Weapons to Help Slay the Beast
First and foremost, doctors recommend that people with blood sugar problems change their diet and exercise patterns and closely monitor the amount of sugar circulating in their bloodstreams to minimize the damage. Doing these things to lose weight can help the body use glucose more efficiently, but even weight management cannot always control dangerous glucose levels decisively (American Diabetes Association 2001a).
Fortunately, when Sheila began her special diet and exercise regimen to correct her blood sugar imbalance, she also was introduced to an herbal formula used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic medical tradition of India to promote blood sugar homeostasis and help keep insulin at a normal concentration. Researchers have isolated these extracts and are conducting clinical studies to verify their benefits.
Equally impressive are the results of studies supporting the use of the herb Gymnema sylvestre in people with blood sugar problems. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published two studies showing that the leaf extract of Gymnema helped enhance insulin availability, balance glucose homeostasis, control lipid levels disrupted by glucose, and boost the function of beta cells in the body (Shanmugasundaram 1990; Baskaran 1990).
Fortifying this powerful herbal approach, Tinospora cordifolia can help correct impairments of the body’s natural defense system by blood sugar imbalance (Stanely Mainzen Prince 1999).
Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek), another vital plant, is extensively cultivated in India, North Africa, and the Mediterranean and has been used for centuries in those regions both as a dietary supplement and for its leveling influence on blood sugar volume. In clinical trials conducted in India, researchers found that fenugreek delays the intestinal absorption of glucose into the bloodstream to decrease the wild fluctuation of glucose and insulin levels (Sharma 1990).
The extracts of five other plants complete this herbal recipe for balancing blood sugar. First, Cinnamomum tamala (cinnamon) aids digestion. Second, Azadirachta indica and Ficus racemosa, like other herbs in this mixture, exert a mediating effect on blood sugar levels. Finally, both Aegle marmelose and Syzygium cumini foster insulin secretion.
Live and Learn
With nature’s reserves, all of us are in a better position to attain blood sugar balance. I’m happy to report that Sheila not only has been exercising regularly, as her doctor has recommended, but also has been supplementing her diet with this potent natural formula, and her body is functioning well again. Her vision loss was devastating, but she’s on the right track to halt further damage.
Luckily, you can learn from Sheila’s mistakes. By exercising; eating a proper, nutritious diet; and supplementing it with these life-changing herbal extracts, you can help yourself avoid the risks of unbalanced blood sugar levels.
Dr. Robert Schiffer is a gastroenterologist with a successful private practice in Newport Beach, California.