10 herbs to battle diabetes

Studies have revealed that herbs and supplements have shown promise in lowering blood sugar, boosting insulin sensitivity and reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Along with Dr. Jaishree Bhattacharjee, Ayurvedic consultant with Satvikshop we give you a list of easily available herbs that will help you battle diabetes. But with any herbal treatments, it is also important to continue to closely monitor blood sugar and other results with your doctor.

Saptrangi

Regulates kapha dosha (stability and structure) due to its astringent, heating and dry nature which is the primary cause of diabetes. It also have good effect on functioning of liver and pancreas

Direction of use: Root powder: 1-2 gms, decoction: 10 ml-20 ml

Gurmar

Assist in the regeneration of insulin and producing Beta Cells. It contains Gymnemic Acid whose molecular arrangement is similar to glucose molecules. Gymnemic Acid molecules fill the receptor locations on the taste buds thereby preventing activation of taste buds by sugar molecules present in the food, thus, curbing the sugar craving.

Direction of use: Powder of dried leaves 3-6gms, decoction of roots 50 - 100 ml

Neem

Apart from regulating kapha dosha it also regulates metabolism due to shot potency. Neem enhances insulin receptor sensitivity and are also helpful in reducing the need for hypo-glycaemic drugs.

Direction of use: Dried leaves powder- 3-6 gm

Jamun

Due to its kashay (astringent) taste and absorptive quality it balances kapha and helps control the frequency of urine and lowering the urine and blood sugar level

Direction of use: Powder of dried seeds 3 - 6gms

Vijaysaar

Due to its kashay (astringent) taste and light and drying nature It balances kapha and regulate glucose level and due to katu vipak, balance metabolism in the body. Works also well for diabetic complications

Direction of use: Heart wood as decoction 50- 100 mland 3-6 gm as powder.

Bilva

Bilva is kaphashamak by ruksha, laghu, Kashaya and bitter properties. These properties makes it effective to regulate the blood sugar and combat diabetic complications.

Direction of use: Powder of dried unripe fruit 3-6 gm.

Methi (fenugreek)

Tikta ras (bitter taste) and ushna virya of methi makes it kapha shamak, which fights the root cause of diabetes

Direction of use: Seed and whole plant, Powder - 2 to 6 gm

Haridra

Because of Katu, tikta, ushna properties Haridra balances kapha which is the primary dosha involved in diabetes. Antiseptic properties of haridra makes it useful in curbing the infections in diabetic patients. It also is beneficial in Boils of skin and urinary tract infections which are very common in diabetics

Direction of use: Powder of dried Haridra - 2-4 gm , juice of fresh Haridra rhizome is 10-20 ml.

Karela (Bittergourd)

Tikta, laghu, ruksha gunas of karelapacify aggravation of kapha. It stimulates pancreas, liver and spleen and regulates blood sugar level. Ruksha guna and katu vipak improves absorption of food and better metabolism.

Direction of use: Juice of fresh fruit- 10-20ml, dried fruit powder 3-6 gm

cure Shashikantiyengar suramo @anup shrisamarth

33 Replies

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  • Above all are Indian herbs...but guess Saptarangi is not easily found in India....

    further it has three main sub species...i.e. salacia oblonga , salacia reticulata and salacia chinensis...

    Although it is widely consumed in south east Asia for T2...it is not much known and popular in India....(reasons not known) May be not mentioned in main stream Ayurvedic books.

  • cure

    I think Saptarangi (Saptarangi – Casearia esculenta) is available in India...since Diabecon DS tablets I am taking contains it and it is manufactured by Himalaya herbals of Bangalore ...I don't know if they are getting it from Himalaya mountains!:-)

    See it's botanical name below in composition of diabecon ds tablet given in below link.

    ayurtimes.com/diabecon-tabl...

  • hmmmm what is exact botanical name of saptarangi.?

  • Saptarangi – Casearia esculenta

    I have written in my above comment in bracket

  • if u put saptarangi as search term ..it gives different name

  • Do opposite, what I did I wrote botanical name in search...and it showed Saptrangi...see below link which shows results of google search

    google.co.in/search?q=Casea...

    ayushveda.com/herbs/caseari...

