Natural remedies for diabetes or any other health condition have been in use and known to be practised since time immemorial. And, you cannot deny the fact that we all grew up healing sore throat, cold, headache, upset stomach and even minor cuts and wounds with the much-effective grandma’s natural remedies. We rely so much on natural remedies; not just because we have seen them being frequently used in our homes all along, but due to their proven effectiveness as well as their myriads of advantages over mainstream medicines. Moreover, when compared with conventional drugs, natural remedies are widely regarded as a way better treatment option for various reasons like negligible to no side effects, cost-effectiveness, and better outcomes in cases of chronic illnesses.
Natural remedies are extremely effective in treating chronic conditions including diabetes. The potential benefits of natural remedies for diabetes are backed by countless medical studies, and well accepted by numerous health communities and medical fraternities across the globe.
Let’s see what are the different natural remedies that can help diabetics lead a normal and healthy life.
Table of Contents
- Ayurvedic Herbs for Diabetes
- Spices and Culinary Herbs
- Natural Foods for Diabetes
- Dietary Recommendations
- General Diet Tips for Diabetics
- Exercise for diabetes
- Yoga for Diabetes
- Lifestyle Modifications for Diabetics
- Homoeopathy Medicines for Diabetes
- Acupuncture for Diabetes
- Acupressure for Diabetes
- Massage Therapy for Diabetes
- Hydrotherapy for Diabetes
- Tai Chi for Diabetes
- Chromotherapy for Diabetes
- Mud Therapy for Diabetes
Ayurvedic Herbs for Diabetes
All natural, herbs are either leaves or other green parts of the plant that have known health-related benefits. An integral part of Ayurveda – a traditional Indian medicine system – herbs consist of some potent ingredients or other with curative properties. An ayurvedic medicine usually comprises several herbs and/or spices in varied proportions.
With minimum to no side effects, herbs for diabetes are a great way to control high blood sugar levels. Also, several herbs are effective in weight loss too. Owing to their efficacy, herbs are now even prescribed and recommended by modern-day medical practitioners along with medicines. Discussed below are some Ayurvedic diabetes herbs that are excellent natural remedies for diabetes:
• Salacia oblonga (Saptarangi): This Ayurvedic dietary supplement helps normalize high blood sugar levels and relieve symptoms of retinopathy. It has both anti-diabetic and lipid-lowering properties. Two a-Glucosidase inhibitors – kotalanol 9 and salacinol – are its potent ingredients. It is also an amazing natural weight loss supplement.
*Available as an Ayurvedic supplement.
• Curcuma longa (Turmeric): It is basically a spice, which can be easily found in almost every kitchen across Asia. In addition to anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties, this herb helps manage blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The active constituent of turmeric, curcumin – a strong antioxidant – aid in preventing and treating diabetes.
*Drink it with milk or water on an empty stomach in the morning.
• Terminalia chebula retz (Myrobalan): A native to South Asia, this herb bears kidney protecting and antidiabetic and properties. It also helps improve digestion and facilitates excretion. Its anti-inflammatory nature makes it a great Ayurvedic medicine for a number of ailments.
*Available as an Ayurvedic supplement.
• Emblica officinalis (Indian Gooseberry): Besides fruit, nearly every part of this plant is used in Ayurveda. It bears anti-diabetic properties. Additionally, it boosts immunity, improves heart health and prevent aging too. It is also a rich source of vitamin C, which is a strong antioxidant.
* Extract its juice to be consumed daily.
• Syzygium cumini (Java Plum): With Indian subcontinent as its origin this fruit-bearing plant is a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C. The seeds of this plant is known to help manage blood glucose levels. Also called jamun, this tropical plant strengthens immunity, acts as an antioxidant and anti-aging agent, and improves symptoms of diarrhea and asthma.
* In the morning, on an empty stomach, have one teaspoon of its powdered seeds thrice a day.
• Commiphora mukul (Guggulu): This herb has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic (cholesterol-reducing) benefits due to the presence of steroid, guggulsterone in it.
*Available as an Ayurvedic supplement.
• Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi): It is extensively used herb in Ayurvedic medicines for diabetes as it helps reduce blood sugar level.
*Available as an Ayurvedic supplement.
• Azadirachta indica (Neem): This tree has blood sugar-reducing properties. Apart from this, it is a great antiaging herb too as it aid in reducing scars and acne. Neem is also believed to have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal effects that make it a wonderful home remedy for minor infections. 
* Chew a few neem leaves in the morning empty stomach. Drink water boiled with neem leaves on an empty stomach.
• Aegle marmelos (Indian Bel): This has the ability to reduce blood sugar level and so, it is used in a number of Ayurvedic medicines for diabetes. It also helps improve symptoms of digestive problems and urinary disorders. 
* Have juice extracted from its fruit pulp. Drink water boiled with dried leaves of this plant daily on an empty stomach.
*Available as an Ayurvedic supplement.
• Aloe Vera: In addition to its ability in reducing blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes, the juice from this plant is quite effective in preventing signs of skin aging, and healing minor burns. It is also known to better digestion.
* Consume one spoon of its clear gel from its leaves daily on an empty stomach.
• Ficus benghalensis (Banyan Tree): The bark extract of this tree is known to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetes mellitus patients. It is also a common constituent of Ayurvedic medicines for fertility treatment and to cure sexual debility.
* Consume the water, in which the bark has been kept soaked in overnight. Have one tablespoon of dried and powdered bark early morning on an empty stomach.
• Momordica charantia (Bitter Gourd): The juice of this vegetable is a common ingredient of many Ayurvedic medicines, especially the ones to treat type 2 diabetes. The active compounds in bitter gourd juice, viz., polypeptide-p and charantin are insulin analogues, i.e., have potent hypoglycemic (blood sugar level-reducing) properties. A great source of antioxidants, bitter gourd is a wonderful cue for skin problems and hair loss.
*Have its 50-100 ml juice in the morning on an empty stomach.
