September 22, 2010

Natural treatments for diabetes. (Not a cure) Part 3

Because of some of the problems and people that won't read labels or follow their doctors directions, I feel that the following is in order for all natural remedies.

The following information is for your reading and is not a cure. I am not endorsing any of these herbs, supplements, or natural remedies.

This is important!!! WARNING If you are taking supplements or anything that is not prescribed by the doctor, please make sure that the doctor is informed. Some of the supplements when taken with oral medications and/or insulin can cause hypoglycemia or have toxic results, even cause death.

This is important enough to tell you to maintain a Supplement Diary of every herb, vitamin, and supplement you are taking and give a copy to your doctor. I am aware that many people do not feel this is important, but the consequences for persons with diabetes can have severe medical implications.

Having a healthy diet and lifestyle, emphasis on exercise, are the most important factors in preventing or managing Type 2 Diabetes. There are a number of herbs, vitamins and minerals that have been shown to give some help to people with diabetes. Here are a few more herbs and plants that may have some benefits.

Prickly pear cactus:
When you look at a cactus plant it’s difficult to imagine that the plant can have any benefits, especially after a few of the spines have pierced your hand! However, some scientists have discovered that blood sugar levels can be decreased by 17% or higher in people with type 2 diabetes when the cactus pad is eaten on a regular basis. The fruit also has similar blood sugar lowering properties.  Check the benefits under the "Uses" tab.

Turmeric is a yellow herb that is often found in Indian and Indonesian dishes. There is some scientific research that suggests that using this herb may aid in reduction of inflammation which leads to obesity and diabetes. There is also some suggestions that it may aid in blocking some carbohydrates from being totally digested and entering the blood stream.

Milk thistle:
Many people are familiar with milk thistle and use it to help cleanse their liver of toxins that have been accumulated especially fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease affects over 50% of people with diabetes. Milk thistle may also aid in decreasing blood sugar levels, cholesterol, HbA1c, and triglycerides. Read this by David Mendosa.

Holy Basil, also called Hot Basil:
An extract of Holy Basil may decrease fasting blood sugar levels up to 17.6%. Holy Basil may also help decrease you blood sugar level if you eat too much food at a meal. The relevant studies are small in size; however, some success was achieved.

Are you familiar with the over-the-counter product called Metamucil? It’s used to help keep you regular. This product basically contains psyllium, a plant that is high in fiber, and some additives and preservatives.

Psyllium is similar to other fibers that reduce serum glucose levels and insulin levels. The extra benefits of psyllium include lowered total cholesterol levels and lowered LDL cholesterol levels. There is little evidence that diabetes is greatly helped.

Other berries:
Many people are climbing on the nutritional bandwagon when it comes to berries. They consume acai berries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, hawthorne berries and exotic berries. The berries are often prepared in fruit drinks that tend to be pricey. These berries have high nutritional value and are loaded with antioxidants.

If you’re interested in these herbs for lowering blood sugar, please investigate their dosages, contraindications, and length of time the herbs can be used safely. I would recommend reading much of the information listed in the post mentioned about Milk Thistle above by David Mendosa and this post on blueberries.

Part 3 of 4

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