  • Gurmar

    Assist in the regeneration of insulin and producing Beta Cells.

    Any scientific proof of regeneration?

    Any proof that it doesn't just increase insulin secretion (which we don't consider as good when it comes to controlling blood sugar) and brings the levels down just because of elevated insulin levels?

    Will everything combined allow me to eat 60% CARBS a day and maintain normal -- non diabetic -- blood sugars? Any studies on the same to look at?

  • @anup

    It is my experience however since I am taking Diabecon DS tablet since one and a half year. Just because I learnt here in this forum that we should reduce residual insulin or circulating insulin in our blood, I stopped that for 10 days and my FBS levels increased to 119 from below 100. So, I confirm myself of it's effectiveness since I restarted it and the next day my FBS levels went below 105...and I doubled the dose I was taking...I was taking only once a day in the morning before all these months and now actual dose is one tablet twice a day ....so I am taking it at night also...my FBS going below 100 now. This diabecon tab contains Gymnema as it's key ingredient and it is called gurmar in hindi. Now, FBS comes higher in people whose BCF has deteriorated more...so that pancreas doesn't secrete insulin during fasting at night as it happens in normal people having 100% BCF. This confirms that taking diabecon ds tablet and various ingredients used in it including gurmar decreases FBS levels and even PPBS levels by increasing beta cell function by regenerating beta cells. My PPBS levels also rose like anything when I stopped it. After re-continuing it, again my PPBS levels are in control.

    However, if you see the research papers....

    Diabecon research

    The benefits of diabecon and its safety and efficacy in maintaining normal blood sugar levels have been subjected to various clinical studies which have been published in medical journals such as the The Antiseptic 2004, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2005, The Indian Practitioner, (1997).

    source of information.......read whole article given in the below link to understand how each ingredient works. Hope it helps

    favorfinesse.com/diabecon.s...

    I know you believe only in LCHF diet but there is more to diabetes management than you can think of in limited sense. I know you do not believe in taking medicines and you are prejudiced particularly for the effectiveness of herbal or Ayurvedic medicines but I believe in it and I already proved it's effectiveness above.

    About Gymnema (Gurmar)

    herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Bene...

  • I just asked for scientific study papers about beta cell regeneration.

    Regarding all trials of everything Himalaya, I have gone through their papers in 2011 whatever were available on their site back then -- including Diabeocn/Diabecon DS -- and most have talked of everything as an "adjuvant" therapy mostly.

    I needed scientific evidence of beta cells regeneration through diabecon/gurmar or host of other herbs mentioned. If restarting brings the sugar down quickly it only means it's pushing more insulin as regeneration (if there's any evidence about it) cannot just be like a switch.

    Yes, one can wrongly conclude that just because sugar levels came down beta cells got regenerated when they aren't even looking at insulin levels in blood. Beta cells regeneration is a myth and unproven so far.

    Can you point me to one study? Links provided are just full of usual statements that it regenerates beta cells. They haven't provided any link to trials.

    Effectiveness: even Sulphonyl Urea drugs are effective only for a limited period as they squeeze more insulin. Can you point me to studies where they have studied the impact on blood insulin levels of Gymnema/Diabecon/Diabecon DS and it's cousins? In absence of that, how can anyone claim that beta cells regenerate. Is it a marketing gimmick?

    As for my belief, I only believe in trial studies. Yes, LCHF does reduce residual insulin so I believe in that. Limited knowledge or not, I am not sure why would anyone call that as limited.

  • Abstract

    The effectiveness of GS4, an extract from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre, in controlling hyperglycaemia was investigated in 22 Type 2 diabetic patients on conventional oral anti-hyperglycaemic agents. GS4 (400 mg/day) was administered for 18-20 months as a supplement to the conventional oral drugs. During GS4 supplementation, the patients showed a significant reduction in blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin and glycosylated plasma proteins, and conventional drug dosage could be decreased. Five of the 22 diabetic patients were able to discontinue their conventional drug and maintain their blood glucose homeostasis with GS4 alone. These data suggest that the beta cells may be regenerated/repaired in Type 2 diabetic patients on GS4 supplementation. This is supported by the appearance of raised insulin levels in the serum of patients after GS4 supplementation.

