Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is necessary for the body’s overall health. Erratic blood sugar levels can affect the body’s ability to function normally and even lead to complications if left unchecked. Some herbs and spices found in nature do a tremendous job of naturally lowering blood sugar levels, making them a boon for diabetics and pre-diabetics. What’s more, being nature’s multi-taskers, herbs and spices also produce overall health benefits beyond just helping balance blood sugar.
Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects.
There are two kinds of diabetes. People with type 1 must inject insulin into the body regularly. Using herbs or supplements may reduce the symptoms or side effects of type 1, but people should introduce these slowly, with careful medical supervision and monitoring of blood sugar. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. A person with this condition will always have to take some form of insulin.
Paul, I. M., Beiler, J., McMonagle, A., Shaffer, M. L., Duda, L., & Berlin Jr, C. M. (2007, December). Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 161(12), 1,140–1,146. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/571638
The ripe fruit of this cactus has been shown in some small studies to lower blood sugar levels. You may be able to find the fruit in your grocery store, but if not, look for it as a juice or powder at health food stores. Researchers speculate that the fruit may possibly lower blood sugar because it contains components that work similarly to insulin. The fruit is also high in fiber. Try these foods for the best diabetic diet.
Licorice root is both an expectorant and demulcent, simultaneously soothing your airways while loosening and thinning mucous, easing congestion. It can also ease any inflammation that may be irritating your throat. Its main constituent, glycyrrhizin, is responsible for most of its effects. 30-50 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), it inhibits an enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (how would like you to write that on a name tag?) This enzyme regulates access of glucocorticoid (a steroid hormone) to steroid receptors, ultimately slowing the conversion of cortisol to cortisone. This increases the effect of cortisol and reducing inflammation. If you are on steroids, or have any problems with your kidneys, it is best to steer clear of licorice root.
Chop the ginger and add it along with the peppermint to 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat so that the liquid simmer. Simmer until the liquid has been reduced by half, than strain. Let it cool slightly, and then stir in 1 cup of honey until it has been dissolved completely. Bottle and take 1 tablespoon every few hours as needed to ease your cough. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.
Another well know spice in the kitchen cinnamon is also known for it's medicinal properties. While not really an herb I still think it's important to list it in our list of herbs and their uses. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family. It's been used for centuries and was a hot commodity for trade in ancient times. In fact during the first century A.D. in Rome cinnamon was 15 times more expensive than silver. The Chinese were probably the first to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb and used it to treat fevers, and diarrhea. In more modern times cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, as it has an insulin kind of effect.
Boswellia has been used in the Ayurvedic medicine system of India for over 2,000 years. Ancient healers used it to treat conditions such as asthma, fevers, cardiovascular disorders, rheumatism, and diabetes. Today, this herb is mostly used to treat inflammation and pain of the joints. The tree’s resin contains boswellic acid that acts as a 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) inhibitor.
Dr. Brian Peskin also starts with the research of Dr. Otto Warburg on cellular respiration. Dr. Peskin uses the principles of the ketogenic diet in his protocol for cancer treatment. His therapy is a high fat low carbohydrate diet that includes three other aspects. He has found that the standard American diet is highly deficient in certain “parent oils,” which are needed in small amounts to build healthy cells and to provide for proper cell respiration. The absence of healthy oils damages cellular respiration and contributes to cancer formation. He has developed a blend of oils, which provide what the body needs to provide for proper cellular respiration. Also, most Americans are deficient in certain minerals. He uses supplements to provide for these deficiencies. Finally he uses a combination of herbs that are similar to Essiac Tea (described later) to assist with cleansing and detoxification of the body. He presents thoroughly researched evidence that fish oil may not be the best source of omega 3 oils. This makes his research somewhat controversial for some people. His book, The Hidden Story of Cancer, provides extensive scientific documentation of all his claims. Don’t neglect to read the appendices.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Comfrey's use dates back centuries to at least the time of the ancient Greeks. During the Middle Ages comfrey was a widely cultivated herb found extensively in the gardens of monasteries. Throughout the 1700's and 1800's comfrey was also a popular herb grown in many gardens across Europe as well as America. Sometime during the late 1970's however research revealed that comfrey when taken internally can cause severe liver damage so it has lost popularity and internal use is even banned in many countries. Applications in the from of ointments, poultices, or creams are still considered safe though. Comfrey can still be found growing wild in central Europe, and the eastern United States as well as a few western states.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is used to treat a wide range of illnesses. Rosemary oil used to treat headaches and muscle spasms. It is also a detox, mouthwash disinfectant, and used to improve memory. If you suffer from pulmonary edema or take lithium, warfarin or lasix (diuretic) or other medications, don't take rosemary oil or other form. Avoid if you're pregnant. Long-term use can negatively impact sperm production.
This mushroom has a long history of use in Chinese herbalism. It is considered a great tonic for building physical strength and endurance. There is a substance in cordyceps which dilates the lung’s airways, providing more oxygen to the blood. For this fact it is very popular with athletes. This healing mushroom is also used to treat asthma, cough and bronchitis. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and has the ability to relax the bronchial walls. It’s a great immune system booster as well.
Scientists don’t know for sure. Since chemotherapy and radiation kill cells that divide often, stem cells may be less vulnerable because they rarely divide. Some scientists believe cancer stem cells may have genetic mutations that make them resistant to damage from chemotherapy or radiation, or cancer stem cells may be able to repair DNA damage more rapidly than normal cells.