We have always admired the versatility and power of herbs because they offer the opportunity to enhance the flavors of basic dishes, and this will perhaps forever remain the most popular feature. However, in addition to being an asset for the cook in the kitchen, several studies have been carried out to prove that herbs also have an additional and not to be underestimated power as true nutritional powerhouses that also harbour a number of effects not to be underestimated in the medical field.
There are herbs that, in addition to their remarkable taste and aroma, can also significantly lower blood sugar levels. Below you will find a list of three herbs that can have an effect on the blood sugar level, and that is the reason why people who suffer from diabetes or are in the risk group should at least consider to include these three powerful herbs more in your daily diet.
1. Turmeric or Curcumin
Yellowroot or turmeric (turmeric in English) is a curious herb. A study conducted in 2012 at the Herbin medical university in China showed that patients diagnosed with type II diabetes who were given a dose of 300 mg of turmeric root per day for a period of 3 months had significantly greater drops of insulin resistance and haemoglobin A1C in their blood glucose levels than other people who had taken a placebo.
Turmeric is a natural antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. This famous herb is clearly recognizable by its yellow and orange color. Yellowroot is very often added to curries and rice dishes, but the pleasant and even slightly nutty taste of the herb can also add a nice touch to dishes such as a tasty salad, scrambled eggs or omelette, roasted vegetables, a soup and so much more. By the way, you can also mix turmeric with water, apple cider, vinegar, or the juice of a coconut. Or you can of course take a supplement with turmeric if you want to be sure that you take a sufficiently high daily dose.
In the 2006 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a study was published that showed that a remarkable drop in blood sugar levels can occur some 20 to 120 minutes after eating a meal with cayenne pepper. And there was even more news: most participants in the study were able to record a remarkable drop in their blood insulin levels, especially those who had eaten food rich in cayenne over a 30-day period prior to the test.
These results led the researchers to conclude that cayenne can improve the tissues' sensitivity to insulin, which should eventually lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels. Cayenne pepper is usually consumed most in its natural state. But there is good news, because this herb retains its active ingredients also in the form of powder and in a ground state.
Perhaps the most famous form of these ingredients is capsaicin, a substance known for its high capacity for reducing pain and burning fat. However, a series of studies are now available, including those by the University of Ulsan in 2011, which show that this substance is also responsible for lowering blood sugar levels in the human body.
Because of its pronounced taste, cayenne is less versatile than turmeric, and most people associate it with typical dishes such as a hot curry. Having said this, we would like to add that cayenne can also be a surprising and rewarding ingredient of a smoothie, not least because it contains certain substances that can contribute to better absorption of the specific nutrients of the different ingredients.
There is a third herb that has some remarkable properties for lowering blood sugar levels. In January 2008, for example, a study published in the Journal of Natural Medicine showed that the substance glucoside found in the herb oregano can help lower blood sugar levels. This result was in fact confirmation of a study previously published in 2004 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. This study found that rats administered oregano extracts over an extended period of time had a noticeable decrease in their blood glucose levels.
That's good news, because with oregano you can go anywhere in the kitchen. It's aromatic and full of flavour, and it's an incredibly versatile herb that can just as well be drunk as a tea, or added to an almost infinite number of hot dishes, certainly including many dishes from Italian cuisine.
So if you are looking for a healthy and tasty way to control or lower your blood sugar level, you will have no problem adding oregano to your menu on a regular basis. Make sure you go for organic, unprocessed oregano in order to get the maximum benefit from this remarkable herb. It will only benefit your health!