    Source of information below

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/225...

    Pubmed research links below

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/241...

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/208...

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/224...

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?te...

  • These data suggest that the beta cells may be regenerated/repaired in Type 2 diabetic patients on GS4 supplementation.

    This is supported by the appearance of raised insulin levels in the serum of patients after GS4 supplementation.

    So all indirect conclusion.

    By same logic, all SU drugs also regenerate beta cells because they also raise insulin levels.

    Key is it raises insulin levels. That's what I wanted to highlight

    It's counter productive to control blood sugar by raising serum insulin levels as most Type 2 starts with overload of insulin in blood :)

  • Fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels measured after 8 wk of G-400 treatment in patients were significantly lower. Indeed diabetic rats showed similar protection with G-400 administration. Furthermore, glycosylated hemoglobin, serum total cholesterol, both high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides showed a significant improvement in G-400-administered patients. Toxicologic profile of the drug was assessed by analyzing the enzyme activities of alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase along with the concentration of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine in blood and found insignificant change compared with control.

    source of information

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/249...

    However, if you see all the pubmed research links I have given above, it also improves lipid profile.

    Glimepride however does increase insulin secretion

    Mechanism of action. Like all sulfonylureas, glimepiride acts as an insulin secretagogue. It lowers blood sugar by stimulating the release of insulin by pancreatic beta cells and by inducing increased activity of intracellular insulin receptors.

    But since glimepride causes hypoglycemia in lot of patients and I myself experienced it, I discontinued and I am not having hypoglyemia episodes now.

    THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HERBAL/AYURVEDIC MEDICINES WHICH DO NOT HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECTS AND ALLOPATHIC DRUGS WHICH HAVE SIDE EFFECTS.

    However, your LCHF diet also improves only blood sugar numbers and it is also your speculation that this diet doesn't harm in anyway and only have advantages. It is also an "indirect conclusion" by just having an effect on reducing symptoms i.e. BS levels and not curing the cause of the disease as ayurvedic herbs helps. Ofcourse, it has to be taken as an adjuvant therapy but it helps and doesn't have any side effects.

  • Study still doesn't prove that it regenerates beta cells.

    However, your LCHF diet also improves only blood sugar numbers and it is also your speculation that this diet doesn't harm in anyway and only have advantages.

    Few things:

    (1) It's not "MINE" so please avoid these "YOUR" diet type of comments. As I have repeatedly said, I am not here for "You Vs Me" type of discussions but you keep doing it repeatedly, despite polite requests.

    (2) Show studies of disadvantages please. Till you can show some evidence, it's just a speculation that I am speculating. Wonder why you cannot keep this you vs me out of replies.

    (3) I am measuring even after 240 weeks and numbers are great without medications and even without the lone Ashvagandha that I used to take. Aren't 8 week studies meaningless in the long run? Surprising people latch on to 8 week data and call 240+ week data as speculation.

    It is also an "indirect conclusion" by just having an effect on reducing symptoms i.e. BS levels and not curing the cause of the disease as ayurvedic herbs helps.

    Nope, it's not removing symptoms but tackling the "cause". There's no scientific reason that we should be eating 60% CARBS. Gymnema is just trying to tackle high blood glucose by pushing up insulin.

    (1) Blood sugar comes down despite decreasing/eliminating medications and Ayurveda, many a times as much as getting rid of it 100%. This happens even with diabetes history of 25 years.

    (2) Show study that AYURVEDA CURES diabetes. All talks of CURE are just marketing gimmick trying to sell a commercial product

    (3) LIPIDS improve.

    (4) LFT improves.

    (5) BTW, even KFT improves for a partially damaged kidney too -- cf case of kkjng

    So, no, we are not dealing with symptoms, we are dealing more with the cause when we talk diet change.

