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Herbal Remedies for Diabetes and Hypoglycemia

 By Jurriaan Plesman, BA(Psych), Post Grad Dip Clin Nutr.

Aloe veraAvocadoBaical SkullcapBilberryBitter lemonBlack cohoshBladderackChicoryCinnamonCoconut OilCurcuminDandelionDevil’s Claw (2 types), FenugreekGarlicGinseng, GentianGlucomannanGreen TeaGymnema sylvestreGlobe artichokeGreat BurdockHoly BasilKudzu vineMilk Thistle (Also for mood disorders), Mukul myrrhLesser burdockOlive leafOnionPrickle-pear cactusRantree Forest HerbsSan qiShallotSiberian ginsengStevia, Stinging nettleSweet tea vine,  Tree onion

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the TGA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider or Herbalist. Please consult the TGA for more up-to-date information.

The list of herbs have hypoglycemic action, but it should be realized that herbals may not be effective if the underlying biochemical disorders have not been addressed. Other medical uses are also mentioned. See:

Self Help Web Site for Personal Growth

Also research Index for medical research into various herbals.

Here is a summary list of herbs with hypoglycemic activities. Readers are advised to research databases for these herbs for more detailed information and to seek the advice of pharmacists, herbalists, naturopaths or nutritionists before embarking on self-help therapy. For some source of herbs

Go to “Plants for the Future” are now to be found at:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/default.aspx and use their search engine, 

or

Herbs2000 at:  http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/1menu.htm

or

Herbs at a glance at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/herbsataglance.htm

Baical Skullcap (Scuttelaria baicalensis)

Also called: Scute, Chinese skullcap

Source: E.Asia, China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia

Parts used: leaves

Forms available: as a tea

Used for: diabetes, liver function, pain relief, antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, anti-arthritis, fever, muscle relaxant, increases bile production, diuretic, laxative, Anxiety, sedative, TB, allergies, enteritis, dysentery, diarrhea, jaundice, chronic hepatitis, urinary tract infections, hypertension, threatened miscarriage, nosebleed and haemorrhage from the lungs or bowel

Caution: pregnancy and breast feeding, drug interactions,

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Black Cohosh Cimicifuga racemosa

Other uses: women’s problems, PMT, diabetes,menopause, detoxification, arthritis, rheumatism, muscle relaxant, diuretic, insomnia, hot flushes, sciatica, tinnitus, hypertension, muscle pain , cramps, night sweats, vaginal dryness, gingivitus, diarrhea, fever, osteoporosis

Caution: avoid in pregnancy, liver diseases, hepatitis, nursing mothers

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Bilberry  Vaccinium myrtyillus

Other uses: Leaves contain glucoquinones which reduce blood sugar levels, pre-diabetes (hypoglycemia), diabetes associated conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, night blindness, diabetic retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy, diarrhea, peptic ulcers, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, fluid retention, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), urinary tract infection (UTI), decoction for ulceration of the mouth, treatment of diarrhea ( in children), treats hemeralopia (day blindness), and night blindness, dilates blood vessels, varicose veins, capillary fragility, kidney stones, atherosclerosis.

Caution: No side effects have been reported with bilberry.

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Bladderack  Fucus vesiculosus

Other uses: diabetes, hypothyroidism for its source of iodine, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, heartburn, laxative, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, estrogen related cancers, obesity,

Caution: Not to be used in hyperthyroidism, cardiac problems, lactation, high blood pressure.

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Chicory  Cichorium intybus

Other uses: jaundice, liver enlargement, rheumatism, weak heart rate pulse,heart palpitations, galls stones, diabetes, sinus problems, bruises, increases appetite, stimulates gastric juices, stimulates production of bile, empty gall bladder, reduces fat, detoxification, hypertension, reduces swelling of testicles, obesity diabetes, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, External: acne, pimples,

Caution: avoid in kidney problems, kidney stones, people with low blood pressure, gastro-duodenal ulcers

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Dandelion:   Taraxacum officinale

Other uses: heartburn, diuretic, rheumatism, weak heart rate pulse, heart palpitations, galls stones, diabetes, replaces potassium loss, promotes bile, detoxification, antibiotic against yeast infection (Candida), bladder and urinary disorders, gallstones, jaundice, cirrhosis of the liver, dyspepsia, gout, oedema (swellings) associated with high blood pressure, hypertension, eczema, acne, pneumonia, The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc, External use: latex contained in sap to remove warts, corns and verruca (ie., painful warts on sole of feet).

