Today we are talking about natural remedies for diabetes .
Certain herbs and foods can help lower blood sugar while protecting the circulatory system and kidneys , thereby reducing diabetes-related complications, such as impaired vision, circulatory problems, and kidney disease.
It is therefore not a question of treating diabetes, but rather of keeping it under control and it is possible to do so, as well as with nutrition and a correct lifestyle, even with the help of our friends medicinal herbs.
And it is precisely this that we will talk about today.
What is Diabetes?
To date, an estimated 346 million people with diabetes are worldwide .
According to data from the Cardiovascular Epidemiological Observatory, in Italy about 10% of men and 7% of women suffer from diabetes. Among the elderly, the rate of diabetics increases to 20% for men and 15% for women.
Diabetes is also estimated to be the fourth leading cause of death in industrialized countries .
But what exactly is diabetes?
It is a chronic disease characterized by the presence of high levels of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia) due to the altered quantity or function of the enzyme insulin.
There are three different types of diabetes :
Type 1 diabetes
It usually affects young people . Regardless of age, this type of diabetes manifests itself suddenly in the subject, within a few days and manifests itself with excessive tiredness and weakness, intense thirst , frequent urge to urinate (day and night), rapid weight loss, increased appetite , vomiting and sometimes breath that tastes like acetone .
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. In this case the pancreas is unable to produce insulin due to the destruction of the beta-cells that are capable of producing this hormone.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes mellitus mostly affects people over the age of 40 and accounts for 90% of diabetes cases . It is a chronic disease characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood and due to an alteration in the quantity or functioning of insulin.
It is a silent disease and we often realize that we are diabetic after years, following one of its complications: difficulty in erection, poor circulation, tingling of the fingers, leg pain or frequent cramps, visual disturbances, recurrent infections, heart attack or stroke.
Gestational diabetes essentially occurs – as the name suggests – during pregnancy. The patient complains of profuse urination, unusual fatigue, intense thirst and known very rapid weight loss. The causes can be both genetic and food.
Origins and causes of diabetes
In type 1 diabetes , insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed by their immune system. It is an anomaly whose cause is not yet well known. It could be due to genetic or dietary factors (some speculate that the autoimmune disease is triggered by an intolerance to gluten or casein).
As for type 2 diabetes, we have some more certainty. The causes can be many but they are primarily to be attributed to:
- an unbalanced diet, too focused on the consumption of sweets, sugars and refined cereals;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- cigarette smoke.
Genetics is also a factor to consider, as a person with diabetic family members will have a better chance of developing this disease. It being understood that it is possible to prevent it with good nutrition.
Natural remedies to keep blood sugar under control
One of the most studied natural remedies in the treatment of diabetes and its complications is Aloe ( Aloe Vera and Aloe Arborescens ).
In particular deserves this study of 1985 [ 1 , 2 ] lasted 5 years and conducted on 5000 subjects between 35 and 65 years of age, who suffered from atherosclerosis and 63% of whom were also diabetic . Many of these also suffered from arterial hypertension (43% of cases), finally, about half of the sample was made up of smokers: 10 to 15 cigarettes a day.
From the final results it was seen that those who regularly took Aloe obtained the following results:
- Heart : the reduction of episodes of Angina pectoris (acute chest pain in the heart, from suffering from coronary circulation) has been documented.
- Metabolism of fats (lipids) : it has been confirmed the lowering of total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and the increase of “good” cholesterol (HDL) in the blood.
- Sugar metabolism (carbohydrates) : the lowering of glucose levels in diabetic patients has been confirmed, including post-prandial one.
With regard to the improvement of sugar metabolism, positive results have already been seen after the first 3 months of taking Aloe.
In fact, after this period 94.4% of diabetics already had a normal glycaemia and only 5.6% still had sugar values above the norm.
To ascertain the effects of Aloe Vera therapy, blood glucose levels were assessed during the study at two different times, ie fasting and after a meal.
The trend towards a significant improvement was confirmed for both fasting and postprandial (ie after meals) blood glucose.
How to take Aloe?
As Father Romano Zago states in his books, to obtain the maximum benefits the ideal is to use the Aloe leaf in its entirety and this can only be done with the leaves of Aloe Arborescens , which compared to Aloe Vera have a less cuticle. thick and less rich in anthraquinones (substances with a laxative effect).
Now the original recipe of Father Zago foresees the use of 350g of Aloe Arborescens leaves, 500g of honey and 3-4 tablespoons of distillate (grappa, whiskey, gin, vodka or other distillate).
These ingredients will be used together to prepare a smoothie (see Father Zago’s recipe ).
In the case of a person with diabetes, the proportions of honey and aloe can be inverted , so as to reduce the amount of sugar.
Alternatively, if you wanted a 100% sugar-free product, you could prepare pure Aloe Arborescens juice (be careful it’s very bitter!) Using an extractor, or a home juicer. The problem in this case is that since there is no honey that acts as a preservative, the product will be consumed within a few days and always kept in the fridge.
You can then add 3-4 tablespoons of distillate to extend the conservation of a few days, but without honey we are still talking about a very short conservation (1 week or a little more).
The dosage recommended by Father Zago is 3 soup spoons per day, to be taken before meals.
