ginger turmeric and pepper spices, cognitive ability

We are in the midst of a diabetes epidemic. Not only in the US, but around the world, type 2 diabetes has become frighteningly common. While drugs can be useful in lowering high blood sugar, there are many non-drug approaches to control your blood sugar. Have you thought about turmeric?

How Do You Control Your Blood Sugar Naturally?

Q. My doctor recently diagnosed me with diabetes. I don’t want to deal with pills and shots, so I started experimenting. Through trial and error, I found that turmeric controls my blood sugar.

I don’t like the taste or smell, but if I sprinkle some ground turmeric on my food at dinner in the evening, my blood sugar reading the following morning is just where it should be. This works great!

Other Spices That Can Help You Control Your Blood Sugar:

A. Turmeric (which makes curry yellow) is not the only spice that can help control your blood sugar (Kato et al, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, March 2017). According to the researchers, consuming curcumin, an active compound in turmeric, might allow you to lower the dose of your diabetes medicines.  You might want to try cinnamon and fenugreek as well (Yilmaz et al, Journal of Pharmacy Practice, online Sep. 11, 2016).

In addition, finishing your meal with a salad dressed with vinaigrette can be a useful tactic, since vinegar will help you control your blood sugar (Lim et al, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Aug. 2016). You can learn even more about nondrug approaches to type 2 diabetes as well as find out about some popular medications for blood sugar control in our Guide to Managing Diabetes.

Anyone who would like a print copy of this 8-page guide, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. DM-11, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.

Plant-Based Products to Control Your Blood Sugar:

We recently spoke with Dr. Andrew Weil, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and editor of Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better-And When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own. Dr. Weil suggested that numerous plant-based products from around the world offer people with diabetes nondrug options for blood sugar control.

Crucial Advice for Anyone with Diabetes:

No matter whether you are relying on medication or are trying one or more of these interesting nondrug approaches, be sure to monitor your blood glucose levels. Keep your doctor informed of your progress. Also, pay attention to your exercise and your diet, as they can have important effects on your blood sugar.

Warnings About Turmeric:

Taking either turmeric or curcumin every day for blood sugar control is risky for anyone taking warfarin (Coumarin). The combination can boost INR levels into the danger zone.

It is not clear whether turmeric is equally incompatible with other anticoagulants, but it makes sense to be wary. Keep in mind, too, that turmeric, cinnamon and numerous other plant-based products can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. If you break out in hives, discontinue the supplement!

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  1. Annette

    Is there any information about seniors who start using Boost showing an uptick in blood sugar levels. Never had a problem with blood sugar readings, but recently started using Boost (once a day / 4 weeks); last week a regular check up suddenly showed diabetes. Have had no changes in meds just added the Boost. Investigated further to find that it is very high in carbs! Am going to switch to Glucerna in hopes it helps

    • Terry Graedon

      Boost has a fair amount of sugar, which might explain your reaction.

  2. Reid

    PLEASE spell out that Mexican tea in the above audio clip, as well as the vitamins Weil mentions?? Didn’t get it. Thanks.

  3. Mons

    What are the best supplements for prohealth

  4. Caryn Jaeschke

    Besides lowering blood sugar, what are the side effects of turmeric? How much of a dose is recommended for lowering blood sugar??

  5. Annette

    Are the above articles and studies on blood sugar/foods from clinical studies with control subjects?

  6. Mary Jane

    In addition to suggesting home remedies, I hope People’s Pharmacy will devote a complete program to sugar, how it has infiltrated almost all forms of food, and why we should be concerned.

  7. Johanne

    I find Alpha Lipoic-Acid very effective in neutralizing the sugar spikes. I am not a diabetic, but very sensitive to sugar and usually take it when I treat myself to ice cream.

  8. Pat
    Plano TX

    There are recent “studies” that indicate that Tumeric does not lower glucose levels. Yet there are a myriad of anecdotal reports that show that it does. Here is my anecdote.

    My glucose has consistently been in the 104-115 range (pre-diabetic) for over 30 years. I prefer to do my own experimentation; obviously, it can’t hurt you. Eventually I ended up with this formula that works for me. I take 1200 mg of turmeric with black pepper twice a day (2400 mg).

    I’ve been doing this for over a year. My glucose stays between 75-82. If I take more, I get hypoglycemic. If I skip a dose, it still stays under 100. It has been very consistent for me.

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