Natural Remedies for Diabetes

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Diabetes is a metabolic disorder having significant enhancement of blood glucose level or hyperglycemic condition. Diabetes is a chronic untreatable condition. Therefore, maintenance of normal blood glucose level is the only way to keep your diabetes under control. Uncontrolled long-term diabetes has several complex complications associated with heart including heart attack, blockage in leg arteries, stroke, kidney failure and progressive visionary impairment due to retinal damage.

The incidence of diabetes increasing day by day. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimation, the prevalence of diabetes become a world-wide epidemic health problem, as the trend of diabetes increases almost 4 -5 percent per annum. WHO estimated worldwide almost 300 million people will be diabetic by 2025. This increasing trend of diabetes negatively affects the economic status of the whole nation. In 1997, American Diabetes Association reported, diabetes and its complications and mortality related total medical financially viable cost was $98 billion. Therefore, it is high time to search for alternative treatments for controlling diabetes incidence. Natural remedies are one of the most attractive treatment approaches to control diabetes effectively with negligible side effect burden. People also get more attracted towards preventive effect obtained from natural remedies. In the following section, we will discuss the evidential natural remedies for diabetes.

Natural remedies

Following are different natural remedies traditionally used to treat diabetes, but their efficacy is so significant that it is also observed in research studies. Now the following natural remedies also have scientific evidential support to treat and prevent diabetes effectively.

Physical intervention


Yoga is one of the most traditional medical treatment approaches for controlling and preventing several chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes. Yoga is not only effective to control your blood glucose level within the limit, but it also helps to improve pre-existing diabetic-related complications. Naturopath experts considered yoga is supportive treatment and help to limit the intake of diabetic medication and thus restrict the synthetic medication-related side effect burden. In addition, yoga provides a stress-relieving effect, which also assists to reduce blood glucose level.


Mental and physical stress stimulate the stress hormone release and that indirectly limit insulin functioning. This has a direct impact on blood glucose level enhancement. Almost century before, experts recommended massage therapy to diabetic patients not only for its relaxing effect, which improves insulin functioning;  but it also effective to improve blood circulation and provide improvement against diabetic neuropathy. A research study result provided the evidence that syncardial massage successful to improve 56% cases of diabetic neuropathy. Electromyographic testing also provides supportive evidence that massage can reduce muscle tension, which is beneficial for diabetic patients.


In traditional Chinese medicinal system, acupuncture is one of the effective alternative therapeutic approaches to treat and control several chronic conditions, including diabetes. The benefits of acupuncture are not restricted in any single organ, but it induces through multi-organs.  Both experimental and clinical studies provide evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture on diabetic patients.  The complete mechanism of action of acupuncture against diabetes is still undiscovered.  The proposed mechanism of action involves activation of glucose-6-phosphate and that positively stimulates brain functioning by affecting the hypothalamus.In addition, acupuncture has a direct action on pancreas and production of insulin enhanced. Acupuncture also accelerate the glucose utilization and lowers blood sugar level. Other positive effects of acupuncture include anti-obesity effect. Diabetes-associated obesity increases the risk of complications and assists to maintain the body weight.

Dietary Supplement

Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals play a vital role as a dietary supplement in our body. The support of basic cellular reactions as co-enzymes and co-factors and help in body metabolism. There is evidence of their role in diabetes management. Few of the essential micronutrients that are used as dietary supplements are mentioned below:

Chromium: Helps in glucose metabolism. The daily recommended dose for chromium is low and to be maintained over 200 mg/day which can keep optimal blood sugar regulation. Chromium can increase the activity of the insulin receptor. A precaution must be given to patients taking chromium supplement for hypoglycemia, and monitoring renal function.

Vanadium: There is not much evidence for the vanadium supplements studies done so far. Although there is an animal study that suggests its potential benefits in type 1 diabetes.

Magnesium: The complications of diabetes, particularly retinopathy is very much associated with Magnesium deficiency.

Nicotinamide: The patients with newly diagnosed diabetes can be controlled through effective supplementation of Nicotinamide. There are research evidence which proves that nicotinamide treatment is very effective for the females who develops type 1 diabetes after puberty.