• Triphala: This ayurvedic formulation is a blend of several herbs with known capacities to lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. Besides, it bears antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. It is also effective in controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol level, and improves digestion.
*Available as an Ayurvedic medicine.
• Bilberry: The leaves of bilberry with Eurasian origin is rich in anthocyanin, known to possess blood sugar-lowering and insulin sensitivity-enhancing properties.
*Its extract is available as an Ayurvedic supplement.
• Ocimum tenuiflorum (Holy Basil): Also called tulsi, holy basil is a prominent ingredient of many Ayurvedic medicines. Through numerous studies, it has been established that this herb possess ability to treat lifestyle-related chronic conditions like stress, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. This herb has antioxidants, and is loaded with caryophyllene and eugenol that help pancreatic, insulin-producing beta cells to function normally.
*Chew its leaves early morning on an empty stomach or include a few in your morning tea.
• Moringa oleifera (Drumstick): The leaves of this plant are capable of reducing blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. This is also said to lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The polyphenols and antioxidants in drumstick leaf extract can help curb the risk of diseases like hypertension and atherosclerosis.
* Use it in salads and teas.
Spices and Culinary Herbs as Home Remedies for Diabetes
Spices and herbs have dual benefits. Not only these enhance the flavor of our favorite dishes and help preserve food, but also offer an array of health benefits. And, for this reason, cuisines and cultures across the globe promote the use of spices in cooking and preparations. No doubt, these flavor enhancers make for a convenient home remedy as these can be easily found in some corner of our kitchens.
While many trivial ailments can be cured with spices and herbs, diabetes is one chronic condition that can be effectively managed with the same. Continue reading to know about spices that work as effective home remedies to control blood sugar levels in diabetics:
• Rosemary: A native to Mediterranean region, this culinary herb naturally helps reduce blood sugar levels.
 It is also a natural weight loss supplements as it helps restricts the process of weight gain. Besides, it has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties as well.
*Use it in meals, lemonades and teas.
• Cinnamon: This is a wonderful source of antioxidants that help lower oxidative stress – a major reason behind most chronic disorders, including diabetes. This spice is also known to lower hemoglobin A1C level in type 2 diabetics.
*Use it as a spice to enhance the flavor of your dishes. Soak overnight two sticks of cinnamon in water to be consumed on an empty stomach.
• Cloves: A 2006 study depicted glucose-lowering effect of this spice in type 2 diabetics, who consumed it daily. It can reduce the mean serum glucose level from 225 mg/dl to 150 mg/dl.
*Use it as clove water – soak 6 to 7 cloves in a glass of lukewarm water for 15 min. and strain.
• Oregano: Bioactive compounds like polyphenols and flavonoids in oregano has been scientifically proved to positively affect insulin sensitivity and so, have the potential to lower blood glucose levels in diabetics. Oregano contains several potent antioxidants too. It is also believed to be effective in curing respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, menstrual cramps and urinary tract disorders.
*Sprinkle its over your salads and dishes to enhance the flavor.
• Curry Leaves: Research has shown that curry leaves can lower both post-prandial and fasting blood sugar levels. Moreover, it can help improve digestive symptoms, lower cholesterol levels, and prevent anemia due to folic acid and iron content.
You can use it an alternative to or along with cilantro and parsley.
• Fenugreek: The seeds of this spice can significantly control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It is also known to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in prediabetes state.
Use its seeds a flavoring agent to boost the flavor of your curries. You can also sprinkle dried leaves or freshly chopped leaves over your dishes.
• Garlic: This culinary herb is a potent home remedy to control blood sugar level along with LDL or bad cholesterol. It is also effective in reducing the symptoms of common cold or flu. Normalizing high blood pressure, reducing risk of heart diseases and preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s are other known benefits of garlic.
*Consume two cloves of raw garlic with water on an empty stomach in the morning.
• Turmeric: This spice is a great remedy to curb high blood sugar levels. Also, the curcumin – a bioactive compound in turmeric – is responsible for its antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits; so it help reduce the risk of heart diseases and brain disorders. A popular anti aging supplement, turmeric is found to be effective in treating depression.
*On an empty stomach, consume a glass of milk or water with 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric powder mixed into in the morning.
• Cayenne Pepper: Capsaicin is the potent compound in cayenne pepper that imparts medicinal value to this spice. A great metabolism booster and hunger reducer, this spice helps prevent and treat obesity – a major cause behind type 2 diabetes. Hence, it is a great weight loss food.
*Use its powder as a spice in salads or while cooking.
• Bay Leaf: Studies say that it has preventive role in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It lowers low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol level and also helps improve symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it improves digestion and hair follicle health while helping you get rid of dandruff. Bay leaves are also great for reducing stress and anxiety symptoms.
*Have 1-3 gm of bay leaf powder daily with water in the morning. Also, add it to salads and curries to enhance flavor and aroma.
Natural Foods for Diabetes
The food we consume on a daily basis or special diets we follow have a crucial role in deciding our overall wellbeing. No wonder, like medicines, our foods contains several compounds that can be beneficial or detrimental to our health.
Some foods predispose us to certain conditions, whereas others reduce the likelihood of having specific disorders. Not only this, several bioactive constituents and nutrients in foods help us treat many diseases too.
So, making the right choice is important! Thoughtfully selecting what to eat and what not to and keeping a regular check on calorie intake can remarkably help us manage conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.
Owing to its status of being a ‘lifestyle disorder,’ diabetes can be substantially controlled with a handful of dietary changes that majorly entail consuming specific food items and following a diabetes-friendly diet. Hence, foods can be a superb natural remedy for diabetes. Discussed below are such foods that surely make for a guilt-free meal for diabetics:
• Fatty Fish: Fishes like mackerel, tuna, trout and salmon are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids bear anti-diabetic, anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, fish oil is also believed to be extremely healthy. Also, regular consumption of fatty fishes can help people with type 2 diabetes lower their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
• Leafy Greens: Studies suggest that regular intake of leafy greens like swiss chard, spinach and romaine lettuce can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. These are also known to decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Since leafy greens are loaded with all sorts of minerals and vitamins, these help stave off nutritional deficiencies.
