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Rosemary, oregano in diet naturally combat diabetes

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : October 7, 2014 5:10 PM IST

diabetes1Are you suffering from type-2 diabetes? You could soon cut down on your medicine bills as researchers have confirmed that including rosemary and oregano in the diet may help you control blood sugar levels naturally. These popular culinary herbs contain diabetes-fighting compounds and they could work in much the same way as prescription anti-diabetic medication, the findings showed. (Read: 10 diet dos and don'ts for diabetics)

How the herbs are grown makes a difference, said Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, a professor at University of Illinois in the US. For the study, the researchers tested four different herbs, either greenhouse-grown or dried commercial versions, for their ability to interfere with a diabetes-related enzyme, which is also a target of a prescription drug for the disease. (Read: Beat diabetes naturally with these 10 yoga asanas (Gallery))

They found that greenhouse herbs contained more polyphenols and flavonoids compared to the equivalent commercial herbs. But this did not affect the concentration required to inhibit the enzyme. Commercial extracts of Greek oregano, Mexican oregano and rosemary were better inhibitors of the enzyme, required to reduce risk of type-2 diabetes, than greenhouse-grown herbs. The study appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a publication of American Chemical Society. (Read: Beat diabetes with these 7 foods (Gallery))

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Here are some herbal remedies for diabetes

Fenugreek or Methi

Used in paranthas and various Indian curries, Methi has many health benefits. It has been used as a galactogogue a substance used to increase the secretion of milk in breast-feeding mothers. Read 15 more health benefits of methi.

Anti-diabetes action:

In recent times, clinical trials on people with type 2 diabetes show that fenugreek has the valuable property of reducing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the stomach during the process of digestion; it also appears to be capable of stimulating the pancreatic cells to increase insulin production. Both these actions are believed to be a result of the action by an amino acid present in fenugreek called 4-hydroxyisoleucine.


  • Soak the methi seeds in water overnight and drink this water and chew on the seeds first thing in the morning.
  • Place methi seeds in a skillet and dry roast using medium heat for about two minutes, with constant stirring. Allow the seeds to cool and then powder; add one teaspoon of this powder to hot or cold water and take once or twice in a day.
  • Boil one cup of water and add 2 tablespoons of methi seeds, steep for about 10 minutes and then strain and consume the liquid. Do this twice every day to see a reduction of blood glucose levels.

Bitter Gourd or Karela

Most people are familiar with bitter gourd an unpalatable yet healthy vegetable that is typically cooked in tangy gravy to offset the bitterness.

Anti-diabetes action:

Several studies have found that karela extracts have the ability to reduce the activity of the alpha glucosidase enzyme and this helps to reduce the hyperglycemia that typically follows a meal. This insulin-like action is believed to be due to a substance called polypeptide-P. Bitter melon has also been found to contain a phytonutrient called charantin that allows the glucose from the blood to be moved into the muscles, adipose (fat) tissue and liver, lowering blood glucose levels in diabetics. Also read how karela can beat diabetes.


  • Select a green bitter gourd, slice it lengthwise, and scrape away the flesh to remove the seeds. Then add the vegetable to a blender and run it to obtain a juice. Drink one small glass of this juice first thing every morning.
  • Take some pieces of dried bitter gourd, boil in one cup of water and consume this tea once or twice in a day. This tea is not as bitter as the fresh juice and easier to consume.
  • Cut a few slices of bitter gourd and add to stir-fry dishes, especially in combination with vegetables that have a sweetish taste of their own this will help mask their bitter taste.

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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