Top 8 Spices and Herbs for Type 2 Diabetes
Human life expectancy continues to rise in many parts of the world, a fortunate event with some unfortunate results. Dr. Ahmad Shamim notes in his book about diabetes that an older population and increase in obesity have been linked to a global rise in type 2 diabetes. The numbers estimate that without a cure, a global increase will lead to around 439 million diabetics by 2030.
Living with diabetes, however, is getting much easier. Thanks to many medical studies, researchers are finding ways to live a long and healthy life with diabetes. The following herbs and spices have been in the spotlight in recent decades for their ability to help a diabetic control their condition.
As an herb known mainly for baking sweets, cinnamon doesn’t get as much credit as it should within the medical community. This spice is packed with antioxidants, antibacterial properties, anti inflammatory properties, and the ability to help people with diabetes. Ceylon Cinnamon is the best choice as this type of cinnamon is more closely associated with potential health benefits involving blood sugar regulation.
Research has displayed cinnamon’s ability to lowering the body’s resistance to insulin and decrease overall cholesterol levels within people that have type 2 diabetes. It can be ingested in the powdered spice form or taken as a supplement (consult with your doctor before taking cinnamon, or other herb, in a supplement form). Due to the lower sugar levels while using cinnamon, some physicians recommend avoiding other supplements on the list such as fenugreek, garlic, bitter melon, and ginseng.
Further reading: To learn more about cinnamon, read my article how to use cinnamon as a medicine.
This common relative of the ginger family is of popular harvest in southern India, explaining its prevalence in Indian cuisine. While it’s praised by foodies for the earthy and spicy attributes that make so many curries kick with taste, there have also been recent research that suggests its effectiveness in benefiting type 2 diabetes.
Information published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry focuses on the use of turmeric’s active ingredient, known as circuminoids, to prevent diabetes from developing as well as giving a considerable boost to liver function. Another study published in an international nutrition journal details the way that turmeric and curcumin administration gave a surprising advantage in lowering the blood sugar and hemoglobin levels within rats.
What turmeric was to Indian cuisine, ginger is to Asian foods. It also yields similar benefits for people with diabetes. A 2012 study gave evidence that the root may help with blood sugar control, producing glucose without relying on insulin. The root can be consumed raw, powdered, extracted into oil and liquids, and in an extracted supplement form. It also has been suggested to help with nausea, heartburn, bronchitis and menstrual symptoms.
Further reading: Read my previous article how to use ginger as a medicine, and find here how to make cleansing ginger lemon tea. Adding ginger to your diet is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.
Perhaps a less common culinary staple, this plant still has a notable presence in cuisine and medical application. It’s history in traditional medicine dates back centuries, and recent studies have backed up its holistic attributes. Trials revealed that fenugreek improved the metabolic function in diabetics through lower cholesterol levels and a higher allowance of glucose.
5. Garlic (Allium)
As mentioned several times on this site, garlic’s use goes beyond food tasting and warding vampires. The pungent plant’s usefulness in releasing insulin and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels have made it a useful addition to the meals of diabetics.
Further reading: Read my article how to use garlic as a medicine.
6. Aloe Vera
In a 2001 study in Phytotherapy Research, aloe vera was shown to help lower the blood sugar levels of rats, laying skepticism of its medicinal use to rest. The study concluded that the pulp of aloe vera leaves without gel is a potentially useful way to treat diabetes.
Further reading: aloe vera is also great for the skin. Read my article about the best uses of aloe vera for great and healthy skin.
A study by researchers at Mysore University in India explored the potential anti-diabetic properties of cumin. In this study, published in 1998 in the journal “Nutrition Research,” the research team fed diabetes-induced rats a diet of 1.25% ground cumin for eight weeks with positive results.
The rats experienced a reduction in hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar — a condition common in diabetics — and glucosuria, in which the urine contains too much glucose. A review of scientific studies published in 2005 in the “International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition” confirmed that a number of spices, including cumin, may aid hypoglycemia. Talk to your doctor about using cumin for blood sugar control.
Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking cumin along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. If you are taking diabetes medication, make sure to consult with your doctor first.
Further reading: read more about cumin in my articles How Daily Teaspoon of Cumin Help You Lose 3 Times As Much Body Fat and The Miraculous Health Benefits and Uses of Cumin.
The holistic healing of ginseng has stood the test of time, touted by Ayurvedic experts for hundreds of years. The boost in mental performance, immune system defense, endurance, and cancer treatment are but a few of the benefits that pair with the root’s ability to help treat diabetes.
Research from a Croatian university showed that ginseng was able to reduce the amount of glucose in the bloodstream, giving a vital boost for diabetics. It can be ingested in several different ways. Some natural health enthusiasts prefer mixing the raw root into their teas with other herbs and supplements. Others use infusions, extracts, pills, and powdered forms of the root.
Further reading: If you are interested in herbs and herbal remedies, you can find more useful information in my e-book the Herbal Remedies Guide which teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.
Read my other related articles:
1. The Best Foods to Control Type 2 Diabetes
2. How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Diabetes
3. How to Use Okra For Treating Diabetes