Diabetes is a chronic condition that develops slowly over time and is related to elevated blood sugar levels. An estimated 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes and the condition is considered an epidemic due to the rising rates. There are some effective herbs for diabetes that help control blood sugar levels and manage diabetes symptoms.1,2
Diabetes occurs in people who stop producing normal levels of insulin when they consume a diet heavy in carbohydrates and sugars. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas, responsible for helping cells to take in glucose to be stored for energy. When the body has an adequate amount so energy, then the liver takes in glucose to store as glycogen. When insulin doesn’t work properly, it causes an elevation in the level of glucose in the blood—high blood sugar.1,2
There are two types of diabetes, each with different causes:
Type 1 Diabetes: Juvenile, or type 1 diabetes, is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack the cells that create insulin in the pancreas. This damage prevents the body from being able to create insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes may be triggered by a virus or an allergy to foods like wheat, cow’s milk or soy.
Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes, or insulin resistance, occurs typically in people over the age of 40 who are overweight. With type 2 diabetes, the body continues to produce insulin, but the affected person doesn’t respond to it properly, which prevents the proper break down and storage of blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes can lead to severe complications such as damaged nerves or vision loss.
Possible risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include:
- Being overweight
- Consuming a low-quality diet
- Having high inflammation markers
- Physical inactivity
- Family history of diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels)
- Having a hormonal condition like hyperthyroidism
Diabetes symptoms can include:
- Increased urination and thirst
- Blurred vision
- Sores that don’t heal
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tingling and numbness in hands and feet
Diabetes symptoms can be managed and controlled with the right lifestyle changes, such as an increase in physical activity and a diet low in sugars.
Top Herbs for Diabetes
To treat diabetes, it’s important to adjust your diet and lifestyle to include low glycemic herbs and foods that won’t spike blood sugar. Herbs that support liver and pancreas function are also important to consume because they help regulate insulin production.
Momordica Charantia - Momordica charantia, or bitter melon, has been studied for its natural antidiabetic effects because it helps to control blood sugar levels.
Pasuchaca - Pasuchaca is a traditional Peruvian herbal remedy for controlling and managing diabetes.
Moringa - Moringa is an herbal remedy with a rich nutrient content. The magnesium content in moringa leaf can help to control blood sugar levels and manage diabetes.
Quinoa - Quinoa is considered low on the glycemic index, meaning it’s a food that won’t cause a spike in blood sugar and can help manage glucose levels in people with diabetes.
Mulberry Leaf - Mulberry leaf is a natural remedy that has shown to help manage glucose levels and prevent insulin resistance.