What is Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is most likely one of the earliest diseases known to mankind. It was first documented in an Egyptian manuscript about 3000 years ago. The distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus was done in 1936. Type 2 diabetes mellitus was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. It is the most common form of diabetes, which is characterized by an increase in blood sugar level, insulin resistance, and insulin deficiency. Type 2 diabetes mellitus mainly caused by the interaction between genetic, environmental, and behavioral risk factors. It’s a chronic metabolic disorder and people suffering from type 2 diabetes are more vulnerable to various other short and long-term complications. (1)
Cause of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is primarily due to lifestyle factors, genetics and some medical conditions. (2)
Lifestyle Factors: Several factors are associated with lifestyle includes
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Physical inactivity
- Cigarette smoking
- Alcohol consumption
- High-fat diet
Genetic Factor: Strong inheritable genetic connection is there between relatives having type 2 diabetes, especially first degree relatives. The risk is close to 100% among twins, and about 25% of those with the disease have a family history of diabetes.
Medical Condition: There are many medical conditions which can potentially give rise to, or aggravate type 2 diabetes. These include
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
- Growth hormone disorder in adult
- Chronic pancreatitis
Home Remedies For Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder, the best possible control of which is still not possible. There are a variety of approaches to treat and prevent diabetes; one of them is herbal medicines. Although many modern medicines have been developed to treat type 2 diabetes, the use of herbal medicine in the treatment has been growing. In this article, we summarized some of the herbs with antidiabetic properties in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. (3)
Long-term use of conventional antidiabetic medicine such as glibenclamide may cause damage to the pancreatic cells. So you can switch to the use of cumin to lower your blood glucose level. The essential oil, cuminaldehyde, and cuminol present in cumin help increase insulin secretion, thereby protecting the beta cells of the pancreas. Besides, this cumin is easily available with no side effects. So you can take it regularly for a longer time.
A recent study reported the anti-diabetic potential of another variety of cumin that is Black cumin. It contains different phytochemicals than cumin seed in it such as flavonoids, unsaturated fatty acids, nigellone, thymoquinone, p-cymene, and carvone. Black cumin seeds are bitter in taste and regulate insulin secretion like cumin seeds. The glucose tolerance of this black coloured spice was found to be equivalent to metformin in the long-term treatment without any side effects.
Among several herbs, Aloe vera is widely used nowadays to control diabetes. Research demonstrated that Aloe vera leaf gel stimulates the production of insulin from pancreatic beta-cells. Along with it also offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that provide benefit in lowering blood glucose level, by protecting pancreatic beta cells from destruction.
Besides, research revealed that aloe veraextract reduces plasma lipids, liver cholesterol, and kidney triglycerides levels in diabetic rats. Moreover, no reports are available for the side effects of aloe vera to date. (4), (5)
The leaves of ivy gourd have promising diabetic control properties. Leaf of ivy gourd was also found to have antidiabetic activity in diabetic rats. The oral treatment of the leaf extract resulted in a significant reduction in plasma glucose levels as well as an increase in serum insulin levels. This plant has a specific role in the improvement of the diabetic condition by its insulin secretory activity and at the same time, it protects the pancreatic beta-cell from destruction.
Cashew nut is used as a folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes in South Cameroon and other tropical countries. Extract of cashew nut leaves demonstrated antidiabetic activities in rats. Oral administration of the leaf extract for 30 days, showed significant reductions in fasting sugar levels, serum insulin level, and Fasting Insulin Resistance Index. It shows a significant activity which is comparable to the standard hypoglycemic drug pioglitazone. (6)
Experimental results of oyster mushroom on diabetic rats demonstrated that it reduces hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia levels, and improves insulin resistance. It showed that the fasting blood glucose level in the treatment group was significantly lower as compared to the control group. Besides that, the level of fasting serum insulin level was lower meanwhile the insulin sensitivity index and the homeostatic model assessment score for beta-cell function were higher in the treatment group. (7)
In addition to the inhibitory effect on these two enzymes, polyphenol-rich herbs such as jute and have an additional benefit in managing diabetes and hypertension due to inhibitory activities on the angiotensin-converting enzyme. Jute leaf is used as a leafy vegetable in several traditional recipes in various parts of the world.
It is also used as a folk remedy for the management of some degenerative diseases besides the shortage of information on its biochemical rationale. Recent studies revealed the presence of bioactive compounds in jute leaf such as caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and isorhamnetin, thus justifying its use in folklore for the management of diabetes and hypertension.
Cinnamon has amazing anti-diabetic properties that assist reduce your blood glucose levels. The bark of Cinnamon has been traditionally consumed to cure diabetes either in a powder form or as an extract.
There are several studies done on how effective it’s been on diabetes. For people that are prediabetes, a dosage of 250 mg of the herb twice daily shows a significant decrease in their blood glucose levels. However, you’ll see substantial results if you consume cinnamon for at least 3 months of an extended period. This is often because cinnamon can promote your cell response to insulin, which is one of the major areas that your body deals with sugar in your body.
Another popular herb, basil is found to be beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels. It is extensively used in culinary as well as in folk medicine. Research demonstrated that basil leaves contain cardiac glycosides, flavonoids, glycosides, reducing sugars, saponins, steroids, and tannins which helps lowering blood sugar levels.
Read More: 9 Reasons Why Processed Sugar Is Bad For You
Soybean or Soyabean is a major vegetable dietary protein source all over the world. Recent research revealed the beneficial effects of soybean on type 2 diabetes. Its rich content of isoflavones plays an important role in lowering blood sugar as well as hypertension. It delays the breakdown of disaccharides into glucose, thus lowering the intestinal absorption of glucose. Therefore, helps to treat diabetes and hypertension as well.
Different parts of bitter melon are used widely as dietary supplements and ethnomedicine throughout centuries for relieving symptoms and conditions of diabetes. This versatile plant has over 225 different medicinal constituents that may act either separately or together to exert their medicinal effects. In diabetes one of the active compounds –charantin exhibits insulin-like properties that help lowering blood sugar levels. (8)
Herbal medicine can be a superior and good alternative treatment for Type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, depending on the herb that you are taking, you may experience a couple of side effects. While this mightn’t be a big issue for some people, it’s a bit that you just should remember. Hence it is better to consult your physician before taking any herbal medication for the long term.