Herbs for Diabetes

From ancient times to the present, people have treated several diseases with the awesome medicinal properties of plants and herbs, diabetes has not been the exception. Although there are several herbs well known for their healing properties, there are also two of them particularly famous for their efficacy supporting diabetes.

Banaba (Lagerstroemia Speciosa) is a widely studied herb from the Philippines used for support in diabetes mellitus which the leaves have the ability to maintain normal blood sugar simulating an "insulin-like" activity and it has been traditionally used to aid in cleansing the liver and in weight control because of its ability to assist in regulating blood sugar within the normal range.

Ampalaya (Bitter melon-Mormodica Charantia) is another Philippine herb under extensive research in recent years confirming its effectiveness in the treatment of diabetes, because of its properties to increase the production of beta cells by the pancreas, thus improving the body's natural ability to produce insulin. Perhaps it is the most popular remedy for diabetes throughout the Philippines, Asia, India and Africa.

Banaba and Ampalaya have been recommended by the Department of Health of the Philippines, as a remedy for liver problems, diabetes and HIV, confirming their properties to control diabetes by slowing the absorption of blood sugar. Ampalaya in its wild form is also widely cultivated as fruit, also know as bitter melon, balsam pear, bitter gourd, or cucumber

An intake of 2 oz twice a day of bitter melon juice, obtained either by blending the fruit with a small amount of water or by running the fruit through a juicer, is today one of the most popular remedies in Asia and the United States, along with Banaba leaves tea and coconut oil which offers more promise for diabetes sufferers.

However, there are many other medicinal herbs and spices helping in the treatment of diabetes such as Ginkgo Biloba, which improves circulation in individuals with diabetes, Fenugreek with fiber-rich seeds able to slow the absorption of blood sugar in the intestine lowering cholesterol levels, and Psyllium seeds acting similarly to fenugreek slowing down gastric emptying and reducing the rate at which glucose gets absorbed from the intestine.

Ginseng both American and Asian has been introduced to modern medicine as a popular ancient Chinese aphrodisiac, but its medicinal properties are not limited to this function. Ginseng is able to enhance the release of insulin from the pancreas increasing the body's ability to use it.

A daily intake of 200 milligrams for two to three weeks, followed by a one to two week break, is considered a safe dose in the treatment of diabetes, taking in mind that that large doses may cause nervousness, headaches, insomnia and diarrhea, and it may be not used by people with high blood pressure.

The different parts of Medicinal Plants can be easily differentiated by their leaves and other aromatic part of the plants. The leaves of fresh or dried plants are considered herbs, the fruit, berries, bud, roots, or bark are known as spices, and among these, Cinnamon is a spice that helps cells become more responsive to insulin.

A daily intake of a quarter to a full Cinnamon teaspoon sprinkled in juice, coffee or onto cereal is enough to regulate your insulin. Cayenne Pepper, used topically help decreasing diabetic nerve pain that may occur in legs, hands and feet. This spice is popularly know in its ointment form known as Capsaicin, and the recommended topical treatment may last for up to five days.

Using herb is not without risk, because they are also drugs, so if you try herbs as a treatment for diabetes symptoms, get the correct herb, making sure you identity it as the corresponding to its name, test only one herb at a time in its recommended dose watching for side effects, and stopping its use if any reaction occur, if possible contact your doctor immediately.

Herbs may effect your other medications so comment to your health care provider that you are trying with herbs, and monitor your blood sugar levels, while you keep eating healthy and exercising regularly.

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