So you just got the news you are a Type 2 diabetic.
Or you've been diagnosed as a diabetic for a while, but realized the pharmaceutical medications made you feel just as awful as the blood sugar dips!
Well, you've made a good decision by stopping by my blog to discover healthier alternatives for your life.
But before we dive deep, let's introduce ourselves properly, shall we?
I'm just a parent, probably very much like you, who grew weary of getting no help from the medical system. My sons were diagnosed with a rare muscular dystrophy, and there wasn't much the doctors could do for them--except run endless tests that made them feel like a specimen in a science experiment.
I'll never forget the day they had my youngest son take his shirt off, while standing on a stage in front of a symposium of surgeons (around 500 doctors)...
He was only 12.
I thought to myself in that moment, there's got to be a better way.
One that doesn't involve the shenanigans the doctors had put us through.
A healthier, more natural alternative way to get off the "Medical Merry-go-round".
It was a few weeks later and I had enrolled in my Naturopathic Doctor program.
And now I want to share what I learned with all of you!
"Nature itself is the best physician." - Hippocrates
Consulting with a Healthcare Professional Before Trying Natural Remedies for Diabetes Type 2
Before I go any further I want to quickly drop in a disclaimer--
The following post is for educational purposes only.
I am not a medical doctor.
I do not prescribe, treat, or diagnose.
Take all of my recommendations to your prescribing medical professional.
I am not responsible for any adverse effects caused by engaging in a course of health treatment using any of the advice found in this blog post or throughout my blog.
Now onto the herbal remedies...
Herbal Teas That Can Help in Diabetes Control
Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty, folks! We're going to chat about some amazing herbal teas that can give you a helping hand in managing your type 2 diabetes. Remember, these teas are not a magic cure, but they can certainly lend a hand in controlling your blood sugar levels.
Green Tea: It's packed with polyphenols which help your body to use insulin more efficiently. Green tea also has an amino acid called theanine that helps reduce stress. And hey, who couldn't use a little less stress in their lives, right?
Cinnamon Tea: Studies suggest that cinnamon can improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon's magic lies in its ability to lower blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to insulin.
Ginseng Tea: Known for its potential to boost energy and reduce stress, it's like a two-for-one deal! But there's more - it also has the potential to help reduce blood sugar levels after meals. So, why not enjoy a cup of ginseng tea with your dinner?
Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea has been suggested to help reduce blood sugar levels and can also help with digestion problems.
The Role of Berberine in Regulating Blood Sugar
Ever asked yourself, "What is natural remedies for diabetes type 2?"
Well now that I've shown you some teas to make, let me introduce you to the fantastic world of herbal remedies!
In our quest for natural remedies, we have discovered a golden gem - Berberine.
Here's the scoop: Berberine is a compound found in several different plants, including Barberry, Oregon grape, and Goldenseal. It's been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, and now, modern science is catching up with its benefits.
Herbal remedies are natural substances that have been used for centuries to treat various health conditions.--HopkinsMedicine.org
But how exactly does it work, you ask? Allow me to explain.
Berberine and Blood Sugar: A Dynamic Duo
Our bodies break down carbs into sugar (glucose), which then enters our cells with the help of insulin. When you have type 2 diabetes, though, the cells resist insulin’s help and sugar builds up in your blood.
And trust me, that's not good!
That's where berberine comes in. It helps reduce insulin resistance, making it easier for the insulin to shuttle the sugar into the cells.
Exploring the Potential of Gymnema Sylvestre in Diabetes Management
Next on our list of powerful herbs is my personal favorite, Gymnema.
Gymnema Sylvestre is a woody climbing shrub that is native to the tropical forests of India, Africa and Australia. It's been used in Ayurvedic medicine for almost 3,000 years to treat a variety of ailments, but it truly shines when it comes to managing type 2 diabetes.
(And if it's been used for almost three millenia, then it has GOT to be good...)
How does it work, you ask?
Well, the leaves of the Gymnema Sylvestre plant contain gymnemic acids, which have been found to slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
This means less sugar enters your blood, helping to balance your blood sugar levels. And that's not all - some research also suggests that Gymnema Sylvestre "supplementation significantly reduces fasting blood glucose" in over 490 study participants.
If that doesn't excite you, then nothing will...!
Using Garlic to Support Cardiovascular Health and Blood Sugar Control
Did you know that garlic isn't just for warding off vampires or adding a little zing to your spaghetti sauce? It's actually a super-powered bulb that comes with some amazing health benefits. Among its many talents, garlic has been known to help in the control of blood sugar levels, and support cardiovascular health. Scientists have been studying garlic for years, and they’ve discovered that it can help lower blood glucose levels. It's like having a little warrior inside your body fighting off those pesky high sugar levels! Now, don't go chomping down on a raw garlic bulb just yet (your taste buds might not be too thrilled with that idea).
