Tea for Blood Sugar Management
Looking for some warmth during winter season? What about a warming cup of tea that also helps control your blood sugar? I have a healthy Ayurvedic tea recipe that you can enjoy!
Mix the following herbs and spices together. Dried leaves and spices can be stored for a long period of time in a glass jar in a cool dark place.
Make a total of 100 grams of the following mix:
- Holy Basil or Tulsi – 25
- Cinnamon or Dalchini (chips) – 20
- Gymnema Sylvestre or gurmar- 20
- Fenugreek or methi – 10
- Orange Peel – 15
- Ginger or adrak – 10
Why these ingredients? Because each one contributes certain benefits for blood sugar or health.
How to Make the Tea?
Take a teaspoon of the Herbal mix and add it to a cup or use paper tea filters. Add hot water into the cup and cover for 10 minutes so the herbs are infused in water. Enjoy this tea 15 minutes before meals or 1 hour after meals.
Please speak with your doctor if you are any medication.
Benefits of this Tea:
- The herbs in the tea will balance erratic blood sugar levels.
- The tea will improve circulation and increase metabolism.
- It will reduce sugar and carbohydrate cravings.
- Taken regularly especially before meals will induce weight loss.
- It will reduce stress levels in the body.
Holy Basil is an important and sacred Ayurvedic herb that is warming, bitter, and pungent. It is great for vata and kapha. It is not the exact same as common basil, it is more pungent and bitter, with larger leaves. It contains antioxidants apigenin, eugenol, geraniol, linalool, and flavonoids that counteract free radical damage in the body. Studies show it lowers blood sugar, delays the development of insulin resistance, and reduces lipids.
Cinnamon is a well-known spice that lowers blood sugar and also contains antioxidants. You should use true cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon) if possible. Many studies show effects such as:
- Decreases glucose levels after food
- Has insulin-like activity
- Stimulates insulin receptors on fat and muscle cells, which allows sugar to go into cells
- Reduces triglycerides and LDL cholesterol
- Is high in polyphenols and other compounds that are antioxidants which reduce free radical damage and increase the body’s endogenous antioxidants such as glutathione
- Cinnamon added to the diet increases liver glycogen storage
This herb is native to India and used in Ayurveda for over 2000 years for diabetes. Studies show that it reduces blood sugar and encourages glucose uptake by upregulating glucose transporter-4. It also lowers triglycerides and cholesterol. It is unique because of two reasons:
- It reduces the desire for sugar cravings!
- It may help regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas and enhances production of insulin with continual use.
Fenugreek seeds and leaves have been used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes. Fenugreek contains many micronutrients but specifically it contains a galactomannan soluble fibre which reduces blood sugar and causes satiety which contributes to weight loss. It also contains 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which increases the body’s production of insulin. Studies show it also reduces cholesterol. Fenugreek also reduces the Glycemic Index of food when eaten together.
Orange peel contains pectin which is a fibre shown in studies to lower blood sugar, insulin resistance, and cholesterol. In addition, orange peel also offers vitamin C and other antioxidants, as well as a pleasant citrus scent to your tea!
Ginger is an amazing warming spice used in many cultures for thousands of years. It has many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Numerous studies show it reduces blood sugar, insulin resistance, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Gingerols also increase cellular antioxidants such as glutathione and inhibits the degeneration of pancreatic beta cells (that produce insulin).
Diet is very important in managing your blood sugar or diabetes. In addition to these wonderful herbs and ingredients, you can include bitter melon into your diet as well as fenugreek leaves into your food. Neem is also a great Ayurvedic herb that can be taken as a supplement capsule 15 minutes before meals, twice daily. As you can see, there are lots of natural ingredients you can use to manage your blood sugar!
Caution: If you are on blood-lowering prescription medications, use with caution as it may lower your blood sugar to dangerous levels.
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Shanmugasundaram ER et al. Possible regeneration of the islets of Langerhans in streptozotocin-diabetic rats given Gymnema sylvestre leaf extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 1990 Oct;30(3):265-79.
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