• Eggs: This protein-rich food is a source of vitamin B2, B6 and B12 along with selenium, zinc and iron. A study claims that egg consumption as part of high-protein diet aids in lowering blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Besides, it reduces the risk of stroke and can be a perfect food to be included in your weight loss diet.
• Greek Yogurt: Due to its probiotic content, Greek yogurt helps improve gut health as well as reduce blood sugar level and risk of heart disorders. Moreover, it is low in carbohydrate and high in protein, which make an ideal weight loss food.
• Nuts: Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios and walnuts are great food for diabetes patients. Regular consumption of these nuts can decrease blood glucose level, inflammation and susceptibility to develop heart disease.
• Broccoli: Touted as one of the most nutritious of all veggies, broccoli is a source of vitamin C, magnesium, zeaxanthin and lutein. These components make it a good anti aging and vision-friendly food. Not only these, broccoli helps improve insulin resistance and decreases oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes patients.
• Flaxseeds: Lignans in flaxseeds can lower risk of heart ailments and ensure better control over blood sugar level. Additionally, the fiber content in flaxseeds improves gastrointestinal health and insulin sensitivity.
• Apple Cider Vinegar: While it is prepared using apples, the major sugar content of it eventually gets converted into acetic acid. In addition to reducing fasting blood glucose levels, it boosts insulin sensitivity. It is also a very effective weight loss food and help you do away with belly fat. Besides, it possess antibacterial properties too.
Also Read: 8 Things To Avoid If You Consume Apple Cider Vinegar
• White Balsamic Vinegar: This vinegar is generally regarded as superfood. You can simply pour it on to your favorite salad. It slows down the process of gastric emptying, which eventually slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream; thereby, preventing sudden insulin hike. It also makes you feel full earlier and thus, prevent overeating. Vinegar is known to improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics.
• Strawberries: Regarded as one of the healthiest fruits, strawberries is rich in antioxidants, known as anthocyanins. These are known to lower cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity. A good source of vitamin C, strawberries are known to offer anti-inflammatory benefits for better heart health.
• Squash: Squash has been widely recognized as an extremely healthy vegetable. It is a wonderful source of antioxidants, mainly zeaxanthin and lutein that are believed to provide protection against macular degeneration and cataracts. Studies have shown its role in obesity management and improving insulin sensitivity.
• Shirataki Noodles: When it comes to weight loss and diabetes management, these noodles are simply an ideal choice. These are a major source of a fibre extracted from konjac plant, called glucomannan. Shirataki noodles are found to lower postprandial blood glucose level and risk of heart disease in diabetics and those suffering from metabolic syndrome.
• Apples: The famous saying, “An apple every day, keeps the doctor away” is not just appropriate for keeping at bay heart diseases, but diabetes too. A 2013 study depicted that eating 4-5 apples every week can reduce your likelihood of developing this chronic disorder by up to 23%.
• Asparagus: A low-carb and high-fiber veggie and a major source of antioxidant, glutathione, asparagus is a superb anti aging food and known to improve symptoms of diabetes, cancer and heart ailments. A 2012 study confirmed that extracts of this flavorful vegetable can improve insulin sensitivity and function of pancreatic beta cells.
• Avocados: This heart-friendly fruit is rich in monounsaturated fat. As per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, avocado helps reduce heart disease risk and cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fat from avocado has been found to offer better control over cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
• Legumes: Research prove that having legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas and beans – with low glycemic index – help lower the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and improves blood sugar level control. This makes a must to include in any diabetic diet plan.
• Carrots: This low-carb vegetable is a wonderful source of a potent antioxidant, β-carotene, which is known to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association considers consumption of 5 baby carrots as “free food” and so, shouldn’t be counted in any meal plan.
• Cranberries, Blueberries and Raspberries: All types of berries are a rich source of a class of antioxidant, known as anthocyanins. These help reduce oxidative stress and have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Bioactive compounds in berries, especially blueberries have been found to improve insulin sensitivity in obese people; thus, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
• Kale: This highly nutritious leafy veggie is rich in vitamin A and zinc. Found to curb after-meal rise in plasma glucose levels, kale also helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
• Melon: All melon varieties, including muskmelon, watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are extremely rich source of nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin C. If consumed in moderation, melons can help reduce the severity of conditions like heart diseases, macular degeneration and diabetes.
• Oatmeal: Apart from its ability to reduce LDL and risk of heart disease, the fibre-rich oatmeal can help improve lipid profile and glycemic control in type 2 diabetics. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also confirms its health benefits with respect to its dietary fiber content.
• Quinoa: Popularly known as “ancient grain,” quinoa is known for its high content of protein and other vital nutrients. An animal also depicts its role in reducing fasting glues levels. In human subjects too, this grain has shown beneficial effects in controlling blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
• Red Grapefruit: This ruby-red, delicious fruit has more antioxidants than white grapefruit and have the potential to significantly reduce LDL and increase HDL levels. It is also known to improve glucose intolerance and reduces insulin resistance.
• Red Onions: Not just red onions, along with the yellow and white ones, are good sources of fiber, potassium and folate, but these also contain quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant. Scientific studies assert that red onion is a wonderful dietary supplement for the management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
• Red Peppers: With high vitamin C, A and lycopene content, red peppers aid in reducing the risk of diabetes, heart ailments and several types of cancer. Animal studies show that red peppers can better insulin sensitivity in diabetics.
• Soy: It contains vitamins B3 and B9, zinc, potassium, iron and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which gets converted to omega-3 fatty acids. Soy are a great option if you want to reduce cholesterol levels. Also, studies claim that it can impede the progression of type 2 diabetes.