Instead, here's how you can use this power-packed bulb:
Garlic Supplements: These are easily available and are a fantastic way to get a concentrated dose of garlic, without the strong flavor. Always remember to check with your doctor before starting any new supplement routine. (And FYI...they will make you burp awful, garlic-tasting burps...)
Fresh Garlic: Incorporate more fresh garlic into your meals. You can add it to your salads, stir-fries, or even your soups!
Aged Garlic Extract: This form of garlic is aged over a long period and then extracted to provide a potent dose of garlic’s beneficial compounds. It’s available in capsule form and offers the benefits of garlic without the garlic breath.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. - Hippocrates
The Healing Properties of Holy Basil for Diabetic Patients
Since we seem to be talking about our food becoming our medicine, let's talk about a super cool herb that's not just for your Italian pasta sauce... Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi. You've probably seen it in your local health food store... but did you know it can do wonders for those managing type 2 diabetes?
"Results indicated a significant decrease in fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels during treatment with holy basil leaves compared to during treatment with placebo leaves."--International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Wait, what does that mean in plain English?
Well, study participants who consumed holy basil saw a big drop in their blood sugar levels.
And not just after meals (that's what "postprandial" means, by the way) - even their fasting blood sugar decreased. This herb is a winner!
Can I get a "HalleluYah"?!
So, how can you add this magic leaf to your routine? Here are a few suggestions:
Steep some leaves in hot water for a calming tea.
Chop up fresh leaves and add them to your salad or stir-fry.
Look for holy basil supplements at your local health food shop.
Remember, it's all about the small, consistent changes.
If you're living with type 2 diabetes, every little bit helps, doesn't it? So, why not add a sprinkle of holy basil to your life? You might just be surprised at the power of this humble herb.
Incorporating Bitter Melon into Your Diabetes Management
First things first, don't let the name turn you off.
Bitter melon might not sound like the tastiest treat in the fruit bowl, but when it comes to natural remedies for diabetes, this spiky green guy is a champ.
But how can this bitter fruit help you manage your diabetes?
Studies have shown that bitter melon can lead to a "decrease in fasting blood glucose levels than those of the diabetic untreated group".--Lifesciencesite.com
Wait, what? In simple terms, that means eating bitter melon can help lower your blood sugar levels. Isn't that something?
But how can you incorporate this into your diet? Another excellent question, my friend! Here are a few ways:
Drink it: You can juice bitter melon and drink it as a refreshing beverage. Sure, the flavor might take getting used to, but your blood sugar levels will thank you!
Cook it: Bitter melon can be cooked and eaten as part of a meal. Think stir-fries or stuffed bitter melon.
Supplement it: If the taste isn't your thing, bitter melon supplements are also available.
However you choose to take bitter melon, the important thing is that you're taking a step towards managing your diabetes in a natural way. Go you!
Discovering the Benefits of Turmeric for Diabetes
Have you ever thought about the magic that lies in your kitchen cabinet?
Oh yes, you heard it right.
I'm specifically speaking about the humble turmeric--that golden spice used in traditional Indian cuisine--that might just be the secret weapon for controlling type 2 diabetes.
Turmeric has been used for millennia in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide range of ailments.
But, can it really help with diabetes? Well, guess what? Science seems to be backing up these age-old claims. This might sound a bit complicated, but stick with me here.
"Both turmeric and curcumin decrease blood sugar level in alloxan-induced diabetes in rats."--International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Let me break it down for you.
Simply put, studies have shown that both turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, can help lower blood sugar levels.
And we're not just talking about humans here.
Even in rats, when diabetes was induced artificially, turmeric came to the rescue! Isn't that something?
So, the next time you're cooking, why not sprinkle a little extra turmeric in your meal? Not only will it add a vibrant color and a warm, earthy flavor to your dish, but it might also do wonders for your health. Go ahead, give it a try and let Mother Nature lend you a hand. Or should I say, a spoon?
I also recommend a high quality turmeric supplement--especially one sourced from an Ayuverdic company.
The Role of Ginger in Lowering Blood Sugar
Have you ever tasted ginger and felt that energizing sting on your tongue? (I know I have!) Well, imagine that invigorating zing working its magic on your blood sugar levels.
Yes, you heard it right! Ginger, our humble kitchen spice, is a powerhouse of health benefits, especially for folks like us grappling with type 2 diabetes. Now, you may be thinking, "How does this work?" Let me break it down for you in a table:
Benefits of Ginger
Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Gingerols, the active compounds in ginger, can lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. It's like a natural sugar buster!
