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Are 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))
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.
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.
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.
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.
With inputs from IANS
Photo source: Getty images
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