• Dairy: It is believed that vitamin D, calcium and magnesium in dairy products like cheese, yogurt and milk improves insulin sensitivity. Many experts, these days, recommend including dairy in diabetic diets. Dairy can aid in lowering insulin resistance and risk of incident diabetes.
• Tea: All sorts of teas, especially green tea are antidiabetic foods. Tea has catechins – a class of flavonoids with antioxidative properties – which helps lower the risk of heart diseases and several cancers, better cholesterol levels, and reduce stress. Studies claim that regular consumption of tea can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
• Psyllium Husk: Primarily used as a laxative, psyllium husk has been found to boost glucose metabolism and lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes. When gets mixed with water in the gut, it forms a gel-like substance, which slows down the metabolism and absorption of glucose.
• Cooking Oils: In general, we need oil for most preparations and cooking, and when you are suffering from a lifestyle condition like obesity or diabetes, it becomes really imperative to select cooking oils that can help you manage your condition. Experts suggest having a blend of several vegetable oils and preferring unrefined or cold pressed oils to refined ones.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: It is a superfood for heart and helps protect blood vessels. Oleic acid in this edible oil can normalize the level of HDL, which is usually found to be at unhealthy levels in type 2 diabetics. It also betters the response of fullness hormone, glucagon-like peptide 1 in type 2 diabetes patients. Polyphenols in olive oil are potent antioxidants and hence, prevents oxidative stress and inflammation.
Canola Oil: Extracted from rapeseed plant, it is rich in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (also found in avocados and olives). A recent study claim that this cooking oil can ameliorate glycemic control in type 2 diabetes and improve blood pressure.
Flaxseed Oil: This oil contains a fibre, known as mucilage, which slows down the digestion process. The prevents abrupt blood sugar level surge due to slower absorption and release into the bloodstream. Certain bioactive compounds in flaxseed oil have the ability to reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes and slow down the development of type 2 diabetes.
Rice Bran Oil: One of the healthiest cooking oils for heart, it has decent quantities of antioxidants as well as poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. A study on the combination of rice bran oil and sesame oil depicted that lower hyperglycemia and improve lipid profile in type 2 diabetes patients.
Sesame Oil: As mentioned above, this in combination with rice bran oil can do wonders for diabetics. Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants like lignans, this cooking oil has anti-inflammatory benefits too.
Dietary Recommendations and Diets for People with Diabetes:
A proper diabetic diet plan is in itself an excellent natural remedy for diabetes. It can help you have better control over your blood sugar levels. In varying proportions, proteins, carbohydrates and fats can make for different diabetic diet plans. However, while planning a diabetic meal, several things must be taken care of:
-Have carbohydrates with low glycemic index and the ones that are sourced from vegetables
-Consume proteins and fats sourced from plants
-Foods containing complex carbohydrates and in their whole form with nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibers
-Include plant-sourced fats that are associated with reduced risk of heart disease while excluding meat-based fats that are linked with increased cardiovascular risk
-Include healthy fats that can make you feel full for a longer duration as this would help curb carbohydrate craving and prevent overeating.
-Include loads of non-starchy vegetables, like leafy greens
-Have proteins both from animal and plant sources like eggs, legumes, fish, lean meat and organic dairy products
-Avoid having processed sugars while restricting the consumption of red meat
Additionally, there are different types of recommended diets for diabetes. If followed religiously, these diets can remarkably improve the symptoms of this metabolic disorder.
• Low-Carb Diet: Low-carb diet is probably the oldest one, and known to be introduced long before the injectable insulin was introduced. While, it could substitute insulin or medications, by following a low-carb diet, a diabetic may lower his/her dependency of either of the two over time. Numerous studies also support the benefits of low-carb diet for weight loss and diabetes.
• Ketogenic Diet: Basically a low-carb and low-protein in nature, keto diet concentrate on ketone production through daily nutrition. Plant and animal fats are major sources of calories in a ketogenic diet. This diet is known to offer better control over blood sugar levels with reduced dependency on diabetes medications.
It must be noted that one should not confuse keto diet with low-carb diet as the fat and protein consumption requirements of both the diets are quite different.
• Paleo Diet: Of late, this diet has grabbed a lot of attention with respect to diabetes, and includes decent amounts of proteins. The underlying concept behind this diet is that we haven’t been genetically evolved to reply on high-calorie comfort foods when there is very low to no physical activity, and also adopting the diet that our ancestors once used to follow by hunting during the prehistoric era is just perfect for human physiology.
Major inclusions of paleo diet are lean meat, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, root vegetables, fish, fruit, eggs and nuts. Also, paleo diet restricts the consumption of dairy, beans, sugar, grains, soft drinks, beer and additional salt. This cavemen diet is believed to be beneficial for weight management, better blood sugar control and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Also Read: Similarities and Differences Between Paleo and Keto Diets
• Vegetarian Diet: This diet can help you deal with insulin resistance and protein surge due to gluconeogenesis – metabolism of proteinaceous food and subsequent delayed rise in the levels of blood glucose so formed. Studies have also proved that vegetarian diet is associated with lowered risk of developing diabetes irrespective of body mass index (BMI).
Vegetarian diet can be of the following three types:
-Ovo-lacto, which includes dairy and eggs
-Pescatarian, comprising seafoods and fish
-Lacto, consisting of only dairy.
Along with all sorts of vegetables and fruits, vegetarians consume pastas, breads and many meat-free grocery items.
Also Read: Being Vegetarian – Does it Help in Weight Loss
• Vegan Diet: A vegan diet solely consists of plant-based products with no inclusion of any type of animal-based products. This entails excluding all animal fats and proteins from the diet along with dairy products and eggs; not even as an ingredient in other foods like pasta and bread.
With the removal of animal products, many people may observe better insulin sensitivity with a vegan diet. Research has shown that vegan diet can help manage blood glucose and cholesterol levels in a much better way than other diabetes diets. This diet is also associated with reduced incidence of diabetes.
