Ashwagandha for diabetes: How does it help in managing blood sugar?

Ashwagandha for diabetes: How does it help in managing blood sugar?
Ashwagandha extracts are available in powdered form or as capsules.

Ashwagandha extracts are known to be extremely beneficial in bringing diabetes under control. Read to know how this ancient medicinal herb battling the chronic disease.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : June 11, 2020 12:18 PM IST

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is one of the most popular herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is known as Withania Somnifera, Poison Gooseberry or Winter Cherry in different parts of the world. Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to cure various diseases such as arthritis, anxiety, bipolar disorder, insomnia, tumours, tuberculosis, asthma, menstrual problems, etc. Now, there is also scientific evidence that this ancient medicinal herb can help battle diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is abnormally high. The glucose in the blood is your main source of energy and it comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone produced the pancreas, helps cells to absorb glucose from the food and convert it into energy. It helps help our bodies to store extra glucose for later use so that blood sugar levels remain at a safe level. In people with diabetes, the pancreas produces very little or no insulin, or the body does not respond appropriately to insulin. There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.

Ashwagandha for diabetes control

Ashwagandha extracts are known to be extremely beneficial in bringing diabetes under control. Ayurveda experts claim that Ashwagandha can help diabetics by influencing the production of insulin and insulin sensitivity. According to them, Ashwagandha extracts can stimulate the secretion of insulin in bloodstream and reduce sugar levels in the blood. It has been found to be especially effective for people with Type 2 diabetes - the most common type of diabetes that accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. The possible side-effects.

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Ashwagandha, derived from Ashwagandha root or the whole plant, is available in powdered form or as a supplement in capsule. You can mix the powder with milk and drink it every day for best results.

Recommended daily intake

Experts recommend that Ashwagandha powder should be taken in quantities of 1 2 tsp (3 6 gm) daily. You can consume Ashwagandha powder with water or ghee.

How to make the concoction

With water: Add the recommended quantity of Ashwagandha powder in 3 cups of water. Boil it for 15 minutes and strain the mixture. Let it cool down and consume 1/4th cup twice daily.

With ghee: Roast the daily recommended quantity of Ashwagandha powder in ghee and add 1tbsp of date sugar. When it cools down to room temperature, store in the refrigerator. Add 1 tsp of this paste in a glass of milk or water and drink it.

For Ashwagandha capsules, the recommended intake is 1 or 2 capsules per day. Take the capsules along with plenty of water to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects. You can also consume Ashwagandha capsule along with a cup of warm milk.

Safety concerns

Though ashwagandha is not associated with any major side effects on the body, breastfeeding and pregnant women should avoid it as it might cause miscarriage. If you're taking medicines for high BP and diabetes, consult your doctor before adding Ashwagandha to your diet as it may interfere with the prescribed medicines.

In some people, consumption of Ashwagandha may irritate the gastrointestinal tract, which may lead to stomach ulcers or cause it to aggravate.

Ashwagandha is effective in regulating high blood pressure, but those with a low BP shouldn't take it as it may lead to further drop in the blood pressure.