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Fenugreek and Bitter Gourd for Diabetes

Fenugreek or Methi

Used in paranthas and various Indian curries, Methi has many health benefits. It has been used as a galactogogue – a substance used to increase the secretion of milk in breast-feeding mothers.

Anti-diabetes action:

In recent times, clinical trials on people with type 2 diabetes show that fenugreek has the valuable property of reducing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the stomach during the process of digestion; it also appears to be capable of stimulating the pancreatic cells to increase insulin production. Both these actions are believed to be a result of the action by an amino acid present in fenugreek called 4-hydroxyisoleucine.

Bitter Gourd or Karela

Most people are familiar with bitter gourd – an unpalatable yet healthy vegetable that is typically cooked in tangy gravy to offset the bitterness. 

Anti-diabetes action:

Several studies have found that karela extracts have the ability to reduce the activity of the alpha glucosidase enzyme and this helps to reduce the hyperglycemia that typically follows a meal. This insulin-like action is believed to be due to a substance called polypeptide-P. Bitter melon has also been found to contain a phytonutrient called charantin that allows the glucose from the blood to be moved into the muscles, adipose (fat) tissue and liver, lowering blood glucose levels in diabetics.


*Please consult your doctor before experimenting with any of the herbal remedies listed in this article.