Blood sugar support
Blood sugar support with herbs and with Traditional medicine
By Veena Deo
This article offers insights into blood sugar support via herbs and also via pharma products.
Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus is a health condition which is closely linked to lifestyle, hence in today’s hectic and fast life style this is increasing at an alarming rate. The condition is based on a genetic predisposition, but there are also some environment factors like obesity, lack of exercise, mental stress, strain, that can induce this. In Ayurveda it is described under the category of Prameh. Diabetes is similar to Madhumeh.
Though Ayurvedic products are non-invasive, safe, and effective and mainly focus on the individual’s need and prevention, in India, in my practice, I have observed that herbal products are taken as an adjuvant therapy. Hence, I think herbal products are the supporting system for the people with blood sugar problems, who are on traditional medicine and leading a regulated life style. The use of herbal supplements as a supporting system show promise and success in Blood sugar support.
Antioxidants like Vitamin A, C, and E are useful in blood sugar support as they reduce the endothelial damage due to hyperglycemia and also prevent the development of micro and macro complications. Many Clinical Trials have been conducted on single herbal products like Aamalki, Vijaysar, Jambu Beej, Bitter Melon, Turmeric Curcumin etc. These herbs are most commonly tried ones and these are the herbs which are part of various combinations available in the market for people.
Bitter Melon or Momordica Charantia, reduces increased blood sugar levels and also improves blood lipid levels. Ref. Journal of Medicinal Food June 2010. It contains calcium, beta-carotene and potassium in a natural form. It can also act as an antioxidant so it helps to protect the cells from the free radical damage caused by diabetes.
Onion or Allium Cepa : Anti diabetic, antibacterial (Medikon, Belgium, 1977,6(11); Nutrition abstracts and Reviews Scotland, 1980, 50A, 7039.) Regular use of Onions 50gm/ day reduces insulin requirement of a diabetic from 40 to 20 units a day Ref. (Naturwissenchaften, Berlin , 1974, 61,72). A sulphur containing chemical isolated from Onions or Allium Cepa, S-methyl cysteine sulphoxide (SMCS), is antidiabetic and reduces lipid level also. Researchers believe that blood lipid levels are lowered because of SMCS ability to oxidize a key factor in lipid synthesis. The oxidation may also prevent insulin reduction. The sugar decreasing action of SMCS may be due to its slightly stimulatory effect on insulin secretion or the enhanced transport of glucose to peripheral tissue. Ref. Indian herbal therapies-- by C.P. Khare.
Gymnema sylvestre or Coccinia Indica as a plant has a remarkable efficacy in reducing the sugar level in urine of the diabetics. Alcoholic extract of the plant exhibited significant hypoglycemic effect on somatotropin and corticotropin induced hyperglycemia in rats. (Indian Journal of Medical Research, 51,716,52,200). This drug had a moderate hypoglycemic activity in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Ref. Indian J Pharmac 4,114. Mukherjee K, 1972
Researchers observed that the oral administration of pectin isolated from the fruit of Gymnema Sylvestre showed a significant hyperglycemic action in normal rats. Azadkhan et al 1980 from Bangladesh have reported hypoglycemic activity of the freeze-dried juice of leaves of Coccina-indica. Ref. Azadkhan et al, British Medical Journal, 280, 1044
Banyan or Ficus Bengalensis (vat), the three flavonoid compounds A,B, and C where isolated from the ethanolic extract of the bark of Ficus Bengalensis were individually effective as hypoglycemic agents on oral administration to normal fasting rabbits . Ref. (Brahmachari HD and Augusti KT, 1964, Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 8,(60)
Herbal products that have Gymnema, Bitter Melon, Salacia, Fenugreek, Jambolan and Cinnamon when taken together will give synergistic benefits.
All the research work done for herbal products in animal models show a promising effect in blood sugar support. But people always take them along with traditional medicine. If both, traditional medicine and herbal products are taken together, the combined effect is good and well documented. If the scientists from Pharma and Ayurvedic fields work together, then they will be able to provide effective products for blood sugar support.
Dr. Veena Deo is an Ayurvedic Doctor in India. All the information provided above and opinions expressed above are her own and should not be construed as medical advice. This information on supplements is provided for educational purposes only. For questions email at firstname.lastname@example.org