Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder in which blood sugar levels remain high for extended periods of time. This may be due to either the lack of the hormone “Insulin” or the inability of cells to properly utilize circulating insulin. In this chronic disease, there is an inability to gain energy from food, due to the lack of glucose absorption.
In type 1 diabetes, the organ that produces the hormone “Insulin”, for regulating carbohydrate metabolism in the body is losing or lost its functional ability. In type 2 diabetes, the cells are simply unable to respond to the insulin being secreted. Resulting in a long list of troubling symptoms like excessive thirst and urination, feeling worn out, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, etc.
Overall, there are 3 types of Diabetes Mellitus:
-Diabetes Mellitus Type 1
-Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
Many doctors talk about how to reverse diabetes naturally, but very few provide solid evidence supporting their claims. In this article, I will go through multiple clinically-proven herbal, mineral and dietary remedies for Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2.
In treating Diabetes, I recommend the following methods (Dependent on Type):
1. Correct Mineral Deficiencies inhibiting sugar absorption (Type 2)
2. Reduce Blood Sugar Spikes & Need For Insulin.(Type 1 & 2)
3. Consume Insulin Alternatives (Type 1 & 2)
4. Boost Cellular Metabolic Function (Type 2)
5. Massage The Pancreas (Type 1)
Correct Mineral Deficiencies (Type 2)
The minerals Chromium and Vanadium, are required for sugar to enter a cell as they play a significant role in regulating insulin sensitivity. The deficiency of these minerals leads to a build-up of sugar in the blood due to the cell’s inability to interact with insulin. By supplementing these minerals, we can restore the body’s ability to absorb circulating sugar by improving insulin sensitivity, thus reducing blood sugar. In clinical trials, chromium and vanadium supplementation has resulted in improved glucose sensitivity (see study 1 and study 2).
One way to get these minerals is to consume more foods that are rich in them. Chromium is found in Black Pepper, Mushroom, Brown Rice, Meat, Broccoli, Brewers Yeast, and Potato Skins. Vanadium is found in Shellfish, Parsley, Mushrooms, Black Pepper and Dill Weed.
However, this is certainly not enough, as our foods are now grown in soil that has been stripped of nutrition and is artificially replenished with incomplete fertilizers. Therefore, supplementation is vital.
Reduce Blood Sugar Spikes & Need For Insulin (Type 1 & 2):
This is accomplished by making the following adjustments to your diet:
– Reduce intake of refined sugars/carbs and replace them with low glycemic sweeteners like stevia & vegetable alternatives like cauliflower rice.
– Increase the intake of dietary fats as this macronutrient does not impact insulin levels or blood sugar. A Ketogenic diet may be useful (see study)
– Increase fiber intake
– Consume lime juice at least 1 time a day
– Consume Green tea at least 1 time a day.
Green tea is known to reduce blood sugar (see study), and lime juice reduces carbohydrate absorption (see study). Be sure to monitor your blood sugar levels, to make sure they don’t get too low. High fiber fruits and vegetables balance blood sugar levels and prevent spikes.
Consume Insulin Alternatives (Type 1 & 2)
These are herbs/foods that naturally reduce blood sugar levels.
Type 1 – “Gymnema Sylvestre” is also a powerful herb that reduces blood sugar effectively due to a chemical constituent known as Gymnemic Acid, which is able to reduce blood sugar by stimulating pancreatic function. Long term, this may be able to regenerate beta cells. In clinical trials, Gymnema Sylvestre has been able to improve blood sugar levels in both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. (See study 1 and study 2).
Type 2 – Karela/Bitter Melon, is a good example of this as it is known to have hypoglycemic effects and has been proven in several studies to be a formidable option in treating Diabetes (see study 1 and study 2)
(Contact an Ayurvedic Doctor if you have any questions about these herbs.)
Boost Cellular Metabolic Function (Type 2)
Use a Shilajit Supplement (under the proper supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor)
Shilajit is a sticky, blackish colored substance that comes out of the rocks in the Himalayan mountains. It has been used for its medicinal benefits for thousands of years. Ayurvedic doctors have used the substance for thousands of years to treat not only Diabetes but also Cardiovascular, Neurological, gastro-intestinal, Endocrinological, Geriatric, Degenerative and Immunological diseases.
