Dr. Michael Newman, DNM., Ph.D., HHP.
Dr. Michael Newman, DNM., Ph.D., HHP.
July 3, 2024 ·  10 min read

Ten Science-Backed Herbs and Supplements to Help Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally


Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is characterized by excessive sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. This occurs when the body produces insufficient insulin (the primary hormone that regulates blood sugar) or cannot utilize insulin effectively (a condition known as insulin resistance). Prolonged elevation of blood glucose levels can damage vital organs, nerves, and blood vessels. If left untreated, hyperglycemia may lead to serious health complications, including diabetic coma. Even if not immediately life-threatening, persistent hyperglycemia can lead to long-term health issues such as complications in the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. It is vital to seek medical assistance from your doctor if you frequently experience high blood sugar levels.

What is diabetes, Type 1 and 2?

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a long-term state in which the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells within the pancreas, resulting in a lack of insulin and high blood sugar levels, known as hyperglycemia (DiMeglio et al., 2018). The effective management of T1D involves the daily administration of insulin, which can be achieved through multiple daily insulin injections, insulin pump therapy, or an automated insulin delivery system. Additionally, monitoring glucose levels is crucial and can be done using a glucose monitor or capillary blood glucose monitoring (Lucier & Weinstock, n.d.). 

Type 2 diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus (DM), is a complex and chronic metabolic disorder that arises from the body’s inability to use insulin properly. This can result from either the body’s inability to manufacture enough insulin or the cells becoming resistant to the insulin produced. The result is chronically elevated levels of glucose in the blood, which can lead to various health complications over time (Zheng et al., 2017).

Read More: 7 Herbs That Can Help Fight Joint Pain

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

Here are some widespread symptoms that you might experience, which include but are not limited to:

  • Increased urination
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry—even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss—even though you are eating more

It is essential to be aware that during the initial stages of type 1 diabetes, some individuals may not exhibit any noticeable symptoms. This understanding is vital for individuals to be proactive and take the necessary steps to safeguard their health by facilitating early detection and intervention (Isley & Molitch, 2005).

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can vary in severity. While some individuals with type 2 diabetes experience noticeable symptoms, others may have very mild or even no symptoms at all. Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Oral cavity
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Dry mouth
  • Burning, pain, and numbness in the feet
  • Itching
  • Reactive hypoglycemia
  • Patches of the neck, armpit, and groin, which are an indicator of insulin resistance
  • Decreased vision
  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction

Detecting diabetes in its early stages and promptly initiating treatment can significantly reduce the risk of developing complications associated with the condition. Regular blood sugar monitoring, management, and a healthy lifestyle are essential components of type 2 diabetes care to minimize the potential impact on overall health(Ramachandran, 2014).

Healthy Diet and Lifestyle Practice for Type 2 Diabetes

You can regulate your blood sugar levels effectively by taking charge of your health with a nutritious whole-food diet and regular physical activity. These habits support weight management and contribute to an overall sense of improved well-being. Remember, you have the power to choose what you eat. Having type 2 diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you love to eat! While you may need to adjust, a world of delicious foods is still waiting for you to explore.

Diet Suggestions:

  • Consume a wide range of whole foods, including seasonal fruits and various vegetables, while including complex carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, and brown rice.
  • Keep your sugar intake, saturated fats and table salt to a minimum.
  • Avoid missing meals, which may interfere with your blood sugar levels.

Changing your diet can be challenging at first; it can feel daunting, but viewing it as a journey toward better health is essential. Making small, manageable changes to your eating habits each week can set you up for long-term success. This gradual approach allows you to adapt comfortably, making the process less overwhelming and more achievable. It’s all about taking small steps and being consistent.

Read More: The Top 10 Medicinal Plants and Herbs for Your Health

Ten Herbs and Supplements that Can Lower Body Sugar Naturally? 

Closeup photo of supplements with a white bottle. Pregnant woman take omega 3, multivitamins, vitamins B, C, D, collagen tablets, probiotics, iron capsule. Girl hold vitamins daily. Top view.
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Many research studies demonstrate that using herbs to regulate blood sugar levels offers a comprehensive approach with numerous advantages. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that pregnant or nursing individuals, as well as those using traditional medication, should consult a healthcare professional before incorporating these herbs into their routine. Here are ten herbs supported by research to demonstrate their effectiveness. 