• Mediterranean Diet: With heavy inclusions of vegetables, this diet is based on what is being followed by people in Greece and South Italy. Mediterranean diet has been found to be associated with reduced risk of heart disease and improved insulin sensitivity due to anti-inflammatory benefits in type 2 diabetes patients.
While on a Mediterranean diet, you can have fresh vegetables in abundance, plant-based fats like olive oil, several fruits like avocados, nuts, fishes like sardines along with wine, meat and dairy in moderation.
• ADA Diabetes Diet: As the name suggests, this diet is recommended by American Diabetes Association (ADA), which promotes a healthy diet plan with major attention on keeping a check on calorie intake and physical activity. ADA dietary guidelines recommend:
-Consumption of foods with low glycemic load
-Avoiding sugar-based beverages, including soda
-Consideration of the quality and quantity of fats
General Diet Tips for Diabetics:
To get the most out of your diabetes diet, you can take the following measures:
• Focus on these five food groups: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low to no fat dairy products, and lean protein from chicken fish and lean beef.
• Create a meal plan: This will help you save time, and avoid being stressed out or confused.
• Focus on building a better plate: Include just the right foods in the right quantities on your plate during each meal.
• Count your Carbs: With the help of a dietician or nutritionist, you can create a customized diabetes meal plan to ensure that you have just the right amount of carb with each meal.
• Food swaps should be healthy: Make sure to make healthy modifications and substitutions to your foods. Also, method of meal preparation and cooking should not degrade the food quality. The following changes can help you better manage your diabetes:
-Replace sweetened drinks with non-sugary tea or low-calorie beverages
-A daily serving 4-ounce fruit juice is enough
-Enhance vegetable intake
-Go for Greek yogurt in place of sour cream
-Use fresh lemon juice as a flavor enhancer instead of salt and butter
-Have frozen yogurt in place of ice creams
-Use healthy cooking oils and that too in small amounts only
-Canned vegetables should be rinsed with cold water to decrease sodium content
Moreover, for extensive information about effective diabetes diet plan, read more…
Exercise for Diabetes
Diabetics are always recommended to exercise regularly for better heart health and control over blood sugar level. Well, the reason behind this is simple – active muscles utilizes more glucose than the ones in resting phase. Exercise helps more glucose absorption by muscle cells for energy generation, which in turn, keeps the blood glucose level low. Stress management and weight loss are other widely known benefits of exercise.
Health Advantages of Exercise:
• Boosts immunity
• Cuts your risk of developing conditions like stroke, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and cancer and more
• Betters mental health
• Ups confidence and self-esteem
• Prevent insomnia and increases sleep quality
• Curbs the risk of anxiety as well as depression
What All Can be Counted as Exercise?
The NHS recommends 150 minutes of weekly moderate level aerobic activity. This may include:
• Brisk walking
• Light jogging
• Playing badminton and/or tennis
Precautions: Stay hydrated while you exercise by drinking water before, after and during the exercise. Also, you must be well aware of your potential and must never go overboard with exercise. Choose the options wisely.
Yoga for Diabetes
When it comes to natural remedies for diabetes, yoga is a unique way to manage your condition so as to lead a better and normal life. If practiced daily, yoga poses can offer additional benefits like reduced risk of developing other associated health conditions, increased fitness level, lesser dependency of medicines, mental peace and so on – all focusing on enhancing the overall quality of life of a diabetic. Plus, if practiced in a proper manner yoga can even help delay the aging process.
For centuries, people have been practicing yoga for a plethora of heath benefits that it offer. No doubt, in the last couple of years, it has gained remarkable momentum with a striking upsurge in the number of people practicing yoga around the world. This is probably because of the fact that it not only help you remain fit and active – both physically and mentally – but can aid in better management of several chronic conditions like diabetes.
Numerous scientific studies further substantiate the effectiveness of yoga as a wonderful natural remedy for diabetes and related conditions that are as follows:
• Stress Level Reduction: It is believed that stress has a role to play in the onset and aggravation of diabetes symptoms. Yoga has positive effects in reducing stress levels.
• Better Blood Sugar, Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Control: Several studies claim that yoga is effective in offering better control over blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes.
• Improved Heart Health: Yoga is also known to be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease and we all know, diabetics are more prone to develop heart disorders. Hence, yoga can significantly curb your chances of developing heart conditions.
Described below are several yoga poses that can be practiced daily to reap diabetes-related benefits; ranging from reduced anxiety and stress to enhanced strength and flexibility:
• Mountain Pose (Tadasana):
-Stand straight with arms downwards on either side with feet being flat over the floor
-Push the tailbone inward, so as to indulge the gluteal, hamstring and abdominal muscles
-Now, inhale while extending your arms outwards in the upward direction with open palms
-Finally, bring your arms down slowly while exhaling
• Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana):
-Keep your hands and knees on the floor with toes pushed inwards
-Steadily straighten your legs while raising the hips upward. Also, press your tailbone away from the hands
-In this position, the body should resemble an inverted ‘V’
-Now, press your feet and hands against the floor while placing most of the body weight on the legs instead of arms. Make sure that the heels do not touch the floor
-Finally, relax by steadily bending your knees to enable them to rest over the floor in the beginning position
• Child’s Pose (Balasana):
-This asana or pose is best to perform in between physically demanding yoga asanas
-Start it by sitting on your feet with knees apart by a few inches
-Thereafter, steadily push your head downward towards the floor while keeping the abdomen over the thighs. It is not required for novices to attempt touching the head to the yoga mat
-Then, slowly move your stretched arms in the forward direction while trying to touch your forehead to the front of the mat
-Stay in this position for nearly 10-20 seconds
-Finally, relax your tailbone in the direction of the heels to allow the lower back to stretch
• Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana):
-Start by lying on the floor or mat on your back with slightly bent knees, flat feet over the mat and some space between the hips
-Try pressing your heels against the mat while raising your tailbone in the upward direction to ensure that your lower back and hips are away from the mat
-Bring your hands beneath the raised hips while lacing your fingers
-Make use of hamstring, gluteal and abdominal muscles to hold to this position with the back and bottom up
-Finally, slowly release your fingers and bring down your tailbone and back down on the mat
• Plank Pose (Phalakasana):
-Start by pushing your toes inside, while lying down on your knees and toes
-Lift knees away from the yoga mat and extend your feet towards the end of the mat to ensure that the body is straight lengthwise from head to toe
-Simultaneously, the shoulders should be kept perpendicularly on your wrists, resembling the push-up position
-Hold this position for a couple of seconds and thereafter, steadily relax while keeping the abdominal muscles engaged
• Tree Pose (Vriksasana):
-To start with this pose, stand straight with right foot kept flat over the mat and the left one being pointed with toes touching the mat
-Now, uplift the left knee and let it swing out sideways
-Then, inwardly rest the heel of the left foot just below the right knees
-Over the chest, keep the folded hands with palms pressed against each other in the center
-Alternatively, you can hold a chair or wall to balance
-Repeat the asana with reversed positions for either legs
• Corpse Pose (Savasana):
-Lay down on the mat on your back with straightened arms facing downwards and open palms facing upward
-Try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth while relaxing the whole body
Note: For all the poses, you can start with a warm-up session of around 5 minutes and finish with a relaxation phase of about 10 minutes. Breathing exercise during yoga is important and hence, should be your focus while practicing any asana.
