At a glance: The article lists five potent herbs suggested by the Siddha medicine system as herbal remedies to help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which is better prevented because the issues it can cause are many and severe. So, if you doubt you are in the prediabetes stage and notice warning signs of diabetes, it is time to take precautionary measures to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
How to know if you are prediabetic?
A lab blood glucose test is the best way to confirm if you are prediabetic. You may opt to check your fasting blood glucose, random blood glucose (2 hours after a meal), or Hb1Ac (average blood glucose over the past 3 months).
If your test results show that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not as high to be diabetic, then you are in the prediabetes stage.
Apart from the lab tests, other common signs that you are moving from green to amber are:
- excessive thirst
- excessive urination
- increased hunger
- numbness or tingling sensation in hands or feet
- unusual fatigue
- blurred vision
- slow healing of sores
If you notice any of these occurring more often, get your lab tests done to check your blood glucose levels.
Siddha herbal remedies to prevent diabetes
Like most traditional medicine systems, Siddha also recommends a healthy lifestyle to prevent diabetes. Further, Siddha uses various medicinal herbs to prevent diabetes and delay the onset of diabetes. Five such potent Siddha herbal remedies to prevent diabetes are listed below. These traditional Siddha remedies for diabetes are harmless, safe, and worth trying.
1. Trigonella foenum-graecum or methi
Fenugreek or methi seeds are an excellent siddha herbal remedy for diabetes. When consumed regularly in nominal amounts, the seeds may prevent the onset of diabetes. Hence, those with increased risks of diabetes can regularly take methi seeds.
The seeds have a huge potential to reduce your blood sugar levels in the body. Due to high fibre content, the methi seeds improve carbohydrate metabolism, thus reducing blood sugar levels. Also, regular intake improves insulin sensitivity. Hence, fenugreek seeds are a potent remedy for maintaining blood sugar at optimal levels.
Ways to take fenugreek or methi to prevent diabetes
- Fenugreek seeds water:
Soak a tablespoon of methi seeds in water the previous night. The next morning, boil for a few minutes, strain, and sip the water, warm.
- Fenugreek powder:
- Dry roast the seeds on a heavy-based pan at a low flame for 2-3 minutes. The seeds should not change colour. Grind into a fine powder and store in an airtight container.
- Add 1 tsp of this powder to a cup of hot water. Stir and steep for 2-3 minutes and sip it warm. Do not have this more than twice a day.
- Or, you may sprinkle the powder on any dish sparsely. The powder is not only healthful but also flavourful.
- Fenugreek leaves:
According to Siddha, both methi seeds and leaves have great medicinal value and help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Pluck the leaves and wash them well.
- Boil the leaves until soft. While cooking, close the lid and cook on a low flame. This way, the nutrient loss of the leaves is reduced.
- Add salt to taste.
- You can mash it, add the required water, warm it and have it as soup.
- Or you can add other vegetables to the cooked leaves and have them along with rice or chapati.
- You may also add finely chopped methi leaves to your roti dough and make methi rotis.
- Fenugreek capsules:
As with various medicinal herbs, fenugreek is also available as a supplement in capsule forms. You must be super careful when taking supplements. Please be sure to buy from a reputed brand, follow the instructions provided on the pack, or discuss the dosage with a health expert.
2. Phyllanthus Emblica or Emblica Officinalis or Amla
Indian gooseberry or amla is another incredible Siddha medicine used in diabetes management. It imparts two terrific anti-diabetic benefits.
- The presence of chromium improves carbohydrate metabolism and hence can lower blood sugar levels.
- Amla enhances insulin sensitivity and thus aids your body use blood sugar effectively.
Further, acute pancreatitis is a condition that occurs when the pancreas is inflamed. In such a case, the pancreas may not secrete insulin properly. Amla has rich anti-inflammatory properties and may help heal the pancreas and improve insulin production.
