 ± 63 mg/dL to 203 ± 86 mg/dL
- Serum total cholesterol decreased from 273 ± 78 mg/dL to 239 ± 47 mg/dL
- LDL decreased from 175 ± 73 mg/dL to 145 ± 44 mg/Dl
An aromatic herb that is used commonly to add flavor and aroma to meats and soups, Rosemary also helps normalize blood sugar levels naturally. It promotes weight loss as well, which is a double boon for many diabetics who struggle with weight issues. A research conducted in Jordan to study the effects of rosemary on lipid profile in diabetic rats proved that rosemary has no significant influence on serum glucose level and lipid profile of normal rats. But when rosemary extract was administered to diabetic rats for 4 weeks, their blood sugar levels reduced by 20%, cholesterol levels by 22%, triglyceride levels by 24%, and LDL by 27% while HDL increased by 18% respectively. The study was published in African Journal of Plant Science Vol. 6 in 2012.
Sage can have metformin-like effects, according to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. So you may want to consider cooking with this herb often. It has been used on traditional medicine for centuries, as one of the important herbs to reduce blood sugar. A word of warning – taking high doses of sage along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low, a condition called hypoglycemia. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Another popular ingredient in the Indian spice rack, curry leaves help to stabilize blood glucose levels and impact carbohydrate metabolism. An Indian study published in International Journal of Development Research studied in detail the effects curry leaves have on diabetes type 2. According to the research data, curry leaves contain a phytochemical that can help control blood sugar level in patients with Diabetes type 2 by reducing fasting and postprandial blood sugar level. Diabetic rats given a dose of about 12gm /day for a month revealed that curry leaves may treat diabetes by influencing carbohydrate metabolism and improving liver and kidney function. Also, the amazing antioxidant properties of curry leaves can boost pancreatic cell production, thereby improving Hormones function.
A 2005 study on the anti-diabetic effect of garlic in normal and lab-induced diabetic rats, published in the journal Phytomedicine, found that oral administration significantly decreased serum glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, urea, uric acid, creatinine, AST and ALT levels. While it increased serum Hormones in diabetic rats, this was not so in the case of normal rats. It concluded that garlic must be considered as an excellent candidate for future human studies on diabetes mellitus. What’s better, garlic also helps reduce high cholesterol levels, a complication that diabetics often face. This makes it an excellent spice to use for in all recipes.
Carbohydrates break down into glucose in the small intestine which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Spices like Cayenne pepper stimulate glucose absorption from the small intestine, according to a Hungarian study published in the March 18, 2006 issue of the “European Journal of Pharmacology”. Add a bit to cayenne pepper to your home-cooked meals to stabilize your blood sugar levels naturally. The entire pepper family – including bell peppers, chilli peppers, and cayenne are known to help fight inflammation. That is why they are prized in several Asian culinary traditions. Use Cayenne wisely to get its anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
This is another effective herb for diabetes treatment that has shown immense medicinal potential. Not only does it help type 2 diabetics, who suffer from high blood sugar levels, but it is also quite effective in treating diabetes mellitus. Bilberry contains a compound called glucoquinine, which is chiefly responsible for lowering the blood sugar levels. Bilberry infusions can also help people whose eyesight has been compromised due to this disease. However, you should be careful if you are taking bilberry infusion along with diabetes medication as it might cause your blood sugar to drop to dangerous levels. So, monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.
Neem or Azadirachta indica is native to India. It also grows in the neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Neem trees have bright to dark green leaves that possess many medicinal properties. In fact, its bark and fruit are also used in traditional medicines. Ayurveda says that neem has antidiabetic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. A few studies show that it possesses blood glucose-lowering properties. This confirms neem’s antidiabetic property as mentioned in Ayurveda.
How To Consume Neem & The Dosage
You can chew thoroughly washed leaves of neem or take neem paste or neem capsules. Here is how much neem you should consume.
- Neem leaves: 4-5
- Neem paste: 1 teaspoon
- Neem capsule: As per instructions on the bottle When To Consume Neem
You should consume neem paste diluted in a glass of water early in the morning. Chewing neem leaves in the morning is also effective. Take neem supplements before breakfast once a day.
This herb is commonly used in India as a traditional medicine for diabetes. Studies in animals suggest that holy basil may increase the secretion of Hormones. A controlled trial of holy basil in people with type 2 diabetes showed a positive effect on fasting blood sugar and on blood sugar following a meal.