Aloe juice can cause uterine contractions and spontaneous abortion, so it should be absolutely avoided taking it orally during the whole period of pregnancy . It is also not recommended during breastfeeding , because the aloin (laxative substance) contained in Aloe could cause infant colic.
Aloe, at least the recipe prepared with the whole leaf, is also contraindicated for those suffering from serious intestinal diseases , such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, but also for less severe problems, such as colitis and diverticulitis.
In these cases it is preferable to use the juice obtained exclusively from the gel inside the leaf, without the presence of aloin, or other anthraquinones with laxative properties.
2. Fig leaves
Nothing is thrown away from the fig tree ( Ficus carica )! This plant in addition to providing us with delicious fruits, has the advantage of providing us with a powerful anti-diabetes remedy.
In fact, it happens that some recent studies have shown that fig leaves have hypoglycemic properties , that is, they are able to reduce blood sugars.
For example , this research carried out on subjects with type 1 diabetes, has shown how the decoction of fig leaves is effective in reducing post-prandial glycemic levels, with a consequent lower dosage of insulin.
Another study conducted on laboratory guinea pigs with type 2 diabetes demonstrates how fig leaves exert a significant hypoglycemic and lipid-lowering effect (reduce blood fats, such as cholesterol and triglycerides).
This other study , this time conducted on laboratory rats, demonstrates how the decoction of fig leaves has an action even similar to that of insulin.
How to take fig leaves?
To extract the active ingredients contained in fig leaves, you will need to prepare a decoction .
The decoction is prepared like this :
- Add a teaspoon of dried, coarsely chopped fig leaves (approximately 2-3 g) to a saucepan with one cup of water.
- Put the saucepan to heat on a gas or electric stove and once the water has come to a boil, simmer for about 10-15 min.
- Finally turn off the flame, filter the drink and drink it hot or lukewarm, or alternatively pour it into a thermos so you can drink it during the day.
Drink 1 to 2 cups of this herbal tea a day.
If you want you can increase the dosages. To prepare a one liter herbal tea you will need 1 liter of boiling water and 4 teaspoons of dried fig leaves.
You can also use fresh fig leaves, but in this case you will need twice as much leaves as dried leaves.
Many know Stevia rebaudiana as an alternative sweetener to sugar. It is in fact considered an excellent sugar substitute, in particular due to the fact that it does not contain calories and does not raise blood sugar.
But that’s not all, if we talk about natural Stevia (not that white powder that they sell in supermarkets), we must add that not only does it not raise blood sugar, but it is even able to reduce it.
Several studies published in the famous Pubmed medical portal, have shown that Stevia is able to regulate blood sugar levels, reducing insulin resistance in diabetic subjects.
Furthermore, in a study conducted on rats, scientists have shown that Stevia rebaudiana protects the liver and kidneys in diabetic subjects, two organs that are particularly at risk for people with this disease.
How to use Stevia
In the case of Stevia you can take advantage of its sweetening and hypoglycemic properties by preparing an herbal tea.
Stevia tea is prepared this way: Add a spoonful of dried Stevia leaves (whole or powdered) to a cup of boiling water. Wait 10 minutes and then filter.
You can do the same thing by adding Stevia to tea, or to a herbal tea. For example, nothing prevents you from adding Stevia to the fig leaf tea, so as to obtain a synergistic effect between the two herbs.
Cinnamon is obtained from the dried bark of some trees belonging to the Lauraceae family such as Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cinnamomum cassia .
This precious spice has been found to contain cinnamtannin , also known as compound B1, capable of promoting the reduction of blood glucose levels .
Scholars point out that B1 is able to stimulate insulin receptors, thus increasing the cell’s ability to assimilate glucose. [ 3 , 4 ].
But that’s not all, in addition to reducing insulin resistance, cinnamon is able to lower blood sugar through other mechanisms as well.
First, cinnamon has been shown to reduce the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal . It does this by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes and slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract [ 5 , 6 ].
Second, a cinnamon compound can act on cells by mimicking insulin [ 7 , 8 ]. This greatly improves the uptake of glucose by the cells, although it acts much slower than insulin itself.
Numerous human studies have confirmed the antidiabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by 10 to 29% [ 9 , 10 , 11 ].
For this reason it can be useful to consume some cinnamon after the meal.
Finally, it must be added that some active components of cinnamon, including cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, are considered powerful cardioprotective , in particular due to their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to produce nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes the arteries. and makes the blood flow more easily .
How to take Cinnamon
It was shown by a 2010 British study that 2 grams per day of cinnamon associated with a balanced diet would be sufficient to produce positive effects on blood sugar levels and blood pressure control in diabetic patients.
Cinnamon can be taken as a powder dissolved in water, or used to make herbal teas, or in addition to other herbal teas. Also in this case it is possible to add it to the herbal tea of fig leaves, or stevia.
Cinnamon contains coumarins with a blood thinning action, so it is contraindicated to those who already take anticoagulant drugs . In addition, coumarins have a slight toxic effect on the liver, so cinnamon is contraindicated for those suffering from liver diseases and should not be abused, or taken for long periods of time.
Finally, it is advisable to avoid consumption during pregnancy because it could increase uterine contractility.
NB : All the information published on this site is for informational purposes and should not be considered as advice, or medical prescriptions, or of any other nature.