What is blood sugar?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects the blood glucose and insulin levels in the body. Treatment includes lifestyle strategies and sometimes drugs, but some complementary therapies, like supplements and herbs, may help. In diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin or produces insulin that the body doesn't use properly.

Herbs and supplements won't cure diabetes and don't constitute a standalone therapy, but some could combine with traditional treatment to give relief from symptoms and lessen the chance of complications.

The exact same is true for remedies for diabetes type 2. You have therapies that may reverse diabetes through diet and lifestyle modifications, natural supplements that can help stabilize glucose levels, and also herbs that may lower blood glucose. Maintaining normal blood glucose levels is necessary for your body's overall health. 

Herbs & spices for blood sugar

Some herbs and spices found in nature do a noble job of reducing blood glucose levels, making them a boon for diabetics and pre-diabetics. What is more, being the work horse of mother nature, spices and herbs also create overall health benefits beyond simply helping lowering blood sugar.

To state the obvious, herbs & spices come from natural sources. Whereas herbs come from the green and leafy area of the plant, spices are parts of the plant aside from the leafy bit, such as the root, stem, or bark.

The following are some of the best herbs that lower blood glucose, together with a few spices thrown in, to give you a broader list. Many herbs such as ginger and garlic are considered part of food and are used traditionally by different cultures throughout the world in their daily diet due to their additional medical benefits. 

Best herbs to lower blood sugar

These are some good choices for natural herbs that help blood sugar:

Gymnema sylvester

Gymnema sylvester extract helps repair and regenerate pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin this potent herb promotes glucose utilization in the cells thus lowering blood sugar. Additionally, it prevents the liver from releasing more glucose into the blood flow, lowers triglycerides and cholesterol. Some people today feel gymnema sylvester is among the most effective herbs for treating high blood sugar -- both type 1 and 2 diabetics. Additionally gymnema Sylvestre can help rejuvenate beta cells in the pancreas thus helping cure the problem.


Gymnema sylvestre is original to central & southern part of India. Used in traditional Indian medicine since the 6th century BC, the leaves of the plant contain 'gymnemic acids' which have the incredible ability to slow down the transfer of sugar from the intestines into the bloodstream. Some scientists even think that Gymnema sylvestre extract can help repair and regenerate pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin.

There was a clinical trial conducted in department of biochemistry, Postgraduate Institute of basic medical sciences ,India that studied 22 patients with type 2 diabetes. It noted that supplementing the body with 400 mg of Gymnema Sylvestre extract daily resulted in remarkable reductions in blood sugar levels, hemoglobin A1C and glycosylated plasma protein levels. What is even more remarkable is that by the end of the 18 month study, participants could decrease the dose of the prescription diabetes medication. Five were completely off medication and attaining steady blood glucose levels with Gymnema Sylvestre supplementation alone.

Other research conducted in the same institute studied possible regeneration of the islets of langerhans in rats which were made diabetic to the analysis and then provided Gymnema Sylvester leaf extracts. The diabetic rats could double the amount of the islets and beta cell numbers. Researchers believed that the herbal therapy managed to bring blood glucose stability by repairing the pancreas and increasing insulin secretion.

Bitter melon

Momordica charantia (better known as bitter melon) is a medicinal fruit. Practitioners of traditional Indian and Chinese medicine have used bitter melon for centuries. People are able to cook the fruit and use it in many dishes. Some scientists have been looking into its potential medicinal applications.


There's some proof that bitter melon may help with the symptoms of diabetes. 1 review has noted that individuals have used many areas of the plant to help treat diabetes.


Research has shown that taking bitter melon in the following forms can lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels in some individuals:

- seeds

- mixed vegetable pulp

- juice

- supplements

Eating or drinking the bitter melon may be an acquired taste, but taking supplements can make it more palatable. There's not sufficient evidence to support using bitter melon rather than medication or insulin for diabetes. However, it might help people rely on these medications or lower their doses.


Milk thistle

Milk thistle may have anti inflammatory properties, which makes it potentially helpful for individuals with diabetes.

Individuals have used milk thistle since ancient times for various ailments, and especially as a tonic for the liver. Silymarin, the extract from milk thistle that has received the most attention from scientists, is a compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These are the properties that can create milk thistle a helpful herb for those who have diabetes.



Cinnamon may have a positive effect on the glycemic control and the lipid profile in patients with diabetes kind 2 according to research, cinnamon might have a positive influence on the glycemic control and the lipid profile in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2. This is because it comprises 18 percent polyphenol content in dry weight. This popular Indian spice may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. According to a study published in journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, cinnamon lowered HbA1C by 0.83% compared with standard medication alone lowering HbA1C 0.37%. They added that in addition to other care measures, taking cinnamon could be useful for lowering serum HbA1C in type 2 diabetics.


Cloves offer anti inflammatory, analgesic and digestive health benefits for diabetics. Cloves protect the heart, liver and lens of the eye of diabetic rats, according to research. This spice includes 30 percent of the antioxidant phenol in dry weight, together with antioxidants anthocyanins and quercetin. Because of this, cloves have antiseptic in addition to germicidal properties. Additionally, it supplies anti inflammatory, analgesic and digestive health benefits for diabetics.



