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New Research Indicates Some Traditional Herbal Remedies May Be Effective for Treating The Root Cause of Type 2 Diabetes.

Most Diabetes Medications Are Aimed At Managing Symptoms

If you are one of the estimated 29 million Americans with Type 2 Diabetes you can probably rattle off the top ten diabetes medications off the top of your head. However, all these medications have one thing in common. They help manage the symptoms of diabetes not the cause. Most are designed to either supplement insulin production, reduce sugar absorption or support pancreatic health. The causes of diabetes are complex and not completely understood. However, for many people plagued with Type 2 diabetes, one common cause seems to be insulin resistance.

What is Insulin Resistance?

A super-brief reminder about insulin resistance. Insulin is like a key that unlocks your cells so they can absorb sugar from the blood stream and convert it to energy. For people with insulin resistance the key is not working well. So, their bodies detect the presence of sugar in the blood stream and instruct the pancreas to produce insulin but the insulin fails to unlock the cells to absorb the sugar. Your body continues to detect high levels of sugar and demands more insulin. Over time this relentless demand for insulin causes the pancreas to just give up. The exact causes of insulin resistance are not well understood but there seems to be a genetic predisposition component and a close relationship to obesity.

White Mulberry Leaf Helps Manage Blood Sugar Absorption

Readers of my blog will know I’m a fan of White Mulberry Tea for people struggling with diabetes. I recommend white mulberry tea for diabetics because it helps block the absorption of dietary sugars. By blocking the absorption of these sugars before they enter your blood stream you can lessen the work your body needs to do to process the sugars in your system and help reduce the resulting insulin demand.

But, like the medications I mentioned ealier, white mulberry is not a “cure” for diabetes. If consumed consistently with meals you will see improvement in your blood sugar levels and because your body is not working so hard to maintain status quo, the science indicates there is a long-term benefit. However, you could achieve the same result by simply managing your dietary sugar intake better. So, white mulberry tea is an aide to managing your sugar intake not a diabetes treatment.

New Research supports the Efficacy of Some Traditional Herbal Remedies In Managing Insulin Resistance

Today I want to highlight a new study indicating that there are herbs which may indeed help diabetics and, in specific, may help reduce insulin resistance.

A new study out in The Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants takes a look at three herbs used traditionally in Ayurveda and TCM for the treatment of diabetes; bitter melon, green tea and cinnamon. The study found solid scientific evidence that, at least in animal studies, all three of these herbs do seem to help reduce insulin resistance.

Researchers Report That Green Tea May Reverse Insulin Resistance

In the case of green tea, the researchers induced diabetes in hamsters. The hamsters experienced elevated blood glucose, elevated insulin levels, elevated triglycerides and decreased adiponectin (decreased adiponectin is an indicator of insulin resistance.) They then supplemented the hamster’s diet with catachins from green tea. After just 4 weeks the hamsters were back to the pre-diabetic condition. Green tea supplementation effectively reversed their insulin resistance.

The researchers observed similar benefits to supplementation with bitter melon and cinnamon. The biological mechanisms at work in the three herbs were different. This is interesting because it indicates that the three herbs could be used complimentarily and have a multiplying effect.

Two Teas Working Together Deliver A One-Two Punch to Diabetes

White mulberry tea and green tea together may provide very helpful one-two punch for diabetes sufferers. The white mulberry helps manage your intake of sugars while the green tea may help reverse insulin resistance.

By simply adding these two teas to your diet you might be able to;

  • Reduce you blood glucose levels
  • Reduce your insulin demand
  • Lower your blood insulin level
  • Lower your triglycerides
  • And reverse some or all of your insulin resistance

A Natural Approach May Be Your Right Approach

As always, you should exercise caution. Diabetes is a serious illness and I’m not recommending you abruptly drop your doctor recommended treatment program in favor of these herbs. However, this research does look promising and at reasonable consumption levels there is no downside to giving these herbs a try. If you see an improvement in your blood work, then you may want to initiate a conversation with your doctor about dialing back the pharmaceuticals in favor of this more natural approach.

You should also always be careful about adding herbal supplements to your health routine. Check for interactions with you medications and any other health conditions you may have. If you have any doubts do check with your doctor. Be careful that any herbal supplements you purchase are from reputable merchants, produced organically and fresh.

The Evidence Continues to Mount

This is an animal study not a clinical trial and, taken by itself, it doesn’t prove anything. But it adds to a growing body of evidence that there are time tested natural remedies that may help people struggling with Type 2 Diabetes. Considering that there are few if any harmful side effects it seems well worth giving a try. Imagine your doctors reaction next time you show him or her your improved blood test results and you tell them your “secret” is as simple as drinking white mulberry tea with meals and green tea between meals.

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