We happen to live in the times where most prescriptions will not only drain you financially but also have numerous side effects. It is for this reason that people have been seeking alternatives and it has all been for the worthy course. The same is true when it comes to type 2 diabetes since most people are opting out of prescription and instead opting for a change if lifestyle, adopting a healthy diet and taking natural supplements all in attempt to maintain stable regular blood glucose levels. There are also those who opt to use herbs and all have proved to work better with fewer side effects compared to diabetes meds.
Whether you are a diabetic or not, maintaining stable blood glucose levels should be your top priority! Basically, unstable blood sugar levels can have serious health effects if left no precautions are taken. On the positive side, there are spices and herbs that have been scientifically proven to lower blood glucose levels for both people living with diabetes and the pre-diabetics. As well know herbs and spices have numerous health benefits other than lowering the blood sugar levels and this means that you will not only lower the blood glucose levels but also the overall health benefits.
It is, however, important to know that not everything qualifies to be called herbs. Some are poisonous whereas others won’t serve the intended purpose.
It is also important to know that herbs are from the green and leafy part and not the roots. However, spices are from the other parts of a plant other than the green and leafy parts. Spices are derived from parts such as seeds, barks, bulb, roots, and stems.
Well, now that you are enlightened on that field we can proceed and have a look at some of the most popular herbs and spices. Normally, animals are used as test subjects when performing dietary experiments, however, in this case, some of the herbs and spices such as ginger and garlic are already considered as food. This means that most people consume them as part of their day to day diet without necessarily knowing the additional health benefits. And, since most of the herbs have no noted side effects most of these herbs have been tested on humans and have been proved to work.
14 of the best herbs that will definitely lower your blood glucose levels
This is by far the best herb to consider if you want to lower your blood sugar levels. How does Gymnema Sylvestre help in lowering glucose levels in the blood? It improved how glucose is utilized in the body cells and as a result reducing the levels in the bloodstream. This herb also inhibits the release of more glucose by the lover into the blood. This in return will help lower the triglycerides and cholesterol levels. The herb works to both people with type 1 diabetes and types 2 diabetes. Gymnema Sylvestre also helps in rejuvenating the beta cells found in the pancreas as a result, curing the condition.
Basically, the herb was natively grown in South and Central India and has been used as traditional medicine dating back to the 6th century BC. It is believed that the herbs have a compound gymnemic acid which has been scientifically proven to have the ability to slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. There are also those scientists who believe that Gymnema Sylvestre extracts have the ability to rejuvenate the beta cells in the pancreas and hence facilitate the production of insulin.
In yet another experiment conducted with rats as subjects, the extracts of the herb when administered to the rats were able to basically double the number of islets they regenerated as well as the beta cells. The conclusion was that this lowered the blood glucose levels as well as increase the amount of insulin secreted in the body.
Cinnamon is relatively famous both in the cosmetic industry and the medical industry. Cinnamon has been found to affect the glycemic and lipid profile of people living with type 2 diabetes positively. This is attributed largely to the 18% polyphenol. Cinnamon is a native Indian spice and helps maintain stable blood glucose levels by improving the sensitivity of insulin. If the publication on the American Board of Family Medicine, it was found that cinnamon helps lower the HbA1C by 0.83% which is higher than the 0.37% in standard prescriptions. Taking cinnamon also helps in lowering the serum HbA1C to people with type 2 diabetes.
According to experiments done to rats as the test subjects, it was found that cloves protected the liver and the heart. Basically, the spice has 30% antioxidant phenol that is in form of dry weight. This is not the only antioxidant since cloves also have antioxidants quercetin and anthocyanins. This means that cloves possess both germicidal and antiseptic properties. You will also get analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits all which are vital for people with diabetes.
In yet another study, 36 people were used as test subjects and divided into 4 groups which were given 3, 2, 1 and 0 clover in a day. This was followed up by a 10-day washout. The results were as follows:
- Serum glucose reduced from to 150 from 225 mg/dL with an error margin of 46 and 67 respectively.
- The triglycerides reduced to 203 from 235 mg/ dL with an error margin of 86 and 63 respectively.
- Total serum cholesterol reduced to 239 from 273 mg/dL with an error margin of 47 and 78 respectively.
- LDL reduced to 145 from 175 mg/dL with an error margin of 44 and 73 respectively.