    Most Impt: Did anyone of them in any of the studies on all the plethora of herbs drop their A1C from 12 to 5.6? How much was the so called "significant" drop? Drop by pushing up insulin or some other way?

    One of the links quoted by you says:

    In vitro measurements using isolated human islets of Langerhans demonstrated direct stimulatory effects of OSA(R) on insulin secretion from human ß-cells, consistent with an in vivo mode of action through enhancing insulin secretion.

    Counter productive if we have to increase insulin secretion to control blood sugar. Sorry, doesn't sound too intelligent when high insulin is the cause of long term problems. This is why, we stay away from such products. Just because it is ayurveda doesn't mean we pop a pill without knowing what it does.

  • See, the way LCHF improves BS levels and lipid profile, same way Diabecon DS or Gymnema does. How the insulin secretion would increase afterall? By proliferating beta cells, right? So that is it...increases insulin production means improves BCF by increasing number of beta cells. And once BS levels and lipid profile are controlled with the help of these herbal medicines, it will improve LFT and KFT also ultimately as it does with LCHF diet.

    I will check fasting insulin after few months and we will confirm whether it increases insulin or not.

    Lastly, when I checked in Aug, fasting insulin was 9.93 but then I was taking Glimepride too since 2 1/2 years which increases insulin secretion too and then stopped it due to hypoglycemia. Moreover, I got it done thru thyrocare where they collect sample in the morning but does testing in the night in Mumbai. Shrisamarth said Insulin test should be done within 2 hours, so next time I will get it done at local lab to avoid this time delay so that more accurate results are obtained. Planning to do C-peptide test also then to confirm BCF and IR.

  • How the insulin secretion would increase afterall? By proliferating beta cells, right?

    NO. That's a wrong deduction.

    No Type 2 would ever have gone on insulin if that logic was sound. SU drugs would have worked life long. When you whip a horse it runs faster not by producing more muscles.

  • How does diabecon help maintain normal sugar levels?

    Diabecon is a synergistic blend of various herbs and minerals recommended by Ayurveda for maintaining blood glucose levels. Gymnema has molecules that are similar to sugar molecules and by filling the sugar receptor locations in the intestines they prevent absorption into the blood stream. Gymnema has also been shown to promote insulin production in the pancreas. Guggul is another herb that has been shown to be able to promote healthy blood sugar levels. Extract of Pterocarpus marsupium or Pitasara is recommended for regenerating pancreatic beta cells. Karela or Momordica charantia also known as bitter melon is an excellent herb/vegetable for maintaining blood sugar levels. Many other bitter herbs such as Triphala and Haridra also have this ability. Yashti-Madhu or Licorice is known to stabilize blood sugar levels by preventing low blood sugar. Punarnava which literally means renewal helps protect and renew damaged nephron cells caused by high blood sugar levels. It provides kidney, liver and pancreatic support. Shatavari or asparagus racemosus helps to stimulate insulin secretion.

    favorfinesse.com/diabecon.s...

    Review of Diabecon DS

    Diabecon seems to be the wonder supplement for diabetics due to its promising effects on blood sugar maintenance, cholesterol control and cell-regeneration. It is quickly growing in popularity since it also presents no side effects and contraindications.

    Diabecon is an herbal supplement that helps control blood sugar by lowering the glycated hemoglobin level. It also lowers microalbuminuria and long term effects of diabetes as well as balances lipid profile and cholesterol. Diabecon has many functions that support individuals having problems with their body glucose levels and fat absorption like diabetics. The supplement enhances the peripheral use of glucose and boosts hepatic and muscle glycogen content and C-peptide level.

    The complex formula is basically in the form of tablets so it is taken orally. Diabecon also improves b-cell repair and regeneration especially in the pancreas. It also acts as an antioxidant further protecting b-cells from damage and oxidative stress. Diabecon helps control cholesterol by regulating the metabolism of lipids and ensuring that serum triglycerides and cholesterol are normal.

    medicalook.com/reviews/Diab...

  • Marketing literature. No science. Gist is it elevates insulin level. No proof of regeneration.

