High blood sugar levels are considered to be over 126 mg/DL in a Fasting Blood test and 200 mg/DL in a Glucose Tolerance Test and Random Blood Sugar Test. Our diet primarily determines the sugar that our body stores. Low glycemic foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, beans, legumes, whole fruit take time for the body to process into glucose.
In addition to diet, Ayurvedic science specifically recommends certain herbs for that help to efficiently utilize glucose, control blood sugar levels and even inhibit the desire for sweet foods. These herbs and herbal remedies can be used as a monotherapy or an adjuvant in diabetes control. If you intend to take herbs along with prescription diabetes medications, you should inform your doctor.
The following are the most effective herbs and herbal remedies prescribed by Ayurveda for effective blood glucose control:
Gymnema / Gymnema sylvestre is considered to be one of the premier herbs for maintaing normal blood sugar levels. The added benefit is that it does not lower them below normal. Gymnema also known as Gurmar or Meshashringi has a very curious and well known property of preventing sugar cravings. In fact for a few hours after taking gymnema, sugar cannot be tasted by the tongue. Gymnema sylvestre is also beneficial in keeping cholesterol levels normal.
Karela / Momordica charantia is an excellent blood purifier, detoxicant and greatly improves digestion and absorption. The chief constituents of Karela are lectins, charantins and momordicines which have an antilipolytic and lipogenic effect similar to insulin. In fact gurmarin in Karela is similar to bovine insulin. Researchers in Britain found that Karela has a hypoglycemic component beneficial in lowering blood and urine glucose levels. Karela is also commonly known as Bitter Melon.
Neem / Azhadiracta indica is another bitter herb that has been shown to have beneficial effects in keeping blood glucose levels normal. It prevents hyperglycemia induced by glucose and adrenalin. It is also a blood purifier and used for detoxification. Neem has been shown to reduce insulin requirements for nonkeytonic, insulin fast, and insulin sensitive forms of Diabetes.
Pitasara / Pterocarpus marsupium Extract of Pterocarpus marsupium has been shown to regenerate functional pancreatic beta cells which get damaged due to high blood sugar. This kind of activity has not been seen in any other drug or natural agent.
Diabecon is a herbal formulation of over 35 ayurvedic herbs and minerals. The herbs in diabecon act to maintain normal blood sugar levels, inhibit sugar cravings, repair and regenerate beta cells. It also helps maintain normal LDL-HDL levels.