By Sola Ogundipe
“Check your sugar, and take your drugs as prescribed,” is the age-old message of most health practitioners to a steadily increasing number of diabetics. But there are proven alternative aids and treatment to help ward off diabetes.
Where a healthy person’s body converts carbohydrates from food into glucose and also produces insulin to convert that glucose into energy, in diabetics, the body cannot produce enough insulin to make possible that conversion of glucose into energy.
As a result, the glucose builds up in the blood and can lead to any number of very serious conditions, like blindness, kidney failure, neuropathy and coma.
From a scientific perspective, the term “diabetes” actually has less to do with controlling blood sugar and more to do with the body’s regulation of hormones – insulin and leptin – or how well the body makes use of energy.
But there are several recommended herbs and natural remedies that prove most beneficial in demonstrating their natural proclivity for easing the burden of diabetes management.
Known as the “sugar destroyer,” this plant is regarded as one of the most powerful herbs for the regulation of diabetes, Types 1 and 2.. Gymnema can stimulate the body to produce more of its own insulin, by regenerating insulin-making beta cells in the pancreas.
Ginseng has demonstrated ability both to amplify the release of insulin from the pancreas and to elevate the number of insulin receptors present. One study indicated that 200 milligrams of ginseng extract per day over an eight-week period improved mood, blood sugar control, body weight and energy levels in Type 2 diabetics. A separate study hints it may even help diabetics to protect against kidney disease.
Ginkgo is regarded as an important element in the treatment of vascular insufficiency especially as it relates to diabetes. Clinical studies show it can prevent diabetic retinopathy in diabetic rats and may, therefore, be similarly effective in humans.
This Mexican herbal remedy works on everything from improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels in a diabetic, to the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Onions and garlic
Their sulfur-containing allyl propyl disulfide (APDS) help the body to make better use of insulin by competing with it for insulin-inactivating sites in the liver. The result is that the body has more free insulin available for use in the glucose-to-energy conversion process, and blood sugar levels decrease.