Q: What are some good herbs for diabetes?
All of the following info is based on research. See the references
at the end of the article.
Typical Western (M.D.) Diabetes Treatments and
Along with the usual lifestyle recommendations for Diabetes Type
II (exercise, weight control, and diet therapy), MD's prescribe
glucose-lowering drugs and insulin injections. Glucose-lowering
drugs can have adverse effects like severe hypoglycemia, lactic
acidosis, idiosyncratic hepatocellular (liver cell) injury, permanent
neurologic deficit, digestive discomfort, headache, dizziness,
Herbs for Diabetes
There are some proven alternatives to glucose-lowering drugs.
One hypoglycemic herb, Galega oficianalis, was integral to the
development of Metformin. They may not all be potent enough to
replace anti-diabetic drugs, but comprehensive Chinese herbal
therapy may be. Many of the herbs were taken in combination with
oral drug therapy, resulting in lowered glucose levels.
You should definitely consider herbs and drugs with the help
and guidance of a physician or two - whatever kind of physician
they are! (In California, acupuncturists are considered physicians)
Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic Herbs
Both Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine are systems of medicine. Each
has its own herbs... for example, Ginseng and Dang Gui are Chinese
Herbs. Prescriptions contain multiple herbs in specific proportions;
each herb balances or enhances another. Western herbs, such as
St. John's Wort, are generally used one at a time just like western
drugs. Thus, there is more risk of side effects.
Western Herbs for Diabetes Type II
||Dried powder 3-15g daily
OR Standardized capsules 100-200mg 3 times per day
||One 400mg capsule daily
||4g Fresh or 8mg essential
||80-160mg 3 times daily of
25% anthrocyanoside extract
||1 tbsp juice twice daily
||3g per day
Ayurvedic Herbs from India for Diabetes Type
||15g powdered, soaked in water; 10-100g
|Gurmar (Gymnema Sylvestre)
Chinese Herbs for Diabetes Type II
|Asian Ginseng (Panax)
||1-3g of root or 200-600mg
||(No specific dosage recommended)
|Quei Fu Di Huang Wan (formula)
||26 mg/kg every 8 h, three
|Rou Gui or Fu Zi
|Tang Niao Kang (formula)
||(No dosage specified)
Many Chinese herbs have the proven ability to lower
glucose levels. However, they should be prescribed according
to pattern discrimination (diagnosis). Your Chinese medical
physician will diagnose you and then prescribe a
personalized herbal formula or patent medicine that contains
the appropriate herbs.
Here is a list of these proven chinese diabetes herbs
for your reference:
- Jiang Can
- Li Zhi He
- Yu Mi Xu
- Di Gu Pi
- Bai Zhu (atractylodes)
- Cang Zhu
- Fu Ling
- Gen Gen
- Gou Qi Zi
- He Shou Wu (polygonum)
- Hu Zhang
- Huang Bai
- Huang Jing
- Huang Qi (astragalus)
- Mai Men Dong
- Mai Ya
- Ren Shen (panax ginseng)
- Sang Ye
- Shan Zhu Yu
- Shan Yao (diascorea)
- Sheng Di (raw rehmannia)
- Tian Hua Fen
- Wu Bei Zi
- Xian He Cao
- Yin Yang Huo
- Yu Zhu
- Ze Xie
- Zhi Mu
Minerals for Diabetes Type II
||500mcg twice daily
||100mg per day
||(No dosage recommended)
One study proved that it couldn't just be mineral content in
herbs that lowers glucose levels. Another suggested that alternative
medicine practitioners should not change a patient's insulin dosage.
Not only is it illegal, but it's dangerous, and has resulted in
patient going into diabetic comas.
How to Take These Herbs
I would advise against combining the herbs listed above without
professional advice. Please see an herbalist trained for years
and certified by some licensing or professional body before taking
any herbs. Herbs could interact with your medications, or with
one another. Each of these three traditions has wisdom, experience,
and research behind their
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Ann Emerg Med. 2001 Jul;38(1):68-78. Review.
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effects of Quei Fu Di Huang Wan, a Chinese herbal mixture, on
streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat. Horm Metab Res. 2001 Dec;33(12):727-32.
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