Lifestyle Modifications for Diabetics:
In case you are suffering from diabetes, then lifestyle changes can help you improve your symptoms and ward off the chances of developing associated health conditions. Simply put, lifestyle modifications can be an excellent natural remedy for diabetes if you are regular with your check-ups and visits to your physician. Let’s see what are those changes that can help you manage diabetes effectively:
• Healthy Eating: This is even more important if you have diabetes as whatever you would be consuming, will eventually affect your blood sugar level. Nothing is strictly prohibited, but focusing on what a diabetic body needs can do the job. You can follow a diabetes diet plan as well as dietary recommendations for diabetes.
• Exercise: Being a diabetic, if you haven’t started exercising yet, begin today! There is no need to it a gym or do strength straining, but riding, jogging and cycling ae enough to make a difference. An active lifestyle not only bring down your abnormally high blood glucose levels, but cuts the risk of heart disease.  Weight loss and stress reduction are other claimed benefits of being physically active.
• Regular Checkups: Diabetics are advised to visit their doctors at least twice a year. In addition to blood sugar level monitoring, HBA1c level, eye examination, cholesterol levels and blood pressure must also be get checked at regular intervals.
• Stress Management: Stress can alarmingly raise your blood sugar level, and if you are persistently under stress, you may deteriorate your condition. Also, being anxious, you might forget taking medicines on time, exercise or consuming prescribed foods. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing or anything you like can be opted to relieve stress.
• Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Limit your alcohol consumption – be it in the form of wine, beer or gin – to better control you blood sugar levels. The ADA recommends one drink and two drink in a day for women and men, respectively. It is also suggested to consume the recommended amounts while having your meals. Modest alcohol consumption is also linked with decreased risk of diabetes.
• No Smoking: Diabetes increases your odds of having health conditions like kidney disorders, heart disorders, eye disorders, stroke and more. Smoking does nothing, but enhances your likelihood of developing such dreadful conditions. Also, you lose your stamina of exercising if you are a regular smoker. Hence, quitting smoking can be a beneficial bet for you if you are a diabetic as this will help you prevent diabetes-related complications.
Homeopathy Medicines for Diabetes:
As far as homeopathic medicines are concerned, these strictly shouldn’t be viewed as a complete substitute for the mainstream medicines, and have merely supportive role to play in managing diabetes.
Nevertheless, homeopathic drugs are widely accepted natural remedies for diabetes. Mostly consisting of natural ingredients with very mild to no side effects, homeopathic medicines for diabetes are not just meant to control blood sugar levels, but can help improve symptoms of diabetes-related complications.
Discussed below are some common homeopathic diabetes medicines along with their benefits:
• Abroma Augusta: A natural homeopathic medicine, it is used to basically used to treat type 2 diabetes and related complications like heart ailments and kidney damage. It is generally recommended to diabetics suffering from:
-Dry mouth and increased thirst
-Burning sensation on the whole body
• Phosphorus: This natural medicine is recommended to diabetics suffering from weak vision problem.
• Syzygium Jambolanum: This homeopathic medicine is the best natural remedies for diabetes as it helps reduce uncontrolled blood sugar levels. It is also known to be effective in treating unhealed ulcers in diabetics along with other associated complications.
• Phosphoric Acid: This is used to cure both mental and physical weakness in people with diabetes. It is also used to health diabetes-related numbness of feet.
• Gymnema Sylvestre: This homeopathic medicine is known to be beneficial in diabetics suffering from continuous weight loss and persistent lethargy. It is also effective in managing blood glucose level and improving lipid profile.
• Uranium Nitricum: This is a homeopathic formulation, which is used to treat a variety of symptoms in people with diabetes:
-Less sex drive
-Glycosuria (extra sugar in urine)
• Insulinum: It is a homeopathic solution composed of a potent compound from the pancreas, which is known to impact glucose metabolism. Insulinum aid in restoring your potential of storing glycogen in the liver and metabolize carbohydrate. Apart from normalizing blood glucose levels, it is also helpful in treating diabetes-specific complications like skin conditions, including itchy eczema.
Homeopathic Medicines to Treat Diabetes-Related Complications:
• Diabetic Retinopathy: To treat eye disorders like diabetic retinopathy, homeopathic medicines like Phosphorus, Lachesis, Arnica and Belladona are recommended.
• Diabetic Nephropathy: The symptoms of kidney disorders or damage due to diabetes can be improved with medicines like Lycopodium, Serum Anguillae and Arsenic Album.
• Diabetic Neuropathy: Homeopathic drugs like Phosphoric Acid, Sulphur and Helonias (Unicorn root) are considered best to cure numbness in hands and feet due to nerve damage in diabetics.
• Skin Ulcers: A general complication associated with diabetes, skin ulcers usually affect the feet. Carlsbad, Lac Defloratum and Natrum Sulph are used in homeopathy to cure such symptoms.
• Weak Memory: For this, Kali Phos, Nux Vom and Phosphoric Acid are best homeopathic medicines to improve memory and attention in diabetics.
Acupuncture for Diabetes:
A great natural remedy of diabetes, acupuncture is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, whose history dates back to nearly 3000 years ago.
The basic concept of this traditional therapy rests on the fact that our overall health and wellbeing rely on the flow of energy (chi) across the body, and when this energy flow gets disturbed, disrupted or blocked, disease and symptoms occur.
The practice of acupuncture requires inserting tiny needles into specific points over the body to stimulate sensory nerves, so as to balance the energy and restore the uninterrupted flow of chi.
While some modern practitioners of acupuncture make use of electroacupuncture (in which, mild electric current is passed through the needle), herbal acupuncture includes the use of small doses of herbal extracts are inserted through acupuncture points.
This practice concentrates on two types of energies, required for being healthy:
-Yin – soothing, nurturing female energy
-Yang – hot, protective male energy
Now, let’s see how acupuncture can benefit people with diabetes:
• Blood Sugar Level Control: A study on 598 subjects – treated with herbal acupuncture – revealed lower levels of fasting as well as after-meal blood glucose. Also, lower HBA1c levels were found in the participants.
• Reduced Insulin Resistance: A Swedish study showed that insulin resistance can be lowered with electroacupuncture.
• Treatment of Neuropathy: Neuropathy is a typical complication associated with diabetes. A German research revealed decreased nerve pain and improved nerve functions in the feet of more than 50% of the peripheral neuropathy patients, who had been treated with acupuncture during the study.
• Treatment of Heart Disease: Yet another major complication of diabetes, cardiovascular disease is known to be cured with acupuncture. Studies on the curative benefits of acupuncture show that this adjunctive therapy is effective in improving the symptoms of heart conditions like angina pectoris and coronary heart disease.
Also Read: Can Acupuncture Help Relieve Back Pain?
Safety Aspects of Acupuncture: Although acupuncture is widely regarded as a safe technique, some minor side effects, such as mild bleeding, bruises or soreness may occur at the site of acupuncture. Minor emotional changes and mild headache are also observed in a few cases, but therapists usually consider these as the very first signs of healing.
Acupressure for Diabetes:
As people are shifting towards natural remedies for diabetes due to their better outcomes and lesser side effects, acupressure has evolved as a widely recognized alternative medicine technique for diabetes in the recent years.
Not only diabetes, but this traditional therapy is believed to improve symptoms of many health conditions, including migraine headache, nausea, asthma, depression and anxiety.
Several studies have shown its efficacy in controlling blood glucose levels, preventing type 2 diabetes-related complications, and improve the quality of life of people with diabetes.
Very similar to acupuncture, acupressure utilizes the body’s very own energy for healing. Keep reading to know about seven major acupressure points for diabetes and how they are beneficial to diabetics:
• Spleen 6: Abnormality in spleen meridian may lead to disruption of carbohydrate metabolism. Toxic overload can also occur due to the same. The spleen 6 point is located on your legs at the intersection of liver, kidney, and spleen – organs that are most affected by diabetes. Locate this point by placing 4 fingers above the inner ankle bone, just at the back of shinbone. You can also alleviate anxiety and stress by oppressing this point.
• Large Intestine Point: Stomach issues can hamper your metabolism and digestion. Large intestine is a major organ involved in the digestion process and bowel movements. Diabetics are suggested to daily press the Large Intestine 4 point for 5 minutes. This is situated on the fleshy area between the index finger and thumb. This point also helps relive constipation symptoms.
• Liver Point: This point is located on the wavy edge between the second and big toe. Liver issues like fatty liver can be caused due to untreated type 2 diabetes. On both the feet, the liver 3 points should be massaged daily to heal liver conditions.
• Kidney Point: People with diabetes are more susceptible to small blood vessel damage. If this happens, kidney function gets disrupted, resulting in more retention of water and salt by the body. This leads to metabolic symptoms and weight gain. Regulating energies for proper functioning of the kidneys with the help of kidney 1 point is the key. It is located on the sole below the third and second fingers, just below the ball.
• Knee Point: Hydrochloric acid aid in digestion inside the stomach and its deficiency results in impaired carbohydrate metabolism, which may lead to type 2 diabetes. So, regularly massaging the Stomach 33 or ‘three-mile’ point can help you overcome this issue. Put four fingers below the kneecap and 1 finger away from the shinbone along the width to locate this point.
• Wrist Point: You can find this point at the crease of any of your wrists, just below the little finger. Both physical and emotional stress lowers your insulin level, which indicates diabetes. By pressing this point for 5 minutes daily, not only can you manage stress, but you can also ensure better heart health.
• Urinary Bladder Point: Over the calf muscle, this point is located just behind the kneecap. To expel toxins out of the body, this point is very effective. Since this point is under urinary bladder meridian, pressing this point can help cure frequent and excess urination in people with diabetes.
Massage Therapy for Diabetes:
Massage therapy is not just a way to rejuvenate your mind and body, but it has many curative benefits too. Undoubtedly, it is a wonderful natural remedy for diabetes along with other health issues like back pain, neck pain, stress, fatigue and headache.
Massage for diabetes is a proven therapy both for managing abnormal blood glucose level in diabetes mellitus and curing associated complications.
The following massages are recommended to people with diabetes:
• Swedish massage – popularly called, classic massage
• Thai massage – a blend of acupressure techniques and yoga poses
• Reflexology – involves exerting mild pressure with fingers at specific points on the feet
• Shiatsu massage – a Japanese pressure technique
Some common benefits of massage therapy for diabetes are as follows:
• Betters blood circulation, which boosts cellular absorption of glucose and improves insulin sensitivity.
