Insulin Resistance

Today I would bring to your attention several botanical and herbal compounds that are very useful in this regard. Ginseng (American ginseng) has been shown to reduce post-prandial glycemia in both type 2 diabetics and non-diabetics. In an eight week trial, Ginseng has also been shown to decrease the percentage of sugar coated or glycated red blood cells as seen by a decrease in fasting blood glucose AND hemoglobin A1C measurements.

Fenugreek seeds have a hypoglycemic effect due to its high content of soluble fiber which acts to delay the absorption of glucose from the small intestine. In this same manner, it also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides. Be aware of the fact that due to cross reactivity, if you are allergic to chick peas, you may be allergic to Fenugreek! And because fenugreek is high in fiber, other medications, especially,calcium, should be taken separately. One of my favorites is Bitter Melon. It is a tropical fruit used widely is Asia, Africa, and South America. It is also called bitter gourd and acts by increasing insulin secretion and glucose oxidation. It is a more potent hypoglycemic agent than many pharmaceuticals.

A study of 72 diabetics over 2 weeks showed improved blood sugar control with Aloe Vera. Gymnema is an herb endemic to India whose name means “sugar destroying”. It lowers blood sugar in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Patients taking gymnema have been able to discontinue use of oral hypoglycemic agents in some cases.

Finally, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and green tea have insulin like or insulin potentiating action. There is no substitute for diet, decreased refined carbohydrates and exercise in reducing insulin resistance. It is good to know that several natural herbs and botanicals exist that can aide this process effectively with minimal if any side effects.

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