(NaturalHealth365) According to a recent 2012 UN report, 1 in 10 adults have high blood sugar and suffer from diabetes. Conventional treatment uses medicines and insulin shots as a way to bring high blood sugar ‘under control’, but researchers from Spain suggest fig leaves as a natural remedy. They found that fig leaves can actually lower high blood sugar levels – making it a much safer alternative to taking toxic medications.
How do fig leaves benefit people with high blood sugar?
Fig leaves have been shown to offer powerful blood sugar lowering effects by increasing the sensitivity of insulin to glucose. The exact mechanism by which this happens is still unclear, but research in human and animals have consistently demonstrated this effect.
In addition, to its blood-sugar lowering effect, fig leaves are strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory in nature. Fig leaves lower the oxidative stress – typical in diabetes – and help in wound healing via its anti-inflammatory action. A clinical trial that validated the antioxidant activity of fig leaves concluded that the steroid and flavonoids aid the free radical scavenging activity.
Good news for diabetics – fig leaves lower the need for insulin
A study published in the 1998 issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice reported that adding fig leaves to the diet of insulin-dependent diabetics helped control high blood sugar following a meal. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups, the group that received a liquid extract of fig leaves, along with breakfast, showed significant reduction in the blood glucose that is typically high after a meal and required less insulin. The average insulin dose was 12% lower than the other group that received a non-sweet commercial tea.
A 2005 study published in Acta Diabetologica confirmed that diabetic rats fed with extracts of fig leaves showed lowered oxidative stress and better antioxidant status. Another study from 1996 issue of Phytotherapy Research showed the fig leaves had a clear hypoglycemic effect (glucose-lowering) and prevented loss of body weight in treated diabetic rats versus non-treated diabetic rats.
Diabetics need to read this carefully
Fig leaves although edible are usually bland, stringy and tough and not pleasing to your taste buds. However, the dried, powdered form is better and is easy to be incorporated in recipes.
Dried fig leaves can be purchased at a health store. To make a fig-leaf tea extract, use two teaspoon of dried leaves to a cup of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes before drinking. The tea can be made more palatable with the use of a natural sweetening agent like raw honey.
Read carefully: fig leaves work by naturally stimulating the antioxidant status and restoring the blood sugar balance that is severely impacted in diabetes. Keep in mind, that people with diabetes need to use fig leaves strictly under a doctor’s supervision. This is very important because fig leaves decrease the demand for insulin hence diabetics may need less insulin injections.
Too often, conventional medical treatments lead to side effects and other complications. Yet, as a general rule, natural remedies tend to be safer and more effective. Fig leaves are definitely one of those ‘safer’ alternatives to conventional diabetic treatments.
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1. Serraclara A, et.al; Hypoglycemic action of an oral fig-leaf decoction in type-I diabetic patients, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Volume 39, Issue 1 , Pages 19-22, January 1998
2. Mawa S, Husain K, Jantan I. Ficus carica L. (Moraceae): Phytochemistry, Traditional Uses and Biological Activities. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:974256.
3. Perez C t.al; A study on the glycaemic balance in streptozotocin-diabetic rats treated with an aqueous extract of Ficus carica (fig tree) leaves Phytotherapy Research , 1998; 10 (1): 82 – 83
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