Herbs can safely help you control your blood sugar better!
Although considerable progress has been made by Western Medicine in antidiabetic drugs, they still have limited efficacy and undesirable side effects. Natural remedies are still in great demand – after all, Nature is a great source of extraordinary antidiabetic medicines!
This is the 5th article in my Octave Resonance Healing Approach™ to Diabetes and blood sugar control. You can click here to read previous articles about holistic diabetes care: spiritual, emotional, acupuncture and nutrition.
Today, I’ll give you a brief overview of how I use herbs for blood sugar control.
I like to use food first, then herbs, then nutriceuticals (isolated non-prescription nutrients) and then decide with your physician how much medication you need. It just makes sense to have the foundation of natural things you can do for yourself in place before deciding how much medication you need. Why? Food, whole food supplements, and herbs are much safer and often just as effective (or sometimes, even more effective!) as meds and isolated vitamins/minerals. Food and herbs almost never push the body to do anything. Food and herbs are complex enough to give the body options, and in its inherent wisdom, the body takes what it needs to achieve balance.
When you come to me for herbal support for diabetes, I would not dream of giving you a “one herb fits all” recommendation. First, I take a thorough history and get to really know your situation. As a trained herbalist, I can know the individual characteristics of the herbs and can recommend what is most likely to help you. Occasionally, there are well-researched herb/drug interactions which I can also steer you around. I prescribe herbs as tinctures, pills or tablets or topically in the form of essential oils. (When they are fresh from the garden, I call them “food”.) The following are things I might find, and a glimpse at just a few of the possible herbal solutions.
- Treat sweet cravings. Gymnema
- Treat Insulin Resistance. Gymnema, maitake mushrooms, banana leaf extract, bitter melon, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, dill, clove, lemongrass, copaiba, Standard Process’ Diaplex
- Clear infection and infestation. If you have a chronic viral or parasitic infection, it can affect your blood sugar. Consider Barberry, euphorbia, garlic, Pau d’Arco, propolis, Qing Hao, Wormwood, St. Johns Wort, and others
- Repair Damaged Tissue. Damaged tissue impairs glycemic control. For trauma, I think of Standard Process Chlorophyll Complex, Echinacea, Gotu Kola, Gingko and Cats Claw. For autoimmune attack, I would use the Standard Process Protomorphogen® extract for the affected organ.
- Support Microbiome. If your gut bacteria are out of whack, it affects your blood sugar. Probiotics and lacto-fermented vegetables will actually help your glycemic control if this is your problem. Unless you have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), they are supportive to almost anyone’s body. If you have parasites in your gut, there are herbs like wormwood and black walnut hulls that can clear them away.
- Hormonal issues. Many hormones affect how insulin is used in the body. There are complicated feedback systems that involve your pituitary, hypothalamus, adrenals, ovaries, testes, etc. A good health history reveals to me what hormonal support you may need. As a rule, herbs are much safer than taking hormones (even bioidentical hormones). Instead of acting like forceful bullets, forcing the body to do things by taking over natural functions, herbs tend to be softer and safer and paradoxically often more effective. For example, the herb Dang Gui will help a woman produce more estrogen if she needs more, and will turn off estrogen production if she has too much. How handy is that! There is much peer-reviewed scientific research published on this and it is well understood by herbalists.
- Treat the auto-immune component. Whether your diabetes is a result of Metabolic Syndrome, obesity, inactivity, or a virus attacking your pancreas, there is usually an auto-immune component in the foreground or background. I treat this mostly with food, but there are herbs which help repair a leaky gut: aloe vera, marshmallow (the plant–not the white candy!), slippery elm, Spanish moss, chamomile, calendula, etc. I also have a so-little known remedy for autoimmune disease that I call it my “secret weapon.” This is Standard Process’s Protomorphogen extract of the pancreas. If your immune system is attacking one of your body organs, this whole food extract is able to stop the attack. These extracts have been around for decades but are recently being revived as research is showing (once again) that these protomorphogens actually do what they say they do.
When you go to an endocrinologist for diabetes or hypoglycemia, you expect her to evaluate your situation, and based on her knowledge of medications, prescribe something that fits your situation. She will educate you and motivate you towards healthy nutrition and lifestyle changes that will help your health. Going to an herbalist is similar. You don’t have to “believe” in your doctor or in your herbalist… Just determine if their advice is helpful. Taking responsibility for your own health and consulting professionals for advice puts you in the driver’s seat of your health. You will find your way.
CAN I HELP?
I currently offer limited slots for my special in-person nutrition consulting sessions – two sessions for $149. If you are one of the first three to book a complimentary “get acquainted” call, you will get $50 off your initial visit. This is a 33% saving for great one-to-one professional guidance! (offer expires Friday 8 pm Eastern. Just book a free call before then and after we talk, if you are one of the first three people, you get the discount. We don’t have to speak before Friday to be eligible…just have a call scheduled).
Interested? Just schedule a complimentary “get acquainted” call: