Herbs & Spices For Diabetes Management

Herbs and Spices For Diabetes Management

Pancreas Diagram

According to WHO 2015, 1.6 million of deaths globally were caused by Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and it is expected to further increase tremendously in 70 years to come. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is one of the common chronic diseases. It is a condition where our body is unable to detect and use insulin efficiently which leads to high blood glucose level. Insulin is the hormone controlling blood glucose levels. Without insulin, cells cannot absorb sugar (glucose), which they need to produce energy.

Many are unaware that T2DM is a progressive disease where once diagnosed, there is no cure! Therefore, blood glucose management is very important to control a diabetes patient’s blood sugar levels. T2DM is ascribed to high carbohydrate intake and an unhealthy lifestyle. Therefore, besides taking oral diabetes medication or insulin boost, T2DM management also includes losing weight for those who are overweight, correct portioning of high carbohydrate foods, increasing exercise frequency and implementing healthier lifestyles for example quitting alcohol and cigarettes! 

Herbs and Spices For Diabetes Management

Recent research shows of some herbs and spices such as purslane, bitter melon and cinnamon extracts could be useful as a complementary to first line diabetes treatment.  

Herbs and Spices For Diabetes Management

Purslane herb extract (Portulaca oleracea) is a culinary ingredient that is traditionally used for achieving a healthy blood glucose level. It is said to have anti-glycemic effects where it reduces glucose absorption from the intestine into the bloodstream, increases cell sensitivity towards insulin to facilitate in glucose uptake thus reducing glucose level in the blood. It is clinically proven to reduce HbA1c levels, a marker for long term blood glucose control by 11.5% in 3 months.


Cinnamon extract (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) not only provides a distinctive aroma in food, it is also known as an anti-glycemic herb. The polyphenols within cinnamon is known to improve digestion and assist in the breakdown and usage of carbohydrates by our body. Study also shows that cinnamon extracts help to improve cholesterol and triglycerides level and not forgetting its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Bitter Melon Bitter melon extract (Momordica charantia) assists in glucose metabolism and prevents sudden blood glucose spikes by helping glucose uptake by the cells. Bitter melon extract has also demonstrated its capability to activate body enzymes to regulate the body’s glucose metabolism. Bitter melon is a well-known traditional herbal remedy used since ancient times by Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic practitioners as an adjuvant therapy for individuals with high blood glucose level.


Good management is the key to enjoying sweetness in life even if you have T2DM!

Herbs and Spices For Diabetes Management

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