Rosemary helps normalize blood glucose levels naturally an aromatic herb that's used commonly to add flavor and aroma to meats and soups, Rosemary helps normalize glucose levels naturally. It promotes weight loss also, and it is a double blessing for many diabetics who struggle with weight problems. A study conducted in Jordan to examine the effects of rosemary on lipid profile in diabetic rats demonstrated that rosemary has no substantial influence on serum glucose level and lipid profile of normal rats. But when rosemary infusion was administered to diabetic rats for 4 weeks, their blood glucose levels decreased by 20%, cholesterol levels by 22%, triglyceride levels by 24 percent, and LDL by 27 percent while HDL increased by 18% respectively.


Oregano is considered among the best herbs to lower blood Sugar levels. Popular in Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean cooking, oregano is regarded as among the best herbs to lower blood glucose levels.


Sage is considered among the best herbs to lower blood sugar levels. Sage can have metformin-like effects, according to a study which is published in the British Journal of Nutrition. So you might want to think about cooking with this herb frequently. It's been used on traditional medicine for centuries, as one of the essential herbs to decrease blood sugar. A word of caution -- taking high doses of rosemary together with diabetes drugs might cause your blood sugar to go too low, a condition called hypoglycemia. Monitor your blood glucose closely.

Curry leaves

Curry leaves help to stabilize blood sugar levels and affect carbohydrate metabolism another popular ingredient in the Indian spice rack, curry leaves help to stabilize blood sugar levels and affect carbohydrate metabolism. An Indian research published in international journal of development research examined in detail the ramifications curry leaves have on diabetes type 2. According to the research data, curry leaves contain a photochemical that may help control blood glucose level in patients with Diabetes type 2 by reducing fasting and postprandial blood glucose level. Diabetic rats given a dose of approximately 12gm daily for a month demonstrated that curry leaves can treat diabetes by influencing carbohydrate metabolism and enhancing kidney and liver function. Additionally, the awesome antioxidant properties of curry leaves may boost pancreatic cell generation, thereby enhancing insulin function.


Garlic helps decrease high cholesterol level A 2005 research on The anti-diabetic impact of garlic in ordinary and lab-induced diabetic rats, published in the journal phytomedicine, found that oral treatment significantly decreased serum glucose and total cholesterol. It concluded that garlic has to be regarded as a superb candidate for future human studies on diabetes mellitus. What is better, garlic also helps reduce high cholesterol levels, a complication that diabetics often confront.



Individuals frequently use ginger to help treat inflammatory and digestive troubles. But in 2015, a review indicated it might also help treat diabetes. The results showed that ginger reduced blood glucose levels, but didn't lower blood glucose levels. As a result of this, they suggest that ginger may decrease insulin resistance from the body for type 2 diabetes.

Ginger is able to normalize blood glucose levels A spice that's popular for soothing your gut and helping digestion, Ginger also has the ability to normalize glucose levels. A number of studies conducted on rats show that ginger extract may have a substantial anti-hyperglycemic effect. It lowers serum total cholesterol, triglycerides and raises the HDL-cholesterol levels. Diabetes is a digestive disorder. Diabetics often face problems with acid reflux. Ginger soothes the whole digestive tract, giving another reason to add ginger to their supplement regimen.


Turmeric has antibacterial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties A popular spice used in Indian cooking, and the main Ingredient of ‘curry' which has taken the world by storm, turmeric has antibacterial, anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties which all come together to assist diabetics manage more stable glucose levels. It helps Boost immunity and prevents infections that diabetics tend to be vulnerable to. Studies conducted on rats prove that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is effective in reducing plasma glucose level and HbA1C as well as improving the lipid profile. Many diabetics also suffer with arthritis, since the sugar laden blood and inflammatory processes typical to diabetes frequently damage joints. Turmeric, using its anti-inflammatory skills, also helps with these joint pains.



Qin, B., et al. (2010). Cinnamon: Potential role in the prevention of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2901047/

Abo-Youssef, A. M. H., & Messiha, B. A. S. (2013). Beneficial effects of aloe vera in treatment of diabetes: Comparative in vivo and in vitro studies.  sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110093112000117

Anti-diabetic effect of a leaf extract from Gymnema sylvestre in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Baskaran%20K%20et%20al.%20Antidiabetic%20effect%20of%20a%20leaf%20extract%20from%20gymnema%20sylvestre%20in%20non-insulin-dependent%20diabetes%20mellitus%20patients

Possible regeneration of the islets of langerhans in streptozotocin-diabetic rats given gymnema sylvestre leaf extracts  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0378874190901064

Effects of a cinnamon extract on plasma glucose, HbA1c, and serum lipids in diabetes mellitus type 2 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2362.2006.01629.x/full

Effectiveness of Cinnamon for Lowering Hemoglobin A1C in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Controlled Trial  http://www.jabfm.org/content/22/5/507.short

Cloves improve glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus http://www.fasebj.org/content/20/5/A990.3.short

Effects of rosemary on lipid profile in diabetic rats http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1380120780_Aljamal%20et%20al.pdf

Inhibition of Advanced Glycation End-Product Formation by Origanum majorana L. In Vitro and in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447365/

Evaluation of clonal herbs of Lamiaceae species for management of diabetes and hypertension – http://apjcn.org/update%5Cpdf%5C2006%5C1%5C107%5C107.pdf

Metformin-like effect of Salvia officinalis (common sage): is it useful in diabetes prevention? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16923227

Antidiabetic effect of garlic (Allium sativum L.) in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711305002175

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