Here is a list of 10 indian herbs widely known for helping control blood sugar levels, reduce resistance to insulin, and prevent diabetes-related complications. These herbs are:
- Curry Leaves (Murraya Koenigi)
Commonly used as a seasoning agent in cooking, curry leaves are known to aid weight loss. Grind curry leaves with coconut and use it in a dip or add it to your yogurt as a seasoning.
- Neem Leaves (Azadirachta indica)
Widely known in India for its anti-diabetic properties, Neem leaves can be used as either dried powder or juice. Neem leaves are bitter, so you may find it difficult to follow this regimen. In that case you can sweeten it with honey. You will have to follow this method for a prolonged period of time before you see any noticeable results. The recommended dosage for diabetic patients is typically five ml in the morning.
- Blueberry Leaves (Vaccinium Myrtillus)
Traditionally utilized as a natural treatment for diabetes, blueberry has an active ingredient called myrtillin that helps reduce blood glucose levels. It’s also known to strengthen the blood vessels and to reduce the adverse effects of free radicals in the body. Blueberry leaves are also used in the treatment of diabetic eye diseases such as cataract and retinopathy.
- Tenner’s Cassia
The flower and seeds of Tenner’s Cassia are known to be beneficial in lowering blood glucose levels. Add the flower leaves in your tea, mix a bit of honey, and consume daily.
- Aloe Vera
You may have heard of Aloe Vera as a herbal remedy for burns and skin diseases, but recent studies shows the possibility of Aloe Vera’s ability to reduce blood glucose levels. A recent Japanese study isolated phytosterol compounds from Aloe Vera gel that could lower blood sugar. In addition glycosylated hemoglobin levels were also found to be controlled with the use of Aloe Vera gel.
- Sweet Potato Leaves
Unlike sweet potato (which contains a lot of starch), sweet potato leaves are known to be quite effective in treating diabetes. Simply add sweet potato leaves to your tea leaves when preparing your tea and consume daily.
- Indian Kino (Pterocarpus Marsupium)
Indian Kino also known as Malabar Kino is a giant deciduous tree found in South India and Sri Lanka. It is also known as Pitasara or Venga. It’s known for lowering the glucose absorption from the gastrointestinal tract as well as in increasing insulin levels in the body. It is also known to regenerate pancreatic cells that produce insulin. This regeneration is something no other drug or herbal remedy has been able to achieve.
- Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Fenugreek is another popular herb used in the Eastern world. It’s commonly used in Indian, Mediterranean and Persian cuisines. You can grow it in your backyard or inside the house in a pot. Fenugreek leaves as well as seeds are used as seasoning in most Indian foods. Fenugreek seeds are fiber rich and that is what contributes to its ability to control diabetes. There is another active component in the fenugreek seeds known as trigonelline which has blood sugar lowering properties. Fenugreek has other medicinal properties such as the ability to improve appetite and manage gastrointestinal problems and skin diseases. It is also known to improve lactation and aid faster healing of wounds.
Gooseberry or Amla is locally known in India as a good source of Vitamin C. Traditionally the juice of gooseberry was mixed with bitter gourd juice as a treatment for diabetes. The ratio is typically one teaspoon of gooseberry juice for one cup of bitter gourd juice. Alma is known to improve the insulin generation capability of the pancreas. Amla can also be used in powdered form after drying and grounding it. The vitamins are preserved even in the dried form. Gooseberry is considered a much better source of Vitamin C than grapefruit and lemons. It also reduces body fat and is good for the eyes. Thus it can effectively delay the onset of diabetic retinopathy in patients.
Obtained from the bark of a tropical evergreen tree of the Lauraceae family, cinnamon is one of the most popular traditional spices. You may have added it to your tea, or may have used it while cooking, but did you know that it could reduce blood glucose levels as well as cholesterol levels? Cinnamon has other medicinal properties such as its ability to reduce nausea and increase appetite. It is also known to be a cure for gastro-intestinal problems such as gas and indigestion. Cinnamon is known to improve the insulin response of fat cells in the body and can increase the conversion of blood glucose to energy by as much as 200%. It also reduces the formation of free radicals thereby delaying the manifestation of diabetic complications.
*The information presented in this article is not meant as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider before changing or implementing new treatment for your diabetes.