For those of you who are constantly fighting health issues, especially diabetes, and you're tired of dealing with the problems that come with pharmaceutical solutions that never seem to solve the issue, but only prologue or mask the symptoms rather than solving the root issue; for anyone like that, I always like to suggest going the herbal route. Big pharma will do everything in their power to stop you from doing that, or stop anyone who happens to be a purveyor of herbals or holistic healing methods, but your health is in your hands and, if you really, truly want to be health, properly healthy, consider herbals.
But, rather than just simply saying, "Go the natural route", I myself am one who also puts money where mouth is. I may not be an herbalist, but I am a good one at research and experimentation, and I am happy to share with you a very useful discovery that is working wonders in my own life. At one point in time, likely due to bad eating encouraged by high stress and lack of proper sleep, my sugar got up to 350 or higher at one point, and my A1C, yikes, was something around 11. Well, anyhow, not wanting to go too much into the mess I walked into, I will tell you instead the solutions I researched and tested to get myself out.
The first thing I will say is you need to change your diet. I know, groan, groan, groan. Yes, changing diet sucks, and your body will scream at you like you just murdered every person in North America. That is, unfortunately, a fact of life. Any major change in your eating habits will cause your body to throw a hissy fit. It likes predictability and normalcy. Changing your diet throws that right out the window. But, it has to be done. Adding these herbals, but not changing your diet, is like throwing water on a camp fire and expecting to stay warm. IE, it'll either do you no good, or make things worse. So a change in diet is important. Now, here's the best part about this. The diet change in question is super simple. Not necessarily super easy, but definitely super simple. It consists of a couple simple things:
1. Absolutely, and I mean absolutely, no sugars in your diet. None, zip, zilch, nada, nothing, zero. Period. I don't care how much your body cries for it, your sugar intake, in all forms, has to drop to absolute zero. No candies, no soda pop, no glazed donuts, etc. Anything with sugar, be it food, beverage, snack, etc. If it's got sugar in it in any form, the answer is absolutely no, period. The only exception is fruit juices. However, those CAN NOT have any artificial sugar added. Natural sugars are fine. Anything artificial, no. And, natural sugary fruits must be kept in moderation if you do eat fruit or drink fruit juices. In short, getting sugar out of your diet in every form is key here.
2. No starches. None. Period. Just like sugars, you need to take your starch intake to zero. Some might say brown rice, or yams or other low sugar or complex carb foods are okay, but you also have to understand that carbohydrates metabolize into sugar. So while it's not directly sugar, it's still sugar. Now, if you must eat at least some carbs, then stick to brown rice and yams. No white potatoes, no bread, no processed carbohydrates, etc. In short, meat, vegetables and fruit, the latter two none of which are starchy. If you're not sure which ones are, look it up. There's a good list of what's good to eat, and what's not. Also, don't forget about gravies and thickened dishes. Those use starch to thicken them generally, so avoid those too. So again, you need to have zero starches in your diet.
3. Nothing artificial. That especially includes sweeteners. No soda, no sucralose, no nutrasweet, nothing GMO, nothing manufactured, etc. That means any store bought drinks (every last one of them is filled with GMO's and artificial stuff that's bad for you), prepackaged foods (these are a GMO landmine), etc. Guy organic when you can, or buy local that you know isn't artificial, doesn't contain chemicals, etc. All that artificial and chemical stuff is part of what's wrecking havoc on your body, and if you want to reverse the damage they've done, STOP EATING THEM!! No fast food, no "wheel of death" vending machine food, no hotdogs, no chicken patties, etc. Just whole foods and all natural. Also, natural or organic fat is okay. Saturated fat is not. Saturated fats are actually considered artificial, so avoid those too.
Now I'm probably killing you with this list, and I apologize if it sounds like I'm about to send you on a dietary Armageddon. However, if you want to get healthy again, you need to take these steps. It will be hard, and you will be miserable for the first couple weeks as your body goes through withdrawal from them. In fact, you will probably have the urge to gnaw off your own arm if your addiction is great enough. I know I did early on in this adventure. However, miserable as you may be, your body will adapt and adjust. All you have to do is stick with it and everything will be fine. Those 1-3 weeks of misery will be worth it in the end. Another simple thing you need to do is cardio. The doctors will tell you this, and I'm telling you this. Your body needs somewhere for all the extra energy it has to go.