  • Science is ME myself. I have experienced it by using it apart from review and literature. What one more needs other than control BS levels, lipid profile, also works as an antioxidant and protect kidneys as well if you have read all above. All herbs help in the end though as an adjuvant therapy so nothing wrong using it to control our BS levels along with maintaining our organs' health.

  • Where's your proof that beta cells regenerated? You eat 2 parathas and sugar shoots up?

    Yes I have read and your reports prove that the science of Diabecon failed. Look at your full report including Liver and BUN etc which is conked off. Antioxidant? Did they fail too?

  • arre bhai, I will give you proof in my next report along with fasting insulin and c-peptide test ( to prove that my BCF improved) as I already mentioned before after eating 2 parathas and all carbs we eat in our common practice. Generally I eat around 120-150 g of carbs (moderate carbs approach, if we consider 1800 cal diet, it comes to 25-30% carbs) and avoid dinner. Not counting calories but keep in mind roughly how much I eat.

  • With 150g carbs, walk 5 km/day.

  • Ok. thanks dear Anup to remind me to walk. Afterall, one should be physically active to improve blood circulation and fitness apart from any other benefits we get from exercise or moving.

    My HbA1c has increased by 2 points after I left job. Staying at home would include less moving around.

  • I don't walk at all for controlling blood sugar. Just do irregularly, a bit of weights and bullworker.

    May start walking when diet alone starts failing.

  • @anup

    You need to read this article by Chris Kresser and also the comments below it for sure.

    chriskresser.com/do-high-pr...

  • Why should I?

    Do I talk of high protein diet?

    NO.

    More over, are we as diabetics called healthy?

    I think one should read in between the lines too otherwise it will only cause confusion.

  • arre yaar, you react unnecessarily.

    I am just asking you to read comments but before that you need to read article to understand comments.

    Comments are full of information and knowledge...

    One of the comment is

    I dont know if your even going to know I gave you a reply, but eating a high nut diet isn’t necessarily good for you. Nuts like pecans, walnuts and almond have a terrible omega 3:6 ratio and should be eaten in moderation, as to avoid inflammation.

    And lot many other comments are good enough to read...I just asked u to read like that ...not because we are diabetics or you talk about high protein diet or LCHF diet.

    I am not sure how much of it is true since it is confusing to read comments of opposing views.

  • Did I ever comment on what you do and the way you react to many here? So why not offer the same respect in return by leaving the judgement about others out completely?

    O3 and O6 ratio. That's where VCO comes in but you oppose VCO too for some odd reasons, maybe just because I talk in favour of that?

    How much O6 does VCO have? And what's the ratio of O3:O6 when VCO is primary oil for us and 30 g walnuts per day is what I always talk of? Any numbers? That's why we HATE PUFA loaded industrial vegetable oils.

    Listen to huge number of Indian diabetics who live LCHF diet for years. There will be no confusion then.

  • I am not opposing VCO because you talk in favor of that...not even LCHF for that matter but it is not practical for me to implement in my daily diet simply because of many constraints.

    I was just confused when I read that nuts in high amount can cause abnormal O3:O6 ratio...and this may cause inflammation.

    I like almond and walnuts very much and have thought of increasing it's intake so that's why I asked you to read.

  • I was just confused when I read that nuts in high amount can cause abnormal O3:O6 ratio...and this may cause inflammation.

    You can trust my judgement about diet if I talk something. Not that I have knowledge of everything, but even if we combine the knowledge of 10 diabetics on LCHF diet, they would be able to give the best dietitian / diabetologist a run for their money. So, we diabetics when we talk of LCHF we complement each other.

  • So, we diabetics when we talk of LCHF we complement each other.

    Well said,Anup Ji!

  • My diabatologist says all these herbs can improve your sugar levels only to the extent of 5% or so. And that is what I experienced.

    What really worked for me is swimming...I measured before and after and found that sugar levels come down drastically

  • Diabecon DS tablet I am taking is getting down BS levels by almost 30%. Diabetologist might not have used herbs himself. I have used it myself and experienced recently by measuring my FBS and PPBS levels by discontinuing this tablet and then again introducing it and increasing it's dose.

  • aksha give the malayalam names of herbs

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