This mineral-infused herbal exudate is classified predominantly as an adaptogen, mucolytic, nutritive, aphrodisiac and anabolic substance. Shilajit is beneficial in building stronger muscles, improving stamina, and thus improves the absorption of nutrients including sugar. Shilajit enhances mitochondrial function which plays a major role in cellular metabolism and energy and can be used in mitochondrial diseases. The rich mineral content provides the body with trace minerals which are essential for carrying out vital functions.
In a clinical trial, Shilajit was able to significantly reduce fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, and HbA1c. Patients also experienced an improvement in various symptoms of diabetes including polyuria, polyphagia, polydipsia, weakness, burning & tingling sensation, joint pain, cramps, weight loss, loss of libido as well as lipid profiles (See Study)
In the classical Ayurvedic text called “Sushruta Samhita”, the author (Sushruta) boldly stated that “Shilajit cures diabetes”. Looking at the history of Shilajit and Diabetes in Ayurvedic literature, it can be seen that this substance has been used for treating diabetes (often referred to as “Madhu-meha”) for literally thousands of years.
According to one research study, Shilajit proved to have a stronger hypoglycemic effect than Metformin (1). Many other research works have been done and are going on proving the efficacy of Shilajit in the treatment of several diseases including Diabetes as well as its complications. Therefore apart from its ability to rejuvenate the body, it also has a direct action on sugar metabolism.
(Most Shilajit supplements that are sold in health food stores and online are not “Purified Shilajit”. If you pay close attention to almost all clinical trials done with this substance, you will find that purified (shuddha) shilajit is what is used. This is because, in order for this substance to work correctly, it has to first be processed in other Ayurvedic herbs. If incorrectly used, Shilajit can have serious adverse effects and may even worsen your condition. Shilajit may be commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, however, it has to be used under the supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor to avoid adverse effects.)
Massage The Pancreas (Type 1)
Think of the Pancreas as a muscle that has become fatigued. Much like how prolonged sessions of writing or playing the piano can fatigue the muscles in your forearm. Massaging that forearm helps to restore circulation and enables it to function better. Similarly, the Pancreas is sort of fatigued and needs to receive better circulation. Patients are advised to massage the Pancreas by performing a Yogic practice known as “Agni-sar Kriya”
This Yogic practice is performed by moving (Pulling) the abdominal muscles (stomach region) in and out and continuous manner. Proper guidance is required for performing this as is can be dangerous for some people.
For informational purposes, here are the steps for performing this Yogic Practice:
Step 1. Sit in a comfortable position and make sure that your back is straight.
Step 2. Maintain proper breathing and relax. Make sure that you are completely relaxed and calm.
Step 3. Now, exhale completely and while maintaining this state of having in your lungs, begin the next step
Step 4. Gently pull your belly in and out continuously.
Step 5. Then release, relax and breathe in.
THIS IS ONE ROUND
Continue breathing normally for a while and then repeat.
Continue this 5-6 times at first. Afterward, you may extend the length of practice.
*Make sure that you do not strain or pressure on anything while performing this. It is meant to be gentle and relaxed.
*There are many instructional videos on YouTube for this practice, yet I strongly advise professional guidance.
*Contra-indications for this practice include but are not limited to Blood pressure problems, abdominal hernia, injuries to the abdominal area, severe anemia, asthma, gastritis and other inflammatory conditions of the Gastro-intestinal-tract, diarrhea, GERD.
How does this practice work?
Basically, by moving the abdominal muscles in and out (without the air pressure getting in the way), you are directly compressing and releasing the abdominal organs including the pancreas. Thus increasing circulation to the area which provides it with better nourishment and proper oxygenation.
* Another method of massaging the Pancreas is by performing an abdominal massage. Gently massage the abdominal region in a clockwise direction. Do this daily to increase circulation in the area.*
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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By Dr. Nishal R.
Copyright © 2016
1. Trivedi N A, Mazumdar B, Bhatt J D, Hemavathi K G. Effect of shilajit on blood glucose and lipid profile in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Indian J Pharmacol 2004;36:373-6
2. Taylor L. Herbal secrets of the rainforest. In: Texas A, editor. Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) 2nd ed. USA: Sage Press; 2002. pp. 1–100.
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