• Helps alleviate mental and physical stress, and soothes the nervous system.
• Beneficial myofascial outcomes with increased tissue elasticity and mobility.
• Helps relive pain at the site of insulin injection and removes scar tissue buildup.
• Aid in restoring the functionality of nerves and sensation at the areas affected by diabetes-related neuropathy.
• Helps manage high blood pressure.
Hydrotherapy for Diabetes:
Hydrotherapy is not just a well-accepted treatment of arthritis, but it is known to offer positive results in a host of other health conditions, including high blood pressure, sleep disorder and diabetes.
Hot tubs, sauna and spa therapy are natural remedies for diabetes with umpteen scientifically proven benefits. Listed below are several benefits of hydrotherapy for diabetes:
• Increases Insulin Sensitivity: Hot tub therapy can be an alternative to aerobic exercise for diabetics, who cannot exercise due to physical disability, age-related physical inability or any other condition. A 2009 study depicted that diabetes patients can have better insulin sensitivity with hot tub sessions.
• Normalizes High Blood Pressure: Sauna therapy can help lower blood pressure in cases of essential hypertension and prevent congestive heart failure.
• Reduces Blood Glucose Level: Better insulin sensitivity ensures better blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes.
Also Read: Sauna bath can help prevent hypertension and coronary artery disease
Tai Chi for Diabetes:
A Chinese martial art technique, tai chi is a blend of steady sequence of physical movements and deep breathing. It is practiced not just as a form of defense training, but because of its numerous health benefits.
There are evidence-based claims, suggesting that it helps better respiratory and heart health, boost immunity, improve flexibility and alleviate stress symptoms. Recently, this technique has been pushed as an effective natural remedy for diabetes with demonstrated benefits in relation to enhanced blood glucose control and reduced risk of associated symptoms.
Common benefits of tai chi for diabetes are enumerated below:
• Better blood sugar control and enhanced antioxidative activity
• Enhanced immunity and metabolism
• Weight loss and reduced waist circumference
• Improved blood pressure
• Reduced stress and insulin resistance with better quality of life
• Lowered risk of heart diseases
Tips to be followed while performing tai chi:
• Wear comfortable and lose clothing.
• Never forget to breathe (mostly through nose)
• Shoulders should be kept relaxed
• Prior to weight shifting, keep your feet flat on the floor and try taking small steps
• Try keeping your knees slightly bent and lose as this will help you balance well
• Stay within your comfort zone without any significant pain
• All movements should be practiced daily even when not attending the class
Chromotherapy for Diabetes:
A natural way of treating various ailments, chromotherapy utilizes different colors to help the body and mind regain the natural balance. The curative nature of different colors is appropriately used to restore the emotional and physical balance of the individual undergoing this therapy.
This technique is very effective as a supportive therapy in combination with recommended diet, exercise, medications and so on. For diabetics, this therapy is mostly successful in reducing secondary symptoms. Listed below are different colors along with their claimed health benefits:
• Indigo – Purifies blood and cures muscular problems
• Blue – Its pacifying nature helps overcome physical and mental disturbances and cures insomnia.
• Red – This color bears anti-anemic properties.
• Yellow – A source of warm energy and boosts enthusiasm and bliss; helps cure digestive issues and improve appetite.
• Green – People suffering from alimentary problems can be benefited by this color therapy.
• Violet – Believed to trigger the production of leukocytes (white blood cells), purify blood and enhance concentration.
Chromotherapy experts think that diabetes is a result of yellow and orange color deficiency and that yellow lemon is the color of pancreas. For the therapy, colored bottles are filled with fresh water and kept exposed to bright sunlight for several hours, so that water in them acquires the claimed curative properties. The water is then used for external as well as internal applications.
Besides, orange and green colors are used to cure diabetes symptoms. It is believed that green color stimulates pituitary gland, which in turn, activates thyroid glands. While green water are recommended to be taken before meals, orange color breathing is also thought to be beneficial in cases of diabetes.
Mud Therapy for Diabetes
Mud therapy is a centuries-old natural remedy for various diseases and ailments. It is about utilizing very earthly elements in the form of clay or mud for treatment. It is mainly used for the following purposes:
• Prevention and cure of many diseases
• To soothe the nervous system
• Improved blood circulation
• Anti aging benefits
• Toxin removal from the body
• Stimulation of various body organs
Diabetes is believed to be a result of various metabolic disturbances, and when endocrine system along with digestive system do not work optimally, deposition of toxins and impurities takes place inside the body. And so, expelling out these toxins helps improve symptoms.
Although mud therapy is done in several ways, a diabetic is majorly benefited by the application of mud on the abdominal area. The moisture in the mud helps relax tiny pores on the skin, brings the blood on to the surface, heals inner congestion, improves heat transfer and expels out wastes and toxic substances.
As mentioned above, there are several ways of taking this alternative therapy. One method involves covering moist clay with consistent texture over the body. Another one requires lying inside a tub filled with soft, pulpy mud. One more method involves the use of volcanic mud. The body of the person undergoing mud therapy is kept enveloped in towels or sheets with moistened mud packs for about 30-90 minutes.
This therapy has an advantage over compress or water packs as mud can retain coolness and moisture way longer than the latter.
With all the afore-discussed natural remedies for diabetes, it can be inferred that home remedies and alternative/traditional therapies are not just effective in curing the primary symptoms of diabetes, but associated complications too.
However, these should never be considered as a complete alternative to standard medical treatment for diabetes. And, any such remedy or therapy should only be practiced with the sole aim of having better control over blood sugar level and improving diabetes-related symptoms with lesser dependency on medications.
Last but not the least, adhering to healthy lifestyle practices with respect to diet, physical activity and remining stress free is the key to leading a normal life with diabetes.