So get out and get some exercise, either in a gym, or walking outside, or something. 30 minutes of good, quality cardio is what's recommended, and I've seen that work for me too. Plus, stay active as much as you can be. Get up and walk every hour or couple hours, even if it's only for 5-10 minutes at a time. At work I try to do at least one 10 minute walk every 2 hours, and a 20 minute walk once a day, and it helps. Now, with all that aside, it's time to move on to the next part of this discussion. Namely, the herbals. So what do I suggest for most people? Well, oddly enough, that depends on your body. No two bodies are the same. However, there are plenty of herbals that have a high level of commonality across all body types, and those are what I'm gonna cover today. What do I mean by "high commonality"? It means they work the same on everyone for the most part, with obvious rare exceptions. Also, don't give any of these to children under 12 without a doctor's okay. Kids 13-17 should be okay, but it still doesn't hurt to check with someone beforehand.
Now, as a forewarning, there are some herbals that don't play nice with pharmaceutical drugs. So if you've been prescribed something for a disease or a situation you're presently in, talk to your doctor and do some research first before using a given herbal. There's not many that will react negatively, but a few will, such as grapefruit. But again, that list is short, so none of these should be on that list. Anyhow, onward to my list of what I take. You can adjust this a bit to better suit your situation if you should so feel the need. And, if you're not totally sure on this, consult an herbalist who can help you better narrow down what herbals you should have in your diet, or that you may need. Again, I'm giving you lots of disclaimers, because I want you to not just take my suggestions and apply them to your life like a rubber stamp. I want you to do your own homework. The things you will learn is amazing.
Key tip though. Don't use Google to research this. They have been proven guilty of tampering with results. Use search engines like DuckDuckGo, Bing, etc. DDG for certain, and Bing mostly, have been shown to not filter results in a pro-pharma way. So your results will be far more accurate. Anyhow, on to the herbals. But before I do.......just kidding! :P Anyhow, here's my list:
Vitamin C - I personally take 4k milligrams of this every day. However, your millage may vary. The benefits of this is that your body uses this vitamin to ward off disease, heal itself, and much more. Plus, being all natural, you can't OD on this. Now, obviously don't go and suck down 200k milligrams of this or something crazy like that. But at the same time, don't be afraid to use this vitamin liberally.
Potassium Gluconate - This is good for your heart. However, warning. Don't go over 400mg or it could negatively impact your health. 100-200mg daily is normal, and totally within safe limits.
Magnesium Citrate - Be sure to get the citrate version of Magnesium as the others don't work, or don't work as well. This is good for energy and critical body functions. 200mg should be plenty for larger people, 100mg for smaller. And don't go too crazy on this as it'll give you diarrhea if you get too carried away. I generally do 200mg and I'm okay with that, being a bigger individual that I am.
Curcumin - This is basically the active ingredient in Tumeric, an herb that is VERY, VERY good for your body. I can't say how much to take on this, as the bottles I have don't have a mg quantity, but it does recommend 1 vegi capsule 1-2 times a day. You can't OD on this, so go for 2 per day for better health.
Fenugreek & Thyme - Now this one is kind of a one, two punch. Thyme is good for circulation and Fenugreek is good for blood sugar. So this one could fall into either category. And also, the reason I list it here like this is because it's rare to find one or the other by itself. They're usually combined together. If you do find them separately, then file Thyme under general health, and Fenugreek under diabetes treatment.
Vitamin D3 - If you live somewhere that doesn't have a lot of sun, like Michigan (sometimes I wonder if the sun even exists given how little we get of it around here), or Alaska, or somewhere like that, this is a good vitamin to have. And it's also been used in certain natural cancer treatments to great effect. It was used as part of a larger concoction of herbals to defeat my mom's colon cancer, and it worked. If you live in sunshine states like Georgia, Florida, Texas, etc, DO NOT take this. You already get plenty of this vitamin from the sun, and you can OD on this if you're not careful. Recommended dosage is 1000iu. I've gone up to 5000iu without a problem, so you can too if need be. Then again, I work in the dark all day long pretty much, so I hardly ever see the sun. Thus this one is important to me. Those who get a lot of sun should avoid this.
Hawthorn Berry - This is good for heart health. It also helps with blood pressure issues. With this one I generally recommend sticking with the recommended daily dosage. You can go higher if you need to for short periods of several days, but in general stay with the prescribed amount.
Herbal Multivitamin - This one is self explanatory and is recommended in lieu of the normal store bought vitamins for the reasons I gave above in my 3rd point about things you should give up. Why? Most over the counter multivitamins are packed full of GMO's and chemicals that are bad for you. Herbal multivitamins are all natural without anything artificial or GMO in them. Now, with that being said, you will still want to do your research to be 100% sure that what you're getting is legitimately all nature as there's some shifty individuals out there who will sell you herbal multivitamins that are anything but all natural. So know in advance what you're getting. I use "Life's Fortune" brand, but you may decide on something different. It's up to you. But be sure to research, research, research, then make your choice.
