Diabetes treatment involves taking medicines or insulin injections. But in recent years, alternative therapies are becoming more popular, especially natural remedies for diabetes. Although some treatments can help people with diabetes, some still need conclusive evidence to prove they are effective.
It is best to consult with a physician first before trying any of these treatments to ensure safety. Explore possible diabetes cures with this article. Let this serve as your personal roadmap to natural diabetes cure.
Foods That Can Help Treat Diabetes
- Bitter Melon – Some studies confirm that this vegetable can be beneficial to people who have diabetes. It contains peptides, saponins, and alkaloids which can lower blood sugar levels. Bitter melon is used as an ingredient in making health supplements for persons with diabetes.
You can prepare a dish using this vegetable. Another option is to use a blender to extract bitter melon juice (remove the seeds first). Take it on an empty stomach early in the morning. Use it is a healthy alternative to sweet juices.
- Ginger – a commonly used spice. In a research done to study its effects on type 2 diabetes, it was discovered that ginger can reduce fasting blood sugar and improve hemoglobin A1C (average blood sugar levels over the past three months).
You can research thru the internet and find all kinds of recipes that uses ginger spice. You will not only improve your cooking skills; you can also manage your diabetes better.
- Cinnamon – a spice derived from the inner bark of a tree. It is believed that powdered cinnamon can stimulate insulin production and lower blood glucose levels. Some studies claim that it can help in managing type 2 diabetes.
However, don’t take too much Cassia cinnamon (anything in excess is bad). Put ½ to one teaspoon of cinnamon in a cup of warm water and drink.
- Okra – Also known as ladies’ fingers, this vegetable is rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, and Vitamin B1 (thiamine). It is low in fats and sugar, so it is a good choice as part of a healthy meal plan. Some studies show that okra has a potential to lower blood sugar levels.
- Basil – Initial studies show that the leaves and seeds of basil can help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar. It also has dietary fiber, which can help prevent elevated blood glucose after meals.
- Bilberry – has high levels of antioxidants. This fruit can aid in improving blood circulation to the capillaries and veins. It can also counteract the thickening of blood vessels due to type 2 diabetes.
- Guava – is one of the fruits that has the highest amounts of Vitamin C (it has four times more Vitamin C as an orange). It is also rich in dietary fiber which is good for people with diabetes.
- Black Plum (Jambul) – contains ellagic acid, anthocyanins, and hydrolysable tannins which might help in controlling blood glucose levels. The seeds, leaves, and berries of the Jambul plant can be used in treating diabetes. The black plum is a seasonal fruit native to India; you can buy it in herbal shops.
- Fenugreek – is a sweet-smelling plant which can be used as a spice, herb, or vegetable. The leaves and seeds are common ingredients in Indian dishes. Fenugreek is believed to have hypoglycemic properties that can help control diabetes.
- Hibiscus – used in India as a traditional medicine for diabetes. Some studies claim that it has beneficial effects for people with diabetes. Hibiscus can be made into a tea by adding one to two teaspoons of dried flowers into one cup of water.
- Grape seed extract – is derived from the seeds of red wine grapes. Rich in antioxidants, it is used to treat high cholesterol and circulatory disorders such as chronic venous insufficiency. Other uses include treatment of inflammation and eye disorders related to diabetes.
Health Supplements for Diabetes
- Ginseng – Preliminary studies suggest that ginseng can be promising in lowering blood sugar levels. One test shows that people who took ginseng for a duration of 12 weeks showed improvements in hemoglobin A1C levels.
- Ginkgo biloba – a tough and resilient tree native to China. Extracts from the Ginkgo biloba leaves are used in health supplements. Although there is still no definitive evidence proving that it can be useful in treating diabetes, it is believed that it might help in treating diabetic neuropathy.
- Alpha-lipoic acid – a natural antioxidant which might help improve insulin sensitivity. It is also being eyed as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy and kidney damage for people with type 2 diabetes. Broccoli, potatoes, and spinach are good sources of alpha-lipoic acid.
- Chromium – is an element used in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Studies on the effects of chromium on diabetes are not conclusive. One risk that should be taken into account is it can cause the blood sugar level to go too low. High doses can cause kidney problems.
- L-carnitine – an amino acid which is produced naturally in the body. It is primarily used as a treatment for heart conditions, cardiovascular problems, and high cholesterol.
Some people use it to treat muscle disorders, anorexia, and diabetes, although further studies are needed to prove that it is effective in treating such illnesses. It is better to consult a doctor before taking it just to be sure.
Alternative Therapies for Diabetes
- Acupuncture – is a form of alternative medicine which involves inserting thin needles into the body. Western practitioners believe that acupuncture works by stimulating the nerves and improving blood circulation.
In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is used to balance the flow of chi (life force) that flows thru pathways in the body. Practitioners believe that inserting needles into specific points will rebalance the energy flow.
- Exercise as a treatment for diabetes – In an experiment conducted on 30 type 2 diabetes patients, it was proven that a 30-minute session of moderate endurance-type exercise can reduce the prevalence of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
The experiment also noted that exercise done every other day can be beneficial for people with diabetes. So, if you are busy and can’t do exercise every day, try to be physically active at least three to five times in a week.
- Mind-body practices – High levels of stress can cause blood sugar to rise. Alternative therapies and disciplines aim to improve physical and psychological wellness by relaxing both body and mind. Yoga is a form of spiritual meditation practiced in many religions which focus on “inner peace.”
Another discipline is Tai Chi, a form of Chinese martial arts now being used as an alternative exercise. It is enjoying increasing popularity worldwide and involves the use of hands, coordination, and relaxation.
Although there is no conclusive evidence yet that these disciplines can treat diabetes, it is undeniable that they can contribute to physical and mental well-being. Stress reduction and having a positive outlook are the main health benefits of these therapies.
Natural treatments for diabetes can be classified into three categories: foods, health supplements, and therapies. Some are proven to have some beneficial effects in lowering blood sugar levels, while some need further tests to determine their efficacy.
Before taking any of these natural remedies for diabetes, make sure that you consult with your doctor first. Some health supplements can have negative interactions with medicines used to treat diabetes. Care should be taken, especially if you are pregnant.