Friday, November 10, 2006

Response: Sugar in the Blood: Herbs for Diabetes

11-08-2006 @7:00 PM
Gracias for this post ~ I have Type II diabetes and was diagnosed some years ago, I take no medication for it and have not for years now. Sometimes gente get confused between Type I and Type II. I am NOT insulin dependent, create my own insulin and thus I have Type II.

As part of my treatment, I did stop drinking alcohol, exercise daily and try to watch my diet. I appreciate these natural herbal remedies and will pass this on to others.

Since I was diagnosed I found that there are a lot more people than we realize who have it, esp. Latinos and Blacks.

I like your reference to 'canela' below. I use to always love 'canela' and just the thought of it brings back some warm childhood memories. It seemed all was right in the world when I smelled 'canela' in the 'cocina', esp. over my Abuela's Nana, on a Sabado morning.

Thus, I believe that finding natural remedies is the way to go and we should still be certain to get medical advice all along the way and not play doctor with such a deadly disease.

Since the pancreas creates natural insulin I believe that when we inject external insulin into our system that it makes our natural insulin generated by our pancreas eventually dependent on insulin. No one I know has ever gotten off taking insulin injections once they become insulin dependent.


Latinos and Diabetes= According to the National Diabetes Education
Program, diabetes is one of the most serious health issues affecting Latinos in the United States. In fact, diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death among Latinos and the fourth-leading cause of death among Latinas and Latino elders. The prevalence of type-2 diabetes is two times higher among Latinos than among non-Latino whites. Approximately 24% of Mexican Americans in the United States and 26% of Puerto Ricans between the ages of 45 and 74 have diabetes. About 16% of Cuban Americans in this same age group also have diabetes.
Knowledge Is Power@ Gracias! +Peta+
P.S. Feel free to Join Aztlannet_News if you have not already and post such relevant news items. I know that good health is the greatest wealth and should be nurtured and treasured.
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Subject: [latinosineducation] Fwd: Sugar in the Blood: Herbs for Diabetes
Joaquin Galvan <> wrote:
From: "Roberto Rodriguez" Email=
Date: November 8, 2006 11:23:14 AM PST
To: "Roberto X Rodriguez" <>
Subject: Sugar in the Blood: Herbs for Diabetes
Sugar in the Blood: Herbs for Diabetes
By Patrisia Gonzales
Patzin: Nahuatl for respect worthy medicine, a monthly feature on Indigenous medicine
Column of the Americas (c) Nov. 6, 2006
I grew up with a pot of canela on the stove. My grandma's house always smelled of the tea of cinnamon sticks. My mother's house often smells of canela, as does mine. I suspect that is why most of my mom's generation is not afflicted by diabetes. Canela offsets sugar in the blood, as my aunties called it. Aunt Emma suggests eating a teaspoon of cinnamon spice with meals to improve insulin's efficiency.
There's other lore about diabetes. For instance, many curanderas say that diabetes is caused by susto or a trauma or soul wrenching incident. Today, studies shows that adult onset diabetes sometimes manifests after a stressful period. People with diabetes are also said to be corajudos, or angry and irritable. In Mexican Traditional medicine, this is connected to people's systems being taxed. Diabetics often need additional vitamin B, which feeds the pancreas and nervous
Type 2 diabetes, or what was called adult onset diabetes, occurs when the body can no longer regulate blood sugar levels. Recipes abound for managing and even eliminating diabetes in Indigenous herbal knowledge. In recognition of this disease that afflicts so many of the original
inhabitants of the Americas, for Native American history month I offer a few herbal remedies.
Trumpet flower, or tronodora, a beautiful orange flower that grows on a vine, is often administered as a tea. Eucalyptus leaf tea, as well as Matarique, are also popular in Mexican remedies. Chaya leaves and chayote squash are often administered in a tea or blended drink with other plants and greens, such as celery, parsley, cucumber, cactus and citrus. Aloe vera leaf tea also nourishes the pancreas. Cut about an inch and half and split open and steep in one cup boiling water for one minute. Cedar leaf and berry are also useful as a tea as is a decoction of blue berry leaves (where several cups of tea are cooked down to a cup or two by a low flame). Onion and garlic are said to lower blood sugar. Te limón or lemon grass tea is also beneficial.
Consuming a tea of nettles (hortiga) and dandelion (diente de leon) supports the kidneys and the over health of a diabetic, as will eating avocadoes, cucumbers (skin and fruit) and artichokes (and the juice that chayote or artichokes are cooked in).
Perhaps the most widely followed remedy in Mexican traditional medicine is prickly pear cactus, which grows on many reservations and across much of the Americas. Though not all Native groups have a tradition of eating them or have discontinued that practice, Native populations with a cactus patch have a small pharmacy in cactus. It's good for diabetes and the heart and an excellent meat substitute when combined with avocadoes/or beans and eggs. You can grill it; sauté it with tomatoes and onions; or liquefy it with water, OJ or pineapple juice. All of these methods will yield results. Juicing is the most intense form of receiving the benefits of cactus and it should be viewed as a medicine. If blending, use about a half cup of fresh cactus with 4 to 8 ounces of water or juice. You should drink it on an empty stomach up to two times a day. More is not necessarily better because as it balances insulin levels, it can interact with medical drugs – so check with your doctor if you are under medication. You can also soak the ends or joints of the de-thorned cactus in a cup of water.
Another popular combination is sold as "nopalinaza," dried cactus and flaxseed. While this combination can be effective, it's always preferred to ingest them as fresh ingredients. Flaxseed can go rancid. The benefits of cactus come from both its fiber and its slimy constitution. You can soak a tablespoon of flaxseed and a few joints or pieces of the cactus in one cup of water overnight and drink in the morning, for an inexpensive version of "nopalinaza." In a previous column, I have written more extensively about nopal/cactus and I
suggest you refer to the archives.
Remember, diabetes requires more than an herbal tea. For best results, you must follow a healthy diet, watch your sugars and carbs and EXERCISE. As always, check with your doctor, an experienced herbalist, elder or health care practitioner regarding use of these remedies.
Pregnant women should not undertake herbal remedies unless they are supervised by an experienced midwife or herbalist. It is best for them to use their food as medicine. In other words, what you eat can boost your health and that is medicinal. So eat cactus, cucumbers, chayote and artichokes, as part of healthy meals.
(c) Column of the Americas 2006
Gonzales can be reached at:
Editors: Column of the Americas is written the 1st (Patrisia Gonzales) and 3rd Mondays (Roberto Rodriguez) of the month. Occasionally, they write joint columns, or special columns on 5th Mondays when applicable. They can be reached at: 608-238-3161. Their columns are posted at:



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