Vitamin E: Apart from its role in diabetes it primarily acts as an antioxidant.

There are other various miscellaneous approaches to manage diabetes apart from the remedies mentioned above. Some of these remedies with remarkable diabetes management are mentioned here:


The essence of aromatherapy lies in the essential oils which when inhaled or used topically in a diluted state provide effective actions against symptoms. There are a lot of complications associated with diabetes management which can be treated with aromatherapy. The aromatherapy is very effective against stress which stays primarily associated with a lifelong chronic condition like diabetes. It is recommended to consult with the diabetic healthcare team, before progressing towards any aromatherapy to help any diabetic person.


This is a therapeutic technique by which an instrument provides information about different psychological activities such as skin temperature or muscle tension. An evaluation was conducted for stress management in diabetic patients which resulted in a small but significant decrease in glycohemoglobin after 1 year of the evaluation period. A decrease in blood glucose level is also found in a controlled study of biofeedback-assisted relaxation therapy in type 1 diabetes.


This is so far recommended for the diabetes patients who cannot do exercises. The co-administration of hot and cold water can help the muscle to relax and help to reduce the body weight and glucose level. Adequate caution must be taken while treating with hot water because neuropathic disorder associated with diabetes may not let the patient understand the burning sensation in some instances.


This involves treatment through colors. Through this treatment different colored lights are used for patients who are believed to be deficient in those particular colors.

As per the concept of chromotherapy, the deficiency of orange and yellow colors in the body causes diabetes. This therapy can be conducted either by the use of light filtered through different colored glasses or by the use of different colored charged water. The green light also plays an eminent role in controlling diabetes.

Herbal therapy

Medicinal herbs have a significant role in controlling blood sugar level and provide the effective anti-diabetic effect. A vast range of medicinal plants exceeding more than 1200 in numbers serves different anti-diabetic effect mechanisms. Some medicinal plants provide symptomatic relief to diabetes-related complications and prevent further progression of the condition. Some herbal plants can help to regenerate pancreatic beta cells and enhance insulin synthesis. Most of these herbal plants have potent antioxidant property and cholesterol-lowering effects. Both of these therapeutic properties assist to prevent diabetes induce complications.

Medicinal plant

Common name

Part used

Mechanism of action

Momordica charantia

Bitter melon

Fresh unripe fruit juice

Mixed steroids containing phytochemicals lowers blood sugar

Trigonella foenum graecum


15 g of seeds powder soaked in water provides effective result

Seeds containing fiber, nicotinic acid, alkaloid gonelline,  and coumarin provide glucose and lipid-lowering effect.

Gymnema sylvestre


400 mg Leaf extract acts as Sugar blocker.

Increase the production of endogenous insulin

Azadirachta indica


Leaves extract

Flavonoid, quercetin phytochemicals improve peripheral glucose utilization by blocking the epinephrine action on glucose metabolism.

Hoodia gordonii


Leaves extract

Steroidal pregnane glycoside can control hunger and thus control lowering energy intake. It also improves energy expenditure.


Prickly pear cactus

cactus pear seed oil

Decreases intestinal glucose absorption

Cinnamomum cassia


Powdered bark extract

Cinnamon provides ‘insulin-like’ effect by converting more glucose to glycogen by reducing the conversion of glycogen to glucose by decreasing the activity of glycogen synthase kinase 3β

Artemisia dracunculus L

Russian tarragon

Aerial parts

Enhance the insulin sensitivity and prevent insulin resistance

Aloe vera

Aloe vera

Inner portion of the leaves

Glucomannan, the water-soluble fiber present in leaves provides insulin-sensitizing effect.

There is a huge increase in the use of alternative treatments has been witnessed in current days. Most patients with chronic diseases prefer to be treated with alternative therapies to prevent harmful adverse events of synthetic drugs and conventional treatments. Herbal therapies are the most sought-after treatment option to lower the glucose level for diabetes patients. The next highly effective treatment comes in the form of dietary supplements. These supplements provide tremendous action on glucose metabolism. Other forms of therapies like acupuncture, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, yoga, and chromotherapy are also practiced by healthcare professions in managing diabetes and associated complications.

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