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Devil’s Claw  (Oplopanax horridum) and (Harpagophytum procumbens) below

Parts used: Very young shoots, shoots an be chewed or cooked

Other Uses: diabetes, analgesic, antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, appetiser, coughs, memory loss, bronchitis, hypertension, osteoarthritis, low back pain, promotes menstrual flow, eye wash, hypoglycemic, tonic on blood and liver, bowel cramps, berries have been rubbed on sclap to combat lice and dandruff or to make hair shiny.

Caution: spikes of plant are an irritant, excessive menstrual bleeding, hypoglycemic drugs should be monitored, may cause hypoglycemia.

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Devil’s Claw  (Harpagophytum procumbens)

Parts Used: tubers

Other uses: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, fibrositis, tendinitis, gastrointestinal infections, low back pain, indigestion, heartburn

Caution: Devil’s claw promotes secretion of stomach acid, any one having ulcers, heartburn, or gastritis, gallstones should consult physician before taking devil’s claw, contraindicated in pregnancy and breast feeding, anticoagulant drugs like warfarin may increase bleeding time

Drug interactions.

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Fenugreek  foenum graecum

Other uses: Lowers cholesterol, rheumatism, weak heart rate pulse,heart palpitations, galls stones, diabetes, reduces inflammation of joints, atherosclerosis, high triglycerides, cancer, PCOS, flatulence, improves mucus membranes, diuretic, softens skin, reduces fevers, promotes milk in nursing, reduces blood pressure, promotes bowel movement, constipation, tea as laxative, constipation, encourage weight gain, anorexia nervosa, inflammation of stomach and intestines, ingredient trigonelline (is converted into niacin) for potential cancer treatment, alcoholic ulcers, poor digestion, anaemia, insufficient lactation, seeds freshen bad breath, improves taste, alcoholic intoxication (here), External: seed powder for poultices, abscesses, boils, ulcers, burns, douche for excessive vaginal discharge,kills lice, ringworm, hair lice,

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Gentian (Gentiana lutea)

Source: Central and South Europe

Parts Used: root

Forms available:

Used for: diabetes, hypoglycemia, digestive disorders, fatigue, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant and stomachic, stimulates liver, gastric infections, anorexia, gastric and duodenal ulcers,

Caution: None known, Persons with high stomach acidity and stomach ulcers may find that gentian aggravates their condition.

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Ginseng  Panax ginseng

Globe Artichoke Cynara scolymus

Other uses: Lowers cholesterol, rheumatism, arthritis, stimulates bile production, aids digestion, diuretic, diabetes, liver disease, jaundice, hepatitis, arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, oedema (swellings), rheumatism, stimulates digestive enzymes, increase milk production in nursing mothers, removes stones from kidney and bladder, irritable bowel syndrome, (IBS)A substance known as cynarin found in leaves – a phenolic acid lowers elevated cholesterol and protect the liver.

Caution:  Globe Artichoke should not be used by people with allergies to any member of the Compositae (milk thistle) family of plants.
– Patients with obstruction of the bile ducts or gallstones should use Globe Artichoke cautiously as this herb stimulates the flow of bile through the bile ducts.
– Globe Artichoke should not be used during pregnancy or lactation as its effects on the developing child are unknown.

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Great Burdock  Arctium lappa

Other uses: diabetes, mood swings, detoxification, overload of toxins, throat and other infections, boils, rashes, skin problems, psoriasis, dermatitis, elimination of heavy metals, cancer, antibacterial, antifungal, flatulence, gas, burns, bruises, herpes, eczema, impetigo, ringworm, bites, can be taken as an infusion or externally as a wash, stilmulates bile production, eliminates toxins, menopause, rheumatoid arthritis, stimulates perspiration (diaphoretic), diuretic,

Caution: Not recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women.

• Large doses can cause skin eruptions, headache, and aching joints due to excessive elimination.

• Skin contact with burdock root has the potential for sensitisation.

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Kudzu Vine  Pueraria montana lobata

Other uses: In alcohol abuse suppresses craving for alcohol, often used in combination with Chrysanthemum morifolium, anti-vomiting, diabetes, reduces blood pressure, muscle relaxant, cramps, fevers, antispasmodic, improves heart conditions, angina pectoris, colds, diarrhea, angina pectoris, cluster migraine, measles, tinnitus, vertigo, improves blood flow, improves milk production for nursing mothers,

Caution: Not known as yet.

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Lesser Burdock  Arctium minus

Other uses: similar to great burdock, diabetes, detoxification, overload of toxins, infections of throat, sore throat, cough, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, boils, rashes, skin problems, eliminate heavy metals, antibacterial, anti-fungal, flatulence, burns, bruises, herpes, eczema, acne, impetigo, ringworm, bites, slight laxative, diuretic, fever, increase bile production, diuretic, high blood pressure,

Caution: 

  • Not recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Large doses can cause skin eruptions, headache, and aching joints due to excessive elimination.
  • Skin contact with burdock root has the potential for sensitisation.

