Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder of the endocrine system. The metabolic disorder develops when the liver or pancreas does not function normally, like in the case of Diabetes.
Herbs to fight diabetes
Many conventional drugs have been derived and developed from molecules in medicinal plants.
For example, Metformin an efficacious oral glucose-lowering agent is developed based on the plant Galega officinalis used to treat diabetes.
Approximately, 44% of diabetes patients develop resistance to sulfonylureas treatment within six years.
Some anti-diabetic agents can cause toxic effects. Thiazolidinedione may cause liver toxicity. Sulfonylureas have an association with adverse effects such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. It may also worsen heart disease, cause hypoglycemia and increase the body weight gain.
The National Health Interview Survey found 22 % of diabetes used herbal therapy!
Natural plants provide hypoglycemic property and widely used in traditional systems to treat diabetes. These plants delay diabetic complications, exhibit antioxidant activity, and cholesterol-lowering property.
12 Diabetes Herbs with hypoglycemic property
As per ancient literature, there are more than 800 plants having anti-diabetic properties. The literature indicates diabetes exists since prehistoric age.
Co-administration of conventional drug and herbal medicine may cause potential interactions that lead to adverse events. So get doctor’s consent before starting herbal treatment.
- Bitter Melon is a vegetable used in India and other Asian countries. People use bitter melon fruit and seeds as medicine for the treatment of diabetes, stomach & intestinal problems, etc. It is believed to increases glucose uptake, improves glucose tolerance and decreases hepatic glucose production. Also, it has an anti-hyperlipidemia effect. To learn more, visit Better Melon.
- Aloe Vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. It has appeared to exhibit anti-diabetic action and enhances glucose metabolism, thus results in blood glucose lowering effect. Aloe Vera has been used in traditional Indian medicine for constipation, skin problems, worm & fungal infections and for colic. To learn more, visit Aloe Vera.
- Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of genus Cinnamomum. It has anti-diabetic effect by mimicking insulin. It improves insulin-mediated glucose metabolism and enhances insulin signaling. Additionally, it lowers cholesterol level, particularly LDL cholesterol. To learn more, visit Cinnamon.
- Fenugreek seeds are loaded with health-improving properties. It slows down the glucose absorption and other simple carbohydrates. It appears to possess anti-diabetic effect. To learn more, visit Fenugreek.
- Ivy’s gourd leaves, root, and fruit are used to make medicine. It has anti-diabetic effect by mimicking insulin. It also possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties, which protects against plaque formation and thus, to some extent it may prevent heart diseases and strokes. To learn more, visit Ivy’s gourd.
- Salacia Oblonga is native to India and Sri Lanka, its root and stem are used to make medicine. It possesses anti-diabetic effect by binding with intestinal enzyme alpha-glycosidase that break down carbohydrates into glucose in the body, so lessen glucose gets into the bloodstream. To learn more, visit Salacia Oblonga.
- Ginseng is the root of the genus Panax, such as Korean ginseng, South China ginseng, and American ginseng. It has anti-diabetic property, which mimics insulin and alters hepatic glucose metabolism. It is believed to increase insulin production and reduces cell death in pancreatic beta cells. To learn more, visit Ginseng.
- Gymnema Sylvestre is nicknamed as the sugar destroyer; it destroys the sweet taste. It is believed to increase insulin production by regeneration of the pancreas cells. It helps improve glucose uptake by the cells by increasing the activity of the glucose utilizing enzymes and stops adrenaline from stimulating the liver to dump extra glucose. To learn more, visit Gymnema.
- Eugenia jambolana (Jamun) is called Indian Blackberry traditionally used as a viable herb for treating diabetes. The leaves, berries, and seeds of this plant are believed to lower glucose level in the blood. Powdered dried seeds or leaves of this plant can be swallowed with water twice a day.
- Mangifera indica (Mango) leaves believed to possess hypoglycemic activity and used as an antidiabetic agent in Nigerian folk medicine. It may be due to reduced absorption of glucose in the intestine.
- Ocimum sanctum (holy basil) is commonly known as Tulsi. The aqueous extract of leaves believed to reduce blood sugar level. Tulsi possesses hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, reduce fasting blood glucose, and lower total cholesterol, triglyceride & total lipid.
- Aegle Marmelos (Bilva, Bael) leaves improve digestion and reduces blood sugar, urea, and serum cholesterol. It also prevents peak rise in blood sugar at 1h in oral glucose tolerance test.
Unlike conventional drugs, herbal medicines are complex mixtures of bioactive compounds. Season, growing condition, processing method can vary the constitutions of the bioactive compound.
If you decided to take herb to manage diabetes, then you should be vigilant from one pack to another. Because the herb’s hypoglycemic response may vary from one pack to another.
Also, some study results show a considerable amount of hypoglycemic effect of the herbs, but not all. That is the study results are not consistent, so if you want to try herbal remedies to so with caution.