If you are looking for natural alternatives to help control your blood sugar levels, you should take some time exploring the benefits of Chinese herbal medicines. Chinese herbal medicines have been used for thousands of years to help people control the symptoms of illnesses for many types of diseases. Some herbs, like bitter melon, American ginseng, and gymnema sylvestre, when added to your meals or given as separate doses, can help to reduce the blood sugar peaks and valleys that cause much of the physical damage suffered by type 2 diabetics. Here is how each herb can help you control your blood sugar levels.
Bitter melons are a mix of a fruit and vegetable. They are naturally found growing in the sub-tropical and tropical regions around the world. The melons contain three substances that have been found to help control blood sugar levels: charantin, vicine, and polypeptitde-p. The melons also contain a protein that is known to help suppress your appetite and can help keep you from over-eating foods that can raise your blood sugar level.
American ginseng is grown commercially as a replacement for wild ginseng (which has been almost harvested out of existence). American ginseng contains active components called ginsenocides. Ginsenocides have been shown to lower blood pressure by stimulating the production of insulin in the pancreas and increasing the absorption rate of glucose into the body's cells.
The gymnema sylvestre herb helps control blood sugar levels in an indirect way. The herb, which grows naturally in India and parts of Asia, reduces the cravings for sugary and high carbohydrate foods that can cause wild spikes in your blood sugar levels, and it can also block the absorption of sugar into your system.
One research study, with 22 participants who have type 2 diabetes, gave the participants a daily dose of 400 mg of gymnema sylvestre over a period of a year and a half to two years. At the end of the study, five people no longer needed to take medications to control blood sugars levels, and another 11 were able to reduce the amount of medications they took each day.
If you are going to incorporate any of these herbs into your daily food intake habits, you should make sure you consult with your doctor. The herbs, along with the medications you are currently taking for type 2 diabetes, can drop your blood sugar levels to dangerously low levels that can cause you to feel jittery and anxious, and can sometimes cause you to pass out. Your doctor needs to know what is going on so they can adjust, or stop, the medications you are taking to control your blood sugar levels. Talk to an expert at a Chinese herbal medicine practice to learn more.