Being diabetic doesn’t mean your life should be put on hold. You know that feeling that comes with a new diagnosis? Do away with it already and find the way forward. There are many herbs out there to help put your blood sugar levels in check and bitter leaf is one of them.
What is Diabetes Mellitus?
Simply put, diabetes mellitus (a.k.a diabetes) is a metabolic disorder that makes it difficult for
the body to make use of glucose from what we eat.
A hormone called insulin is responsible for regulating glucose in the body and diabetes results when
the body is unable to either make enough insulin or use insulin effectively.
Types Of Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes:
This occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys pancreatic cells where insulin
is produced. It is referred to as an autoimmune disease and the cause of the attack is still
- Type 2 diabetes:
This is caused by insulin resistance in the body and subsequent build up of sugar in your
- Gestational diabetes:
Some pregnant women develop diabetes due to irregularities in placental hormones. This
type of diabetes may be completely reversed after your baby is born.
You are said to be pre diabetic when your fasting blood sugar (FBS) is between 100-125mg/dl
on two separate occasions. FBS value of 70-100mg/dl is considered normal while 126mg/dl and
above is diabetic.
There are many herbs out there to help put your blood sugar levels in check and bitter leaf is one of them.
Yeey! As cheap and readily available as it is, bitter leaf is one gift of nature you can trust to have with your medications and get even better control of your numbers.
I have always perceived anything bitter as very beneficial and the various benefits of bitter leaf further buttress this belief of mine.
Research published by the International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences showed a significant reduction in blood glucose using an aqueous extract of bitter leaf on diabetic rats.
How To Prepare Bitter Leaf Extract
The Fresh Extract method
- Pluck a handful of fresh bitter leaves.
- Wash thoroughly.
- Blend the leaves with a glass of drinking water
- Sieve to obtain your fresh green extract OR
- Crush in a neat bowl with a glass of water to squize the juice.
- Decant into a cup.
Viola! Your bitter leaf extract is ready.
The Tea Method
The extract method delivers this simple remedy in its fresh and green form. Nevertheless, the American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology published a research that proves the usefulness of bitter leaf tea in blood glucose control just as the fresh extract.
There are pre-packed bitter leaf tea bags in the stores and they can be prepared thus:
- Bring a glass of water to a boil.
- Pour into your tea cup.
- Immerse the tea bag in the hot water.
- Steep for 5 minutes and your tea is ready.
You may be wondering how to preserve these leaves when you don’t have them readily available in your garden, here are a few steps to ensure you have your tea any day and time.
- Pluck or purchase as much leaves as possible.
- Wash the leaves thoroughly.
- Sun dry the leaves.
- Shred into tiny pieces.
- Store in an air tight container or bag.
To Prepare Your Tea From Dried Leaves
- Measure one (1) teaspoon full into your tea cup.
- Add a glass of boiled water.
- Steep for 5 minutes.
- Sieve to remove the leave particles.
What About Your Medications?
In a research carried out in the University of Nigeria Nsukka by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, it was observed that combining bitter leaf extract and an oral anti-diabetic drug, metformin, gave a better result in treating diabetes than the individual agents. The safety and efficacy are well established.
Bitter leaf extract/tea can be used with antidiabetic drugs to achieve better control of blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.
Disclaimer: This article contains information on the use of bitter leaf to improve your glycemic/blood sugar control. It was not intended to replace the need for proper diagnosis and standard treatment protocols given by your health caregivers.