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Onion Allium cepa (Also other onions)

Other uses: diabetes, expels parasites from gut, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, flatulence, diuretic,fevers,lowers blood pressure, removes stones from kidney and bladder, angina, heart conditions, arteriosclerosis, skin conditions. onion juice for wasp sting and when warmed for earache, insect repellent.

Caution:

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San qi  Panax pseudoginseng notoginseng

Other uses: diabetes, pain relief, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, improves heart conditions, diuretic, supports adrenal glands in production of corticosteroids, male sex hormones, improves blood flow to coronary arteries, arteriosclerosis, angina, analgesic, pain relief, helps stop bleeding (styptic), wound healing (vulnerary) both internal and external, nosebleeds, uterine bleeding, vomiting of blood (hematemesis), angina pectoris,

Caution: Avoid during pregnancy

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Shallot Allium cepa ascalonicum

Other uses: diabetes, expels parasites, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, flatulence, diuretic, fevers, promotes general health, juice useful ,in treatment for bee and wasp sting, fungal skin infection, as ear drops warmed for earache,

Caution:

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Siberian Ginseng  Eleutherococcus senticosus TopStinging Nettle Urtica dioica

Other uses: diabetes, asthma, dandruff, diuretic increases milk production for nursing mothers, hay fever, arthritis, anaemia, stems internal bleeding, excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism, skin complaints, eczema, acne, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, hair problems, formic acid from the stings of the nettle is believed to have beneficial effects upon rheumatic joints, as a pain relief, juice of the nettle is used as an antidote to stings, infusion of fresh leaves is healing as a lotion for burns, benign prostate enlargement (hyperplasia), osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, urinary tract infection, as an anti-itch cream

Caution: can cause gastrointestinal upset, considered safe for breast feeding and during pregnancy,

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Sweet Tea Vine  Gynostemma pentaphyllum Image, Image 2

Other uses: diabetes, stimulates liver function, strengthen nervous system, lowers cholesterol, sedative, antispasmodic, lowers blood pressure, exhaustion and fatigue, peptic ulcer, asthma, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, protection against chemotherapy,

Caution: Not recomended for pregnant women, small children and breast-feeding women since so little is known about its possible long-term effects. Possible minor side effect is nausea.

Avoid taking Gynostemma if you taking taking blood thinning medications or drugs to prevent organ transplant rejection.

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Tree onion  Allium cepa proliferum

Other uses: Rarely used as a medical herb, the onion has a wide range of benefits, expels parasites from the gut, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic, fevers,lowers blood pressure, eliminates stones from kidney and bladder, angina, arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease. prevents oral infection, tooth decay, Onion juice for for bee and wasp stings, bites, grazes, fungal skin infections, speeds up wound healing

Caution: Toxic if consumed in large quantities, dogs may be susceptible.

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Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre)

Also known as Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, Gurmari

Other uses: For diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2, constipation, PCOS, water retention, liver disease, raises insulin levels, may regenerate pancreatic cells, improves glucose absorption from intestine, and into cells, stops gluconeogenesis (synthesis of glucose from noncarbohydrate precursors), lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, prevents weight gain (obesity), when placed under the tongue prevents the taste of sweetness,

Caution: Generally safe, but caution in pregnancy, breast feeding.

See also: Gymnema and J Clin Biochem Nutr 2007 for chemical analysis

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OLIVE (Oleaeoropaea)

Other uses: Antipruritic, stings, burns (external use), diuretic useful in gout, antiseptic, cholagogue (from pericarp), laxative, peptic ulcers, yeast infections, candida, HIV virus, flu virus, herpes, possibly for prostate and breast cancer, hyperacidity, immuno-stimulant, dandruff (oil for external use), febrifuge, sedative, hypertension, nervous tension, hypoglycemic, (may be a substitute for quinine for malaria), bark exudes substance as a vulnerary,

Caution: Not known, safety in pregnancy not established, no known drug interactions.

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Please discuss this article with your health care worker, doctor or nutritional doctor or therapist

See also: Herbal Remedies for Mood Disorders

 

See also; Herb Library at YourHealth.com

Index to Specific topics and Research

References to Mood Disorders and Nutrition


2 Responses

  1. Chetana says:

    Very useful information Jurriaan. Thanks. My cousin is suffering with diabetes. Hope this will help him.

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