I posted this over on the diabetes board, but since I know several posters here also have diabetes, I thought I'd post this here too. I saw this on my school's website. If you do a search on the name of the herb you can find out more information. The test was done on non-diabetics, but hopefully a diabetic would see similar improvement.
An herb used in traditional Indian medicine to treat diabetes seems to lower blood sugar and insulin levels in a manner similar to prescription drugs, a new study reports.
Researchers gave extracts of the herb Salacia oblonga to 39 healthy adults, and the results were promising. The largest dose of the herb extract – 1,000 milligrams – decreased insulin and blood glucose levels by 29 and 23 percent, respectively.
"These kinds of reductions are similar to what we might see with prescription oral medications for people with diabetes," said Steve Hertzler, a study co-author and an assistant professor of nutrition at Ohio State University.
Salacia oblonga, which is native to regions of India and Sri Lanka, binds to intestinal enzymes that break down carbohydrates in the body. These enzymes, called alpha-glucosidases, turn carbohydrates into glucose, the sugar that circulates throughout the body. If the enzyme binds to the herbal extract rather than to a carbohydrate, then less glucose gets into the blood stream, resulting in lowered blood glucose and insulin levels.
"Lowering blood glucose levels lowers the risk of disease-related complications in people with diabetes," Hertzler said. "Also, poor compliance with diabetes medications often hinders the effectiveness of these drugs. It may be easier to get someone to take an herb with food or in a beverage, as opposed to a pill."
The study appears in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Apparently this herb is hard to get in the U.S. but can be found through the internet.