Plant-based medicines are the most prevalent modes of supportive diabetes treatment. More than 1200 flowering plants are said to possess anti-diabetic properties. Scientific studies’ results are available in journals on a third of these flowering plants. (Chang, C.L et al., 2013) But Piper nigrum, the botanical name for black pepper, is not listed as an anti-diabetic herb in Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Several herbs and herbal combinations are used in Ayurveda to treat diabetes. After a detailed scientific review, I have identified four plants (Gymnema sylvestre, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Eugenia jambolana, and Curcuma longa) with the most substantial scientific support for their anti-diabetic properties.
Six studies tested five different types of plant-based medicine mixtures in seven trials. A study each on proprietary medicines Diabecon, Inolter, and Cogent D.B. observed a significant lowering of glycosylated hemoglobin AIc (HbAIc). Some proprietary herbal medicine formulations have been reported to lower fasting blood glucose levels. There are no reported mortalities during this treatment.
A review of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbs in plant-based medicine show that Atractylodes macrocephala, Codonopsis pilosula, Dioscorea opposita, Flos lonicerae, and Pueraria lobata prevent the progression of diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels.
The Rehmannia Six Formula is a plant-based medicine combination used to treat diabetes patients. The constituent herbs in the formula are Rehmannia glutinosa, Fructus corni, Dioscorea species (Dioscorea alata, Dioscorea oppositifolia, Dioscorea batatas), Poria cocos, Alisma species which includes Alisma orientalis, Alisma Plantago, Alisma aquatica, and Paeonia suffruticosa.
The universe of plants with anti-diabetic properties is vast. Scientific studies are restricted mainly to animal trials. Today, herbal medicine is providing mutual support to modern diabetic medicine.
I would look at a herbal combination with the herbs mentioned above to supplement modern medicine. But do that only after taking your physician into confidence. Unlike the general belief that herbs are harmless and have no side effects, my research on plants tells me this is not true. The world’s deadliest poisons, for instance, came from plants.
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