Most people know rosemary for its aromatic flavor that is used to add flavor in soups and meat. But did you know that Rosemary helps in maintaining stable blood sugar levels? Well, now you know. Rosemary also helps in weight loss which is a major concern when it comes to people with diabetes. In a recent study where rats were used as test subjects, it was found that rosemary helps in lowering the lipid profile as well as the glucose levels in normal rats and those with diabetes. In the study when rosemary extracts were administered to rats with diabetes for a period of 4 weeks it was found that the blood glucose levels decreased by 20%, cholesterol levels decreased by 22%, triglyceride levels decreased by 24% whereas the HDC raised by 18%. The findings of this study were published in 2012.
This herb is quite popular in Italy, Spanish and the Mediterranean region and is famous for its ability to lower blood glucose levels. In a study that was done in Mexico with diabetic rats as test subjects, it was found that when oregano was induced to them it increased the oxidative stress by inhibiting lipid peroxidants. Oregano also has the ability to delay or rather prevent renal damage. Well, next time you are cooking make sure that this herb is part of the ingredients.
If the finding of the British Journal of Nutrition is anything to go by then we can comfortably say that sage has effects similar to those of metformin. This makes sage an essential ingredient when preparing meals. This herb has been used as traditional medicine for decades if not centuries due to its ability to reduce the blood glucose levels. It is important to note that taking too much sage along with diabetes meds can cause your blood sugar levels to fall below average leading to a condition known as hypoglycemia. Always monitor your blood glucose levels when taking sage.
Curry leaves are yet another native Indian spice and are famous for its ability to stabilize the blood sugar levels and speed up the carbohydrate metabolism. According to an Indian study that investigates the effects of curry leaves on people living with type 2 diabetes, it was found that curry leaves have a compound phytochemical that helps control the blood glucose levels. Curry leaves reduce the postprandial and fasting blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In the study, diabetic rats were used as test subjects and after curry leaves were administered to the rats it helps influence the metabolism of carbohydrates as well as improved how the kidney and the liver functioned. Curry leaves also help in the secretion of insulin by speeding up the rate on which pancreatic cells are made.
Based on the findings of a study published in 2005, when garlic was administered to diabetic rats orally. It was found to lower the serum glucose levels, levels of bad cholesterol, urea, triglycerides, uric acid, AST, and creatinine. At the same time, the levels of serum insulin increased in diabetic rats used as test subjects, the rise in serum insulin was not found in rats that had no diabetes. These are the properties that make garlic a crucial spice in most recipes.
Other than soothing the stomach and helping in the digestion process ginger also has the ability to maintain stable blood glucose levels. In several experiments where rats were used as test subjects, ginger was found to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides while at the same time raise the levels of bad cholesterol. Most diabetic people have digestion disorders and this is soothed by ginger.
Turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties all which help the diabetic maintain stable blood glucose levels. Turmeric helps in boosting the immunity system and as a result reducing the risk of contacting most diseases that diabetics are prone to. Curcumin is the active ingredient contained in turmeric and helps in reducing the plasma sugar levels, HbA1C and improves the lipid profile. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help in reducing joint pains which is a condition relatively common among the diabetic.
Basically, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the small intestines where they are absorbed into the blood. When you add spices like cayenne to your diet it helps the absorption process and this will naturally stabilize the blood glucose levels. By using cayenne wisely you will be tapping into its inflammatory properties as well.
For a herb that helps lower the blood sugar levels marjoram is a herb that can be used as a substitute for oregano to add a distinct flavor to the food. Being rich in polyphenols it helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Based on a 2012 publication marjoram helps in reducing the formation of AGE (Advanced Glycation End)! This is a compound responsible for the most complications diabetics experience.
Studies have shown that fenugreek seeds help in lowering the blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbs in the small intestines. Fenugreek performs the same faction as acarbose which is a diabetic prescription. You can either soak the fenugreek seeds overnight then use them as an ingredient in a recipe, use the seeds when in powder form or even chew the soaked seeds raw.
Ginseng not only reduces the resistance of insulin but also reduces the HbA1C. In China, this herb has been used for centuries due to the ability to lower blood sugar levels. Ginseng found in India helps cure both Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
Herbs in lowering blood sugar levels
Most of the herbs and herbs that possess the ability to reduce blood sugar levels are not only to find but are tasty and will add a unique flavor to your food.