Prevents Heart Diseases
Did you know high blood sugar often goes hand-in-hand with heart issues? Ginger helps to lower cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.
All illness has inflammation, but ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that can help fight off inflammation.
Our digestive system plays a pivotal role in maintaining our blood sugar levels. And guess what? Ginger can help improve digestion.
So, why not seize this opportunity and introduce some ginger into our daily meals? Not only does it add a flavorful punch, but it also gives us a fighting chance against type 2 diabetes. Pretty neat, huh?
Aloe Vera: A Soothing Herb with Potential Anti-Diabetic Effects
Well, well, well, who would have thought that the same plant you turn to for sunburn relief could also help manage your blood sugar?
That's right—I'm talking about the humble aloe vera plant.
This spiky, green miracle worker is not just a pretty face—it has some real substance too!
Various studies have demonstrated the potential anti-diabetic properties of aloe vera. Not only does it have a soothing effect on sunburns, but it might also soothe your worries about fluctuating blood sugar levels.
"We investigated the effect of oral administration of one tablespoonful of aloe vera juice, twice a day for at least 2 weeks in patients with diabetes. Blood sugar and triglyceride levels in the treated group fell."--Science Direct
Why Aloe Vera?
It's a fair question—why aloe vera? Well, here's the scoop: aloe vera is packed to the brim with powerful compounds like polysaccharides and phytosterols. These big fancy words just mean that the plant has substances that could help lower glucose levels in your blood.
Moreover, aloe vera can help improve insulin sensitivity—kinda like a translator between your body and insulin, making sure they understand each other. And when your body and insulin are on good terms, controlling your diabetes becomes a bit easier.
How to Use Aloe Vera?
Now, before you start munching on an aloe leaf, let's talk actual usage. Aloe vera can be used in various forms for potential blood sugar control. You can use it as fresh pulp, juice, or even in capsule form. But remember, moderation is key! Don't go guzzling gallons of aloe juice just yet.
Fresh pulp: Scoop out the fresh aloe pulp and blend it into your smoothies or spread it on your toast—but be forewarned...it's pretty bitter!
Juice: You can buy pre-made aloe juice from health stores, or make your own at home. A Tablespoon of this can be taken twice daily.
Capsules: If you're not a fan of the taste, aloe vera supplements are available in capsule form. Always follow the recommended dosage on the package.
The Potential of Fenugreek in Controlling Diabetes
Have you ever heard about a little herb called fenugreek? If not, allow me to enlighten you!
Fenugreek is not just your average spice on the rack. It's a sort of super spice!
This humble herb, native to the Mediterranean region, is packed full of benefits, and one of them just happens to be its potential in controlling diabetes.
Let's dive a little deeper, shall we?
"By the end of intervention period, cumulative incidence rate of diabetes reduced significantly in Fenugreek group when compared to controls. The Fenugreek group also saw a significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose (FPG), postprandial plasma glucose (PPPG) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc) whereas serum insulin increased significantly. "--Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders
In a nutshell, the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders has found that Fenugreek, a common herb, can significantly reduce the incidence rate of diabetes.
Let me summarize their findings and put it in layman's terms for you:
First, it can reduce the chances of getting diabetes. Pretty cool, right?
Next, it helps lower your blood sugar levels when you haven't eaten anything (this is called fasting plasma glucose).
It also helps lower your blood sugar levels after you've eaten a meal (this is known as postprandial plasma glucose).
And guess what else? It even helps in reducing bad cholesterol levels (the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol).
Plus, it boosts the level of insulin in your blood. That's super important because insulin is the stuff that helps your body use the sugar from the food you eat.
So, Fenugreek is not just a tasty spice, it's a real-life champ in the fight against type 2 diabetes!
Ginseng: A Traditional Herb That May Help Manage Blood Sugar
And finally, we arrive at ginseng - one of the most popular herbs in traditional medicine--having been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Ginseng, specifically the American and Asian varieties, have shown potential in helping manage blood sugar levels.
Research suggests that these types of ginseng can improve fasting blood glucose levels. Plus, it's been suggested that ginseng might even help the body use insulin more effectively. Now, that's impressive!
But how does it work? Well, experts believe that ginseng can affect insulin production and improve insulin resistance. In other words, it's like giving your body a little extra helping hand to manage sugar.
Ain't that sweet (pun intended--har har)?
The Journal of American Medical Association states that Ginseng has...
"...significant blood glucose–lowering action both in nondiabetic subjects and subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus when ginseng was given 40 minutes prior to the test meal."--JAMA Internal Medicine
Now, I know you're asking, "How do I use ginseng?" Well, you can consume it in various forms - from tea, to capsules, to extracts. It's like the Swiss Army knife of herbs! But remember, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting or stopping any treatment - yes, even herbal ones.