The following items are specifically for those with diabetes, or who want to lower their blood sugar.
Gymnema Sylvestre - If you just hurt yourself trying to pronounce this, don't feel bad. It's quite the name. Recommended daily dosage is 400mg. I'm not sure if you can safely go higher on this than just 400mg, as I'm still researching this, but be sure to ask a doctor, or more preferably an herbalist, before you do. However, with that small warning aside, you can feel confident in knowing that this stuff does wonders for your pancreas, which in turn greatly helps your body process insulin, and thus keep your blood sugar regulated.
Ginger Root - This is an amazing herb for glucose control and heart function. 550mg is the recommended daily dosage. But, if you want to do more, you should be safe to do so.
Cloves - Yes, one of your favorite holiday, and pumpkin spice flavoring herbs is also extremely good for your body! Recommended daily dosage on this is 1500mg, but there's no danger if you want to go higher. However, like with any herb or new thing, start out with the daily recommended dosage for the first couple weeks, then adjust as needed.
Garlic - Yes, this smelly herb, that quite often fills your Italian, German and other ethnic dishes is extremely good for you. If you get the blended version that includes Hawthorn Extract (different than Hawthorn Berries) and Cayenne, you will get an even bigger punch out of this! I don't have a recommended daily value on this, aside from saying that 2 vegi capsules should be a good start, and then you can adjust up or down as needed. (see my brand comments at the end of this post to understand this suggestion more) Oh, and PS, you can get your garlic in the odorless version if you want. Yes, odorless natural garlic supplements exist. Yeah, I was surprised too!
Chromium Picolinate - This is actually a trace metal rather than an herb, and comes with a 200mg daily limit (DO NOT go over that amount, unless instructed otherwise, for your safety.) This one is very, very important in good sugar control. Now, please understand that you don't need to fear this mineral, but also don't go crazy with it. Just use good common sense when taking it.
Cinnamon - This one is huge when it comes to good blood sugar control. 2400mg is the daily recommended intake, but you can go much, much higher if you feel the need. As always, start out with the recommended daily dosage, and then adjust up or down as you see fit.
As with any new thing you're trying, or doing, before you start, research, research, research. My suggestions are based on my own research, and what will work best for me, combined with some good advise from my herbalist who knows WAY more about this stuff than I do. But, between her and what I've already learned, the above list should be a good starting point for you on your journey towards better health. As a rule of thumb, whenever you begin any new herbal regimen, always start with the recommended dosage, then adjust as needed. And, just because things don't change for you right away doesn't mean they aren't working. For some people, they will react to these herbals right away and immediately see the benefits. Others may take several days before the effects are finally seen and felt. Why?
Well, some of that depends on the individual, and some of it is because, in most cases, you're so deficient in the vitamins and minerals that these provide to your body that it takes several days or more before your body finally reaches workable levels of them in your system, even to the point, in some cases, that it finally is able to achieve bio saturation, at which point your body finally has enough of what it needs to do its job. After that, in most cases, the body will begin the healing processes that it couldn't do before due to lack of materials, leading to better health. Plus, if you do happen to take in too much of a given herb, mineral or vitamin, whatever surplus the body may have as a result of that, will just be flushed out of your system via your kidneys, and out of your body. So the entire system is completely self correcting.
Now, lastly, before I wrap this up, I want to make a suggestion. When you get your herbals, do your best to buy what you need from NOW brands. They are, per my herbalist, the best brand for herbal supplements. Now, things like the cloves, you'll have to get from someone else because, for some reason, NOW brand doesn't have those in pill form (just nondigestible aromatic oils). In that case I went with "Oregon's Wild Harvest" brand. From everything I've been able to find, they're entirely organic and non-GMO. And, of course, as mentioned before, my multi-vitamins are by Life's Fortune, another company who seems to be 100% organic, non-GMO. Anyhow, give this system a try and see if it helps you out. I think you may be pleasantly surprised at how well it makes you feel.
Just, again, don't expect immediate results. This is a process. However, if things haven't changed after a month, then you may wish to reevaluate what you're taking, do some more research, and then adjust what you're taking, and how much. And find a good herbalist in your area, someone who is a known, trusted expert in herbals and holistic medicine. You'll need their advise and testing abilities to better fine tune the list of things you're taking, and more accurately knowing what you should take, and what you shouldn't. Of course, if you don't have one locally, be sure to do as much research as you can beforehand, and then dive on in. The health benefits that come from that will be totally worth it. :)