Researchers have just discovered that the natural health remedy camomile tea can help lower blood sugar levels. This could be good news for millions of type 2 diabetics although the research was done on rats. Camomile tea, a natural remedy that has been used for centuries, is probably best known for soothing the nerves and helping to promote sleep although many people drink it to calm an upset stomach.
The scientists discovered that some of the chemical components of camomile tea lowered blood sugar levels in the rats by a quarter over a period of 3 weeks. They also found that the extracts could help to prevent the development of diabetic complications such as kidney disease, problems with nerves (diabetic neuropathy), eye diseases, heart disease and poor circulation to the legs and feet.
A spokesperson for Diabetes UK says “more research is needed before we can come to any conclusions about the role camomile tea plays in fighting diabetes-related complications” and ” Diabetes UK would not recommend people with diabetes increase their camomile tea intake just yet” Well there certainly would not be any harm in doing so provided you like the taste but there are a number of other natural health remedies that can help with blood sugar control.
Bitter Melon (Momordica Charantia) also know as bitter gourd, is a fruit that has been used for years as a natural remedy for diabetes. Many sicientific studies have confirmed the blood sugar lowering effects of the fresh juice or extract of the unripened fruit. It seems to work both by improving the sensitivity of the cells to insulin as well as increase the production of beta cells in the pancreas so improving its ability to produce insulin.
Fenugreek seeds, probably better known to us for their use as a flavouring for curries, have been used for a variety of medicinal uses in the Middle East. A number of studies have shown that fenugreek seed powder can lower fasting blood sugar levels, control blood sugar swings in diabetic patients and may stimulate insulin secretion as well as increasing insulin receptors in red blood cells.
Gymnema sylvestre bitter gourds extracts are proven to stimulate beta cells of pancreas to produce enough of the hormone insulin. the leaves have bben used in Ayurveda. Traditional Indian medicine for years and is known as “destroyer of sugar”. People in India chew the leaves to reduce the taste for sweet foods.
Blueberry leaves extract (vaccinium myrtillus) can reduce blood sugar levels. Some people prefer to take it as a tea which can be drunk three times a day for six to 12 weeks before any difference in blood sugar levels is seen. To prepare the tea you soak tha leaves in cold water and then simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
Diet is important
Of course all natural health remedies will work better if you eat a healthy diet. The corner stone of treatment for diabetes is diet and exercise. Researchers have discovered that a more primitive diet high in complex carbohydrates (unrefined), low in fats and animal products can control diabetes without insulin or drugs. The diet known as the high complex fiber diet (HCF) is high in whole cereal grains, legumes and root vegetables but reduces fat intake and refined sugar.
Exercise improves the insulin sensitivity of the cells and can help to lower cholesterol and triglycerides and weight.
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