Exploring the Power of Cinnamon for Diabetes Management
Let's talk about something sweet... and no, I'm not talking about a mouthwatering, chocolate cupcake that may or may not be calling your name...(we've all been there, am I right?). I'm talking about cinnamon! Yes, the same cinnamon that adds that delightful kick to your oatmeal or apple pie. But get this: beyond its culinary uses, cinnamon has been praised in the world of herbal medicine for its potential to help manage blood sugar levels. Who knew?
Now, you might be thinking, "How can something so sweet help with my diabetes?" Well, it's not so much about the sweetness, but the compounds found in cinnamon. In fact, a compound called Cinnamaldehyde is believed to be responsible for cinnamon's health benefits.
Here's the science part - don't worry, I'll keep it simple.
Cinnamaldehyde may help to increase insulin sensitivity, meaning that your body could do a better job at regulating blood sugar levels.
"Based on the study findings, it can be concluded that cinnamon supplementation (500 mg capsules twice daily) can improve anthropometric parameters, glycemic indices, and lipid profile of patients with type II diabetes. These benefits are significantly more prominent in patients with higher BMI (BMI ≥ 27)."--Science Direct
In simpler words, this study says that taking 500 mg cinnamon capsules two times a day helps people with type 2 diabetes.
It can help them with their body measurements, sugar levels, and fat levels in their blood.
The results of cinnamon taken daily were even better for folks who have a bigger body size (a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 27 or more).
So, how can you incorporate cinnamon into your daily routine?
Add it to your breakfast - A sprinkle of it into your oatmeal or on top of your toast can do wonders.
Spice up your coffee or tea - Want a comforting, spicy kick? Cinnamon's got you covered!
Capsule Form--find a high-quality brand of cinnamon in capsule form and add it to your daily intake. Be sure and watch your blood sugar levels!
Cautionary Notes: Potential Herb-Drug Interactions
Now, hold on a sec! Before you start brewing your own herbal concoctions, there's something super important we need to talk about - herb-drug interactions.
I know, I know...it sounds a bit scary, but don't worry.
Read on, and remember that knowledge is power!
What are Herb-Drug Interactions?
Herb-drug interactions happen when an herb you're taking messes with a medication you're on.
It's like if two of your best friends suddenly don't get along - it can throw a real wrench in your day!
In this case, the interaction could either make your medication less effective or cause unwanted side effects. Yikes!
How Can I Avoid Them?
Great question! The easiest way to avoid herb-drug interactions is to always - and I mean always - let your healthcare provider know about the herbs you're taking.
They can help you understand if there's a potential conflict with your medications.
And remember, not all herbs are safe for everyone, so it's essential to check in with your doctor before starting any new herbal remedy.
A Few Examples of Potential Interactions
Ginseng: This herb may affect blood sugar levels and could interfere with diabetes medications.
Garlic: Regular use of garlic could potentially interact with blood thinners or medications for high blood pressure.
Fenugreek: This herb can also affect blood sugar levels and may interfere with diabetes medications.
So there you have it! It's like crossing the street - you wouldn't do it without looking both ways, right?
Same goes for mixing herbs and medications. Always check with your healthcare provider and stay safe!
And remember - approach herbal remedies with the same caution you'd give to medications.
Because, after all, God's Creation can pack quite a punch!
Meet Dr. Carrie Brown, ND
Hi there! I'm Dr. Carrie Brown, a Naturopathic Doctor with a serious passion for holistic health and wellness. My love for natural remedies isn't just a hobby - it's my life! I've dedicated my career to helping people like you find wholesome, natural ways to manage their health.
With a degree from the prestigious Trinity School of Natural Health and Western Governor's University, I've spent almost the last two decades exploring the world of natural health and wellness. From the lush jungles of Costa Rica to the high mountains of the Himalayas, I've sought out nature's most powerful remedies - and boy, have I found them!
(Although, I have to confess, I haven't actually discovered them personally...I just found high-quality products from those places...)
I'm not just your average ND though...
I'm a naturopathic doctor who believes firmly that laughter is the best medicine--"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine..."--Proverbs 17:22
So you can always expect a good joke or two when you're around me!
"My ultimate goal is to empower you to make the best possible decisions for your health. Because, after all, who knows your body better than you?" - Dr. Carrie Brown, ND
So, whether you're searching for relief from type 2 diabetes, seeking a natural way to manage stress, or simply curious about the world of herbal remedies, you're in the right place. Welcome to the wonderful, wild world of naturopathy!
And remember, God's Creation really does pack quite a punch!