The total medical costs and lost work and wages for people diagnosed with diabetes is approximately 245 billion dollars, with medical costs for people with diabetes being twice as high as the medical costs for those without diabetes.
Treating diabetes and prediabetes is obviously a major priority for healthcare providers. In order to avoid prediabetes developing into full-blown diabetes, it’s important to avoid sugary foods and processed grains, and to include healthy fats like avocados and peanut butter in your diet.
Another item that could help with diabetes and prediabetes when included in your diet is an herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine known as gymnema sylvestre.
Gymnema Sylvestre For Diabetes And Prediabetes
Native to India, Asia, and parts of Africa, gymnema sylvestre has been used in the treatment of diabetes for thousands of years.
Gymnema sylvestre can be used to treat diabetes and prediabetes on multiple levels. First, the active compound in the herb is a substance known as gymnemic acid. Its structure looks very similar to glucose, but does not act like it within your body. When consumed before eating anything sweet, it helps to block sugar receptors on your taste buds, curving sugar cravings and making sweets less appealing.
Secondly, gymnemic acid blocks sugar absorption in the intestine, resulting in lower post-meal blood sugar levels. Thirdly, gymnemic acid increases the production of insulin in the body, and can even help regenerate the cells within the pancreas which produce insulin(2).
Another study concluded:
“Gymnema sylvestre supplementation appears to improve glucose control in patients with type II diabetes. Reducing postprandial blood glucose significantly caused a decrease of HbA1c (Average Blood Glucose), therefore reducing the complications of diabetes.”(3)
How To Take Gymnema Sylvestre
Gymnema sylvestre can be taken in supplement form – it’s usually found in 500 mg capsules, which should be taken 5 to 10 minutes before a main meal – or as a tea.
Tea is the more traditional way to consume gymnema sylvestre, and it’s easy to make: just pour hot water over a heaping spoonful of dried gymnema sylvestre herb and let it steep in a french press or tea strainer. As with supplements, it’s a good idea to take this tea 5 to 10 minutes before consuming a meal.
If you are breastfeeding or on medication for diabetes, anxiety, or depression, you should consult your doctor before you begin supplementing your diet with gymnema. It’s so effective that it might cause you to become have hypoglycemia, or excessively low blood sugar levels, this is especially true for those of you who are already taking medication to manage their blood sugar levels.