Modern Medicine and Traditional Chinese
Medicine - Diabetes Mellitus
Since antiquity, diabetes has been treated with plant medicines. The following herbs appear to be the most effective, are relatively non-toxic and have substantial scientific documentation to attest to their efficacy.
European Blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
Traditional herbalism places great value on European Blueberry leaves, a.k.a. Bilberry, as a natural method of controlling or lowering blood sugar levels when they are slightly elevated. Results have shown the leaves have an active ingredient with a remarkable ability to reduce excess sugar in the blood. To use, steep two to three handfuls of leaves in 4 cups hot water for half an hour. Drink three cups a day. Modern research has demonstrated the berries or extract of the berries offer even greater benefit. The standard dose of the extract is 80-160 mg three times per day.
Native to the tropical forests of India. Used to lower blood sugar and help
repair damage to pancreatic cells. Therapeutic dosage is 400 mg/day.
Gymnema sylvestre (GS) or Gurmar, meaning "Sugar Destroyer" in Hindi, is a
plant from the milkweed (Asclepiadaceae) family that grows in the Southern and
Central regions of India. Its leaves have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic
medicine to help control blood sugar levels.
Numerous studies demonstrate that GS promotes healthy glucose metabolism by
improving insulin response, slowing gastric glucose absorption into the
bloodstream and improving pancreatic health. A good source of Gymnema sylvestre
is Beta Fast GXR Glucose Balance, a clinically researched formula containing
400mg of standardized Gymnema sylvestre extract in 400mg extended release
Onion and Garlic
The common bulbs, onion and garlic, have significant blood sugar-lowering action as well as lowering lipids, inhibiting platelet aggregation, and reducing blood pressure.
Fenugreek seeds have demonstrated anti-diabetic effects in experimental and clinical studies. Administration of the defatted seed (in daily doses of 1.5-2g/kg) reduces fasting and after-meal glucose, glucagon, somatostatin, insulin, total cholesterol and triglycerides, while increasing HDLcholesterol levels.
Salt Bush (Atriplex halimu)
Rich in fibre, protein, and numerous trace minerals, including chromium. Human studies in Israel have demonstrated improved blood glucose regulation and glucose tolerance in Type 2 diabetes. Dosage used in this study was 3g per day.
Gingko biloba extract improves blood flow in the peripheral tissues of the arms, legs, fingers and toes and is therefore an important medicine in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease. It has also been shown to prevent diabetic retinopathy. Dosage of the extract standardised to contain 24% ginkgo flavoglycosides is 40-80 mg three times per day.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
Ginseng, besides reducing fasting blood sugar levels and body weight, can elevate mood and improve psycho-physiological performance. Therapeutic dosage is 100-200 mg daily.