How common herbs may help people with diabetes

How common herbs may help people with diabetes

A new study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry finds that oregano and rosemary may be more than just healthy herbs; but could also have medicinal properties. The report suggests that these super herbs could work in the same way that certain prescriptions work for those with diabetes.

Previous studies show that herbs could be a natural remedy for lowering glucose in the blood. Study leader Elvira Gonzalez and team ran tests on four different greenhouse-grown and dried commercial herbs to see how they interact with a diabetes-related enzyme. These herbs and their interference with this enzyme mimics how a prescription drug works.

The study concluded that greenhouse herbs had more polyphenols and flavonoids then the commercial herbs, but both were equally diabetes-fighting compounds. Commercial extracts of Greek and Mexican oregano, and rosemary inhibited the enzyme better, the study says. Scientists suggest that the commercial extracts might reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes more than the greenhouse herbs.

“Oregano is an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps in blood clotting and strong bones,” says Michelle Remkus, dietitian with Advocate Medical Group in Libertyville, Ill., says. “Oregano also contains antioxidants that help protect your cells against free radicals and improve your immunity.”

She also says that rosemary is a good source of Vitamin A, which has antioxidant properties that protect your body from free radicals. “Vitamin A also plays an important role in vision and can improve your skin,” Remkus says. “Rosemary contains a high amount of vitamin C, which can improve your immune system, as well as aid in the growth and repair of skin tissues.”

Scientists note that this is an introductory study and there is still more research to be conducted. Although there is more to look into, there seems to be good news about the health benefits of herbs.

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  1. My daughter has been a Type 1 diabetic since she was seven. She is now 25 and doing well on an insulin pump. She has found that the herb cinnamon concentrated in a capsule form ahs had significant blood glucose lowering properties.

    • Natalie Passarelli July 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm · Reply

      Thanks for sharing your story. Looks like cinnamon would be a great herb to add to this study!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.