Here are a few time tested natural remedies to treat diabetes.
Insulin leaves to treat diabetes
Insulin plant which goes by the scientific name Costus igneus is a medicinal plant which has been known to possess properties that resemble insulin.
A study published in the International Journal of Ayurveda Research came up with the following conclusion “The leaves of insulin plant (Costus igeus) reduced the fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels, bringing them down towards normal, in dexamethasone-induced hyperglycemia in rats. Reduction in the fasting and the postprandial blood sugar levels with leaves of insulin plant was comparable with that obtained with Glibenclamide 500 µg/kg at 250 mg/kg/day and 500 mg/kg/day of powdered leaves of the insulin plant (Costus igeus).” (Shetty, et al. 2010)
The leaves of insulin plant are being prescribed by Ayurveda practitioners to naturally bring down blood glucose levels. These Insulin leaves are mildly sour and can be used in a variety of recipes.
Our team from Bowl of Herbs tried two different recipes with insulin leaves. The intention is to use them in their raw form to retain their nutritional and healing properties.
You can consume insulin leaves (2-3 leaves) daily with no side effects.
Bittergourd (or Bitter melon) juice
Bittergourd contains a compound called Charantin. This lead compound plays a vital role in reducing blood glucose levels. In addition bitter gourd also contains two other compounds – vicine and polypeptide – p. The latter has an effect similar to that of insulin and can thus help in regulating blood sugar levels. Multiple studies have been conducted over the years that prove the positive effect of bitter gourd in treating diabetes. One such study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease showed that M. charantia, the compound present in bittergourd is a natural supplement for the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus. (Joseph and D 2013)
The ideal way would be to consume 50 – 80 ml of bitter gourd juice every alternate morning on an empty stomach. However, you may have to assess your sugar levels and take the right amount. The above mentioned dosage is the maximum one can consume.
Okra, the delicious pod vegetable not only helps in improving memory, but it also has various other nutrients. It is rich in Vitamin C, A, Magnesium and Potassium. Okra is also low in calories. This vegetable can reduce levels of cholesterol, improve heart health, improve digestion, boost skin health and improve immunity. Okra contains a compound called myricetin which reduce blood sugar levels.
Consume the okra everyday morning on an empty stomach.
Tanner’s Cassia (Aavarampoo) flowers
Avaram Senna or Tanner’s Cassia (Known as Avarampoo in Tamil) is a flower that is widely used for its medicinal properties. The bright yellow flower is filled with anti-oxidants and can regulate insulin levels. The fresh flower or the dried herb can be used to treat diabetes.
You can drink 100 – 150 ml of this herbal preparation everyday.
Periwinkle, the wild flower which blooms in different colours can be used for its health benefits. It finds its use in Ayurveda for centuries to cure various health problems. Periwinkle tea is extremely effective to regulate blood sugar levels. The tea is very bitter and is not suitable for those with mild cases of diabetes. You can also use the leaf of the Periwinkle plant to treat diabetes, but this recipe uses the flower as a cure.
Always consult with a Siddha practitioner before you follow this remedy.
Black jamun remedy
Black jamun is a nutritious fruit which offers health benefits such as treating diarrhea, reducing spleen enlargement, relieving stomach ache and is also rich in anti-oxidants. It contains substantial amounts of iron, phosphorous, magnesium, Vitamin C and Niacin. You can use both the fruit and the seed to fight diabetes. Consuming one jamun fruit a day can help women diagnosed with Gestational diabetes to regulate insulin levels.
You can consume a tea made using black jamun daily to fight diabetes. You can also consume 1 teaspoon of jamun seed powder daily.
Consume one cup of the tea every day.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
Amla or Indian gooseberry contains good amounts of Vitamin C and B. A drink made with Amla and turmeric can help to keep diabetes under control.
Consume 100 ml of the amla drink daily. This remedy might not be suitable for those with a sinus condition as Amla might cause common cold. For this reason, I would also not advise pregnant women to follow this remedy.
Joseph, Baby, and Jini D. 2013. “Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease.
Shetty, Akhila J, Divya Choudhary, Rajeesh, Shashidhar Kotian, and Maria Kuruvilla. 2010. “Effect of the insulin plant (Costus igneus) leaves on dexamethasone-induced hyperglycemia.” International Journal of Ayurveda Research.