Indeed, there are several well-known and highly respected glucose support herbs that may help control blood sugar levels for diabetes sufferers. In fact, in the past two decades there has been an explosion of interest in natural medicine as millions of people around the world have an ever-increasing appetite for information on diet, nutrition, nutritional supplements, medicinal herbs, and natural remedies.
We would be remiss if we did not mention to you that the most important aspect of managing diabetes is ensuring that you eat a healthy, balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, and get regular exercise. Moreover, supplements work best, including glucose support herbs, when you also make these health enhancing lifestyle changes.
Now, before we delve into herbs that may be helpful for diabetes sufferers, it’s important to understand that herbs and/or dietary supplements are not meant to replace the advice of your physician and you should never stop using your medications or insulin, or alter your dosage, without your physician’s approval. In fact, you should always consult with your physician before taking any glucose support herbs and/or any dietary supplements.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the most highly respected glucose support herbs that may possibly help you or a loved one.
Gymnema Sylvestre, also known as the “sugar destroyer,” is highly touted as one that has the ability to block the taste of sweetness, and, as such, it helps to stave off the “cravings of sweets.” Gymnema Sylvestre has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for many centuries to regulate blood sugar levels. Indeed, gymnema is a well-known and highly respected Ayurvedic remedy used to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Bitter Melon- Ayurvedic physicians for centuries have used bitter melon, often along with other herbs, to treat type 2 diabetes. Bitter melon is said to regulate blood sugar levels. In fact, one of the chemical components of bitter melon called polypeptide-p is said to lower blood-sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes. According to the well renowned tome Prescription for Herbal Healing written by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC who states:
“Since, unlike insulin, polypeptide-p does not stimulate the movement of fat into fat cells, it has been considered as a replacement for at least some of the injected insulin that people with type 1 diabetes must take each day, although the herb cannot completely replace insulin. When used to treat this type of diabetes, polypeptide-p is effective only in injection form.” (Page 32).
Fenugreek seeds are among the list of glucose support herbs. It has been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels in clinical and experimental studies. Clinical studies in India have found that large doses of fenugreek seeds lowers blood-glucose levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, there is a negative side to this glucose support herb. You have to take a lot (15 to 100 grams daily) of fenugreek seeds to obtain an effect, and it is also associated with mild gastrointestinal upset.
Banaba Leaf Extract – Banaba is a medicinal plant that grows in India, Southeast Asia and the Philippines that is climbing the charts as a one of the glucose support herbs. In fact, banaba has been used in the Philippines to promote blood sugar control. Banaba contains a compound known as corosolic acid, which is believed to have actions in stimulating glucose transport into cells and, as such, plays a role Glucofort in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. In Japan, there has been some research done with banaba. However, we have not come across published human studies on this glucose support herb. On the other hand, our research indicates that there has been at least one human study with corosolic acid, which is an extract found in banaba and it showed to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels in type II diabetics.
But wait, there are more glucose support herbs…
Garlic and Onions are best known for reducing cholesterol. However, according to two Indian studies, this duo has also shown to lower blood sugar levels.
Ginseng was found effective in lowering blood sugar levels. In a small Finnish study, people newly diagnosed with non-insulin-dependent (Type II) diabetes received either 100 or 200 milligrams of a ginseng extract or placebos every day. Compared with individuals in the placebo group, the people in both ginseng groups not only reported lower blood sugar levels, but also greater improvement in mood as well as enhanced performance on physical and psychological tests. However, those taking 200 milligrams of ginseng experienced more benefit than those who took 100 milligrams.
Bilberry is an herb that is traditionally recommended to promote healthy blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. In addition, it is used to promote healthy insulin production as well. However, there’s more to this herb. Bilberry is a powerful antioxidant, which makes it an excellent source to help fight against the continuous onslaught of free radicals. Bilberry is also hailed for its ability to promote vision health. It appears to strengthen the tiny blood capillaries that carry oxygen to the eyes, which may account for its wide use in Europe to treat diabetic retinopathy.
Other glucose support herbs that may possibly help lower or improve blood-sugar levels include: Garlic, Psyllium, Burdock, and Nopal (prickly pear cactus).
Nutritional-Supplement-Educational-Centre’s Opinion on Glucose Support Herbs
Indeed, people with diabetes can benefit greatly from a number of herbal and dietary supplements, but before you begin to ingest any of these glucose support herbs, please have a discussion with your physician to see if they are appropriate for you.
It’s important to note that the mineral chromium seems to help lower blood sugar levels and is worth discussing with your physician.
Lastly, nowadays, there are many different comprehensive diabetes formulas that are designed to support diabetes health. For example, the product may be formulated using carefully selected ingredients to help maintain healthy insulin levels as well as the health and functioning of the liver, heart and pancreas. Therefore, it’s important to understand the how and why of what makes some of these comprehensive diabetes formulas useful, which is an important factor in making an informed choice.