There are many approaches you can take when dealing with your diabetes treatment plan and how to stabilize blood sugar. A type I diabetic must be on insulin, a type II diabetic may be able to control or reverse their diabetes through diet and lifestyle changes. Both conditions can benefit from adding herbs or spices that can help stabilize or lower blood sugar levels.
Knowing your body is the key to successfully treating diabetes. When you are adding herbs that help lower blood sugar levels to your routine you need to be able to monitor your blood sugar levels more than usual. Just like food, emotions and physical activity can play with your blood sugar levels, herbs can as well.
Cinnamon slows down the rate your stomach empties after a meal, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. Consuming cinnamon with meals helps lower the glycemic index (the rate your blood sugar levels increase with a particular food) of the meal you’re consuming. Research has shown that 1 gram of cinnamon per day resulted in an approximate 20 percent drop in blood sugar levels1.
Fenugreek seeds have been proven to improve glycemic control and decrease insulin resistance in mild type 2 diabetic patients2. Including fenugreek seeds or their leaves is a great way to help with your diabetes treatment plan.
3. Bitter Melon
Bitter melon has been used for its hypoglycemic effect on blood sugar levels due to a compound called lectin, which has insulin-like activities when consumed. Bitter melon (as its name implies) is very bitter, so try soaking it with salt water for a few hours before cooking, or juice it with other vegetables or fruits to experience its blood sugar lowering effects.
Below is a cinnamon tincture recipe for how to stabilize blood sugar levels from Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs book.
- 2-4 oz chopped cinnamon bark (sticks) & 80-proof alcohol (brandy, vodka or gin)
- Place cinnamon in a wide mouthed glass quart jar. Cover with 2-3 inches of alcohol. Let steep for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily. Strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard the cinnamon then bottle the tincture.
- To use: Take ¼ to ½ tsp. two times a day for 5 days. Take 2 days off, then repeat the cycle. Continue for several weeks until blood sugar levels stabilize.
Editor's Note: Remember, it’s always a good idea to talk with your natural healthcare provider before adding medicinal herbs to your care.
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