Ways to take amla as siddha preventive medicine for diabetes
- Eat as a fruit:
The simplest way is to eat amla as a fruit. Wash the fruit under running water before consuming it. Also, eat it with the skin. The skin has many nutrients and is high in fibre too. Do not eat more than two a day.
- As juice:
You may drink the juice if you don’t like to eat the fruit. Blend 3-4 amla fruits with a few ounces of water. Can you drink along with the pulp? That’s super good because you get the fibre as well. If not, strain and drink the juice.
- As Churna or capsules:
Amla is available as Churna (powder) and capsules. Buy from a trusted brand and follow the instructions overleaf.
3. Gymnema Sylvester or gurmar
If you are sweet-toothed and frequently crave sweets, then Gurmar can help you hugely. Famously known as the destroyer of sugar, Gurmar inhibits taste response to sweetness.
Studies show that consuming gurmar mints significantly brought down the desire for high-sweet foods.
Also, gymnema extracts may promote insulin production in damaged pancreatic beta cells and possibly increase beta cells and pancreatic islets, thus improving insulin production. Hence, gurmar is a powerful siddha herb to try to prevent diabetes.
Ways to consume Gurmar
- As tea:
Boil fresh leaves for 5 minutes. Then, strain and drink it as tea. You may have this tea once a day.
- As powder or capsules:
You may also buy the powder or capsules if you cannot buy leaves. Again, buy it from a trusted brand and follow the instructions provided. Or discuss the dosage with your doctor.
4. Curcuma longa or turmeric
Turmeric contains amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, studies show that Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, lowers blood sugar levels in the body. Also, it improves insulin sensitivity and hence is an excellent siddha herb that may prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
Ways to take turmeric as a potential remedy to prevent diabetes
- Turmeric tea:
Add half-a-teaspoon turmeric powder to a cup of hot water. Stir and then let it steep for 5 minutes. Sip the tea, warm. Consuming this tea once a day is enough to get the medicinal benefits.
- Turmeric powder in dishes:
Turmeric is one of the most commonly used spices in Indian and Southasian cuisines. Though using a tsp turmeric powder in dishes may not significantly lower your blood sugar levels, it is great for your general health. Tea is more potent and can help manage blood sugar levels quite.
- Dry the turmeric roots very well under the sun.
- Grind them into a fine powder.
- If you are buying from a store, it would be good to buy an organic one.
- Simply add a tsp turmeric powder to the curries while cooking.
- Turmeric capsules:
Turmeric is also available as a supplement. As mentioned earlier, be cautious when taking turmeric capsules. Please ensure reputed brand and proper dosage.
5. Allium sativum or garlic
Garlic works phenomenally for people with prediabetes. It considerably helps lower blood sugar levels and keeps them at optimal levels.
Studies show that raw garlic improves insulin sensitivity. Also, a moderate intake of garlic enhances digestion and improves carbohydrate metabolism.
Ways to consume garlic to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes
- Raw garlic cloves:
Eating raw garlic is arguably one of the best ways to get all the health benefits from this tiny herb. I know, easier said than done, but it is not so pleasant to chew a raw garlic clove. So here are some tips to make raw garlic more pleasant.
- Chop into fine pieces and toss them on your salad or other cooked dish.
- Add grated garlic between bread slices before you toast them.
- Grated garlic in your soup is also a yummy way to eat garlic.
Are you unable to take garlic in any of the ways mentioned above? Add garlic early in the cooking so you will not be able to feel the taste or aroma.
Nevertheless, the medicinal benefits are more potent in raw garlic than in cooked form.
- Garlic supplements:
Garlic supplements are available. However, as said earlier, you must be cautious about the dosage and the product’s authenticity.
One may never know what will be lost until one really loses it. Being healthy might seem to be a given. But, once you start losing it, you will notice a steep downfall in your quality of life. So, please take precautionary remedies to prevent diabetes when you see the warning signs. Fenugreek, Amla, Gurmar, Turmeric, and Garlic are all easy to get, powerful Siddha herbs to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent the onset of diabetes. Use them and preserve your health.