Natural Herbs for Diabetes

Many people who are diagnosed with diabetes want to treat it in a more natural way. There are more than 400 different herbal products or supplements that have been touted as lowering blood sugar. Some have received more attention than others, but it's important to note that many doctors and federal regulators don't support the claims that herbs will help treat diabetes.

There is a lack of standardization and regulation in these products, so dose recommendations are hard to come by. In addition, quality can vary quite a bit for manufacturer to manufacturer. Because these supplements are not standardized, you may not get the exact same dosage from bottle to bottle. Plus, more studies are needed to prove the safety of these herbs and the recommended dosages.

Ginseng is one of the most popular herbs that has been shown to lower blood sugar. Researchers have not isolated the compound that is responsible for lowering blood sugar and no dosing standards have been established. There are some possible side effects including sleeplessness, nervousness, headache, nausea and dizziness.

Fenugreek seeds have also been touted to lower blood sugar. Again, researchers don't know exactly what the standard that should be. They also have some potential side effects including upset stomach, gas and diarrhea.

Gymnema Sylvestre is another herb that is supposed to enhance the action of the body's insulin which will then lower blood sugar. One strange side effect is that it changes the ability to taste sweet and bitter flavors. Also, long-term side effects and the risks of toxicity are not known.

Anytime someone plans to start taking herbs for diabetes, it's very important to speak with a doctor before mixing medications or adding supplements.

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