Tips for treating diabetes with medicinal herbs, diet, aromatherapy, and home remedies

Diabetics need to eat a healthy diet. Both types of diabetes benefit from good diet, exercise, and maintaining correct body weight. All fatty foods and refined sugars should be avoided. Lots of whole grains and vegetables should be eaten daily. High fiber is a key to controlling sugar diabetes. Diabetics should eat slow-burning complex carbohydrates (that don't need much insulin for metabolism). These foods release nutrients slowly thus preventing rapid blood sugar spikes. Diabetics should also eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.

Fresh vegetables and fruits are part of a good diet.
Picture of fresh foods -- courtesy of

People diagnosed with diabetes should be especially concerned with diet.

Medicinal herbs can help regulate blood sugar.

There are herbs that balance and stabilize blood sugar levels. Dandelion, licorice, fenugreek, ginseng, goat's rue, stinging nettle, and rosemary should be consumed on a regular basis. Fenugreek actually contains six blood sugar regulating compounds. Other herbs help in the formation of insulin and include garlic, bilberry, burdock, and astragalus. Some herbs help the body use excess insulin and include bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric.

Try a refreshing drink of black tea with an added pinch of cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric. Pour over ice to help beat the summer heat.

What is diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes. Type one is severe, probably requiring insulin injections, and is sometimes called juvenile diabetes. Type two is also serious although usually develops in adults.

Type two is thought to be an immunity disorder. It is a chronic degenerative disease in which the body's ability to use carbohydrates is reduced due to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream and deprives cells of nutrients.

Causes of diabetes are not completely understood but may include poor diet, chromium deficiencies, obesity due to fat metabolism malfunction, pancreas and liver malfunctions, allergies, and hypothyroidism. Some research hints that a virus may be the cause.

Symptoms of diabetes include excessive hunger and thirst.

Symptoms of diabetes include high blood sugar, constant hunger, dry or itchy skin, excessive thirst, lack of energy, apathy, mental confusion, frequent kidney infections, cramps, blurred vision, menstrual problems, excessive urination, obesity, hypertension, decreased immunity, and accelerated aging. Long term complications include scarring of the retina, damage to peripheral nerves, chronic kidney failure, arteriosclerosis and disorders of the thyroid.

Get more chromium by eating raw onions, broccoli, and tomatoes.

Foods containing chromium are good for controlling diabetes. Raw onions, broccoli, turkey, raw tomatoes, lettuce, grape juice, and potatoes contain chromium although no one food is especially rich in this nutrient.

Green salads, cabbage, citrus fruits, beans, flax seed oil, salmon, olive oil, and turmeric are recommended additions to the diet. Onions, especially the outer skin, contain a compound that helps protect the eyes. When preparing a stew or soup, try leaving the dried skins on the onions.

Stevia can add sweetness to a diabetic's life.

Another herb that is extremely useful in the treatment of diabetes is stevia. Known as sweet leaf, stevia is extremely sweet and can be used in small amounts as a food supplement (stevia extracts are up to 300 times sweeter than sugar and cause no apparent rise in blood glucose levels). Stevia has been shown to actually enhance glucose tolerance. This herb, related to the sunflower, is also used in the treatment of obesity and high blood sugar.

Treat symptoms of diabetes with massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, and essential oils.

Massage and reflexology can help treat diabetes. Blend carrier oil with neroli essential oil, lemon essential oil, frankincense essential oil, or lavender essential oil for a massage that helps circulation and relieves stress. Other essential oils that help balance secretions from the pancreas include eucalyptus essential oil, geranium essential oil, juniper essential oil, and rosemary essential oil.

* Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedies.

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Herb Articles by Janice Boling

"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... , herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer

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Every Green Herb is a place to learn about medicinal herbs and essential oils. Visit my online store to buy wild harvested yellowroot, mullein, bee balm, and other herbal products at Payne Mountain Farms.

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