Does this African Plant Hold the Key to Controlling Your Blood Sugar?

Normally people associate aloe vera with beauty products like shampoo and skin creams. For six millennium, aloe vera, a plant native to Africa, has been used in phytotherapy, dermatology, and cosmetics in the form of gels and creams.

But did you know that the plant has been found to reduce blood sugar levels?  Well, that is what a pooled analysis of nine studies that looked at the effects of aloe vera when taken orally by diabetics and pre-diabetics notes that the medicinal plant should be investigated more vigorously as a diabetes treatment.

David Grant of the USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California is responsible for the analysis and the findings that are published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

A key part of the analysis suggests that diabetics whose fasting blood glucose (FBG) is higher than 200mg/dl may experience positive benefits from taking aloe vera orally.

The leaves of the aloe vera are the medicinal part of the plant.  Both the green outer rind and the colorless inner gel of the leaves are used for aloe vera health products.

There are at least 75 active compounds in the aloe vera plant including vitamins, enzymes, minerals, anthraquinones, monosaccharide, polysaccharides, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids, phytosterols, and amino acids. The authors of the analysis note that some of these compounds play a significant role in improving blood glucose levels.


And get this, aloe vera also contains hints of chromium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc, elements regarded as crucial for glucose metabolism and improving the effectiveness of insulin.

There are numerous chronic diseases that aloe vera produces limited or inconsistent results. Such diseases include asthma, glaucoma, high blood pressure,  have produced limited or inconsistent evidence, but, evidence it ability to lower blood glucose is consistent.

Another study  featured in the Journal of Phytomedicine found that aloe vera juice “significantly reduced levels of fasting blood glucose within two weeks and of triglycerides within four weeks.” Researchers determined that “the results support the use of aloe vera in the treatment of diabetes.”

For aloe vera juice, the maximum daily dose is a recommended 50ml, while the recommended dose for capsules is 200 to 300mg per day.

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