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon sticks and powder, isolated on white background
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Herbal remedies and spices have long been used to manage blood sugar levels, with cinnamon particularly effective. Studies demonstrate that incorporating cinnamon into your diet can help regulate blood sugar by lowering insulin resistance. Research has revealed that cinnamon can remarkably reduce blood sugar levels by 24% (Hasanzade et al., 2013).

2. Chromium Picolinate

Natural sources of chromium
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Research has shown that taking chromium picolinate supplements can significantly lower high blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Studies have found that daily supplementation with 200-1,000 mcg of chromium as chromium picolinate can improve blood glucose control. Chromium picolinate is the most effective chromium supplementation (Broadhurst & Domenico, 2006).

3. Berberine

Berberin Powder and Pills isolated on white Background
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Berberine is known for its glucose-lowering effect, making it an essential consideration for individuals with diabetes. Studies have indicated that treatment with berberine is generally safe and does not result in an increased incidence of adverse events or hypoglycemia (Xie et al., 2022). Beyond diabetes management, berberine is also commonly used to address high cholesterol or triglyceride levels and high blood pressure (Suadoni & Atherton, 2021).

4. Turmeric 

Turmeric powder and fresh turmeric on wooden background.with copy space.
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According to a review of studies conducted in 2021, it is suggested that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has the potential to lower blood sugar levels and minimize complications related to diabetes. The researchers also indicated that curcumin may play a role in preventing diabetes (Marton et al., 2021).

5. Bitter Melon 

Bitter melon is understood to help lower blood sugar levels due to its insulin-like properties, facilitating glucose absorption into the cells for energy. Research indicates that bitter melon may promote glucose uptake by the cells, enabling the body to process and store it effectively in the liver, muscles, and fat (Kim et al., 2022).

Read More: 8 Useful Herbs for Memory and Brain Health

6. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Dietary supplement or sick, asian young woman, girl hold pills, drugs medical tablet on hand pouring capsules from medication bottle, take vitamin for treatment for skin, hair at home, healthcare.
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Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring compound that acts as a powerful antioxidant and uniquely functions as both an antioxidant and a pro-oxidant. It plays a significant role in regulating insulin sensitivity and secretion, making it an essential factor in glucose metabolism. This comprehensive review aims to explore ALA’s chemical composition and biological functions in glucose metabolism, specifically focusing on its antioxidant properties and its pivotal role in modulating insulin sensitivity and secretion (Capece et al., 2022).

7. Cayenne Pepper 

Capsaicin, the active component in chilli peppers, has been found to increase serum insulin levels and reduce blood glucose levels. This effect is credited to its capacity to enhance pancreatic function and stimulate insulin secretion (Panchal et al., 2018).

8. Sage

Sage leaves have a long history of being used as a natural treatment for diabetes. Research involving human and animal studies suggests that they have the potential to reduce blood sugar levels (Ben Khedher et al., 2018).

9. Ginseng 

In studies involving both humans and animals, it has been observed that taking ginseng 40 minutes before a glucose challenge resulted in notable decreases in blood sugar levels in individuals with type II diabetes mellitus. Clinical and animal research have demonstrated that ginseng root can potentially alleviate high blood sugar levels in diabetic conditions (Luo & Luo, 2000).

10. Rosemary 

Rosemary contains rosmarinic and carnosic acids and powerful polyphenols (micronutrients) with reported antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and anti-hyperglycemic properties. These specific molecules have been found to function similarly to insulin, helping to reduce overall glucose levels. Additionally, rosmarinic and carnosic acids have been shown to offer protection against the development of hyperlipidemia in animals with type 2 diabetes (Naimi et al., 2017).

Conclusion 

The human body relies on precise regulation of blood glucose levels to maintain normal function. This complex process involves the release of various hormones and neuropeptides from the brain, pancreas, liver, intestine, and adipose and muscle tissue. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, stress management, and more high-fiber and probiotic-rich foods may lower blood sugar levels. However, it’s essential to note that these changes should not substitute for medical treatment for diabetes or other metabolic conditions. Evidence-based natural herbal supplements, as mentioned, have demonstrated significant potential in reducing blood sugar levels and promoting blood sugar balance. It is crucial to be aware that herbal supplements can interact with prescription drugs used to manage high blood sugar and diabetes. This interaction can have a substantial impact on the body, so careful consideration and medical advice are necessary when using herbal supplements alongside prescription medication.

Read More: Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Soap to Some?

Sources

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    Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.