10 Spices that Lower Blood Sugar

There’s nothing like an aromatic spice to add pizazz and flavor to your favorite foods. But common spices may do far more than making bland food more palatable and exciting. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the power of certain spices to lower blood sugar. This is great news for those suffering with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

10 Spices that Lower Blood Sugar

  1. Cayenne – This fiery spice will turn up the heat on any dish! But cayenne has also shown its ability to lower blood sugar. A study published in the 2006 edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated this property of cayenne.Subjects in this study ate a meal seasoned with cayenne. They experienced a significant drop in blood glucose levels for up to two hours following their meal. Researchers concluded that cayenne improves insulin sensitivity, thus lowering blood sugar.[1]
  2. Cinnamon – Cinnamon has probably gotten more attention for its blood-sugar-lowering properties than any other spice. In a study conducted by a scientist with the US Department of Agriculture, he was shocked when apple pie lowered, rather than raised, blood sugar. He was excited to discover that it was the cinnamon that did the trick![2]In another study, researchers found that a mere half-teaspoon of cinnamon per day significantly lowered blood sugar in subjects with type 2 diabetes.[3] Beware! Cinnamon may also have blood-thinning effects, so please talk to your doctor before taking cinnamon.[4]
  3. Fenugreek – Unless you prepare Asian recipes, this spice may not be familiar to you. Fenugreek seed is well-known for its medicinal properties in Southeast Asia. A review of herbal food supplements in 2013 discovered convincing evidence that fenugreek also lowers blood sugar in type 1 and 2 diabetes. You can consume fenugreek as a spice in food, in capsule form or as a tea.[5]
  4. Garlic – Cultures have been relying on garlic for its antibacterial properties for millennia. But recent studies have also shown that garlic extract may also lower blood sugar. A laboratory study on rabbits in 2012 saw a 30-point drop in blood sugar levels when rabbits were fed garlic extract regularly. This could translate to a significant reduction in blood sugar for humans as well.[6]
  5. Ginger – Ginger is most well-known for its ability to soothe an upset stomach and even ward off motion sickness. A recent study involved 88 people who had been suffering with type 2 diabetes for at least 10 years. Half of the subjects took three grams of ginger per day in capsules, while the other half took the same amount in an identical-looking placebo. After eight weeks, those who took the ginger experienced a significant drop in their blood sugar.[7]
  6. Marjoram – Marjoram is a savory spice that works well with meats, eggs, cheese and mushrooms. Marjoram is akin to oregano, yet distinct in flavor. A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed the findings of lab tests involving marjoram, oregano and rosemary. All three herbs demonstrated ability to lower blood sugar levels much like common diabetes medicines.[8]
  7. Oregano – Italian dishes come to mind when cooking with oregano, but it can also be a great addition to eggs, a wide variety of other dishes and even consumed as a tea. The Journal of Natural Medicine reported the findings of a 2008 study. The study found that oregano contains glucosides that are effective in lowering blood sugar.[9]
  8. Rosemary – Scientists at the University of Illinois discovered that rosemary enzymes and flavonoids impact insulin release and signaling. The results of their study indicated a more natural way to manage diabetes and lower blood sugar.[10]
  9. Sage – Sage has an earthy, aromatic flavor that especially works well with poultry and pork. In a study published with the US National Library of Medicine, researchers found that common sage extract demonstrated similar effects as metformin. Sage was able to impact fasting glucose levels and may be useful in preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.[11]
  10. Turmeric – This delightful spice goes well in rice, salad dressings, eggs, roasted vegetables and soups. A recent study in China showed promise for turmeric as a way to manage type 2 diabetes. When subjects took 300 mg of turmeric in capsules for three months, they experienced a significant drop in blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and A1C compared with those who took a placebo.[12]

If you are already on medication to lower your blood sugar, consult your doctor before taking herbs and spices that lower blood sugar. The combination of the medication and spices could result in your blood sugar going too low, which can be dangerous.

Also, pregnant and nursing women must take extra care when taking herbs and spices. Some of those listed above can result in premature contractions and even cause miscarriage.[13] Remember, just because something is “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe.

Many people with type 2 diabetes find that they are able to manage their blood sugar levels more naturally with spices and herbs and avoid the cost and side effects of drugs. If you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, you may want to discuss herbal supplements with your doctor and determine what works well for you.

[1] Michael Ravensthorpe, “Three Popular Spices that Lower Blood Sugar Levels,” Natural News, November 16, 2013, http://www.naturalnews.com/043175_blood_sugar_levels_medicinal_spices_diabetes.html.

[2] Salynn Boyles, “Common Spices May Help Diabetes,” WebMD, August 6, 2008, http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20080806/common-spices-may-help-diabetes.

[3] Salynn Boyles, “Common Spices May Help Diabetes.”

[4] Christine Case-Lo, “Foods that Lower Blood Sugar,” Health Line, July 14, 2014, http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/foods-lower-blood-sugar#2.

[5] Christine Case-Lo, “Foods that Lower Blood Sugar.”

[6] Diabetic News, “12 Common Spices to Lower Blood Sugar,” nd, http://www.diabeticnewsnow.com/12-common-spices-to-lower-blood-sugar/.

[7] Prevention, “Ginger Shown to Lower Blood Sugar,” April 10, 2014, http://www.prevention.com/health/diabetes/ginger-shown-lower-blood-sugar-diabetics.

[8] NYR Natural News, “Rosemary, Oregano & Marjoram Contain Diabetes-Fighting Compounds,” 28 July, 2014, http://www.nyrnaturalnews.com/diabetes-2/2014/07/rosemary-oregano-marjoram-contain-diabetes-fighting-compounds/.

[9] Michael Ravensthorpe, “Three Popular Spices that Lower Blood Sugar Levels.”

[10] NYR Natural News, “Rosemary, Oregano & Marjoram Contain Diabetes-Fighting Compounds.”

[11] PubMed, “Metformin-Like Effect of Salvia Officinalis (Common Sage): Is it Useful in Diabetes Prevention?” August 2006, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16923227.

[12] Michael Ravensthorpe, “Three Popular Spices that Lower Blood Sugar Levels.”

[13] Baby Center, “Herbal Remedies in Pregnancy,” nd, http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a536346/herbal-remedies-in-pregnancy.

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