Natural medicine for treatment of diabetes

Cinnamon sticks

I am looking for information on the treatment of diabetes on behalf of my neighbour.

I know cinnamon is helpful, but I’m not sure if this is the same cinnamon sold in shops, or does he need special cinnamon supplements?

Cinnamon has been shown in scientific testing to help with the regulation of insulin signals in people with non-insulin dependent Type II diabetes. The cinnamon used is indeed the same as the one used in most kitchens, however, it is worth noting that cassia (cinnamomum cassia) is thought to be even more effective than standard cinnamon (cinnamomum verum). Cloves have also been shown to reduce the insulin-sensitising effects in abdominal fat cells and liver cells.

Your neighbour will need to take around 1-6g daily to help control blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon and cassia enhance the ability of insulin to metabolise glucose and also help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. He can add it to smoothies, porridge oats, or in a main meal to benefit from this spice. A gram of cinnamon or cassia is equivalent to around a quarter of a teaspoon.

Type I diabetes, usually occurring in children and young adults, is responsible for only 5- 10% of all cases. Type I individuals have had their beta cells (responsible for producing insulin in the pancreas) destroyed by their own immune system. Type II diabetes accounts for the other 90-95% of cases, and occurs when the body is unable to use the insulin made by the pancreas. Most Type II cases occur as a result of diet and lifestyle, however around 8% are linked to a genetic predisposition.

I have uterine fibroids and there is a possibility I will need surgery. What are the natural alternatives?

Uterine fibroids are benign tumours found in a quarter of women. Although they typically don’t cause noticeable symptoms and are not a cancerous growth, some women experience heavier periods, anaemia, painful sexual intercourse and urinary incontinence.

Fibroids start out as an abnormal muscle cell response to oestrogen, and can occur anywhere in the pelvic cavity. You don’t mention your age — if you are close to menopause then it is likely the fibroids will shrink of their own accord as a result of the drop in oestrogen production.

Increasing your intake of oily fish, or essential fatty acid supplements will help, as will hormone balancing herbs such as agnus castus/chasteberry (vitex agnus-castus). Agnus castus works by increasing progesterone levels, which can stop fibroid growth. A. Vogel make an Agnus castus tincture which costs €10.49 for 50ml; take 20 drops daily in water. Avoid oestrogenic herbs, such as Siberian ginseng.

I gave up smoking more than six months ago, but I still feel run down and struggle with cravings. What can I take to help me keep going?

Giving up smoking leads to an inevitable process of detoxification, which varies between individuals and also depends on factors such as how heavily you smoked, and for how long.

You will feel better when your body has finished clearing out the toxins, although the detox process can make you feel tired and unwell.

The toxins in cigarettes cause an increase in free radicals, which are simply molecules that contain an unpaired electron. This means they attempt to become more stable by combining with other molecules, initiating a chain reaction where each combination results in further free radical production.

Supplementation with antioxidants can help to clear out these damaging molecules, and will likely increase your energy levels as well. Super Antioxidant Protection from Higher Nature is available from health stores such as Here’s Health (www.hereshealth.ie; 021 4278101) cost €15.17 for 60 capsules. Take as directed.

Astragalus root is another natural way to increase your energy levels, and support your immune system. This herb is because it has been shown in clinical trials to flush nicotine out the system, which will help with cravings and detox.


Lifestyle

Interiors voyeurism will never go out of style – not least when we’re all confined to barracks and eyeing up neglected corners of our own residences that could do with TLC.Home of the Year: Three doors swing open tonight to offer us a welcome distraction

With (hopefully) better weather on the way along with the longer evenings, gardening and nature offer a nice distraction to the news cycle.Podcast Corner: Green fingers and creature comforts

From Kaia Gerber to Oprah Winfrey, why not let a famous face choose your next read?The 4 best celebrity book clubs to virtually join

The tips and home treatments to stop your skin from backsliding.The Skin Nerd: How can I maintain my skin results at home?

More From The Irish Examiner