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Top 4 African Folk Medicinals for Diabetes

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

Diabetes, one of the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S., is a silent disease and is steadily on the rise. There are three main types: (1) type I diabetes, ( 2) type II diabetes, (3) gestational diabetes. Some consider prediabetes a category. It's your saving grace, really, to change your life before it gets more complicated. Type I and type II are most commonly known. Do you know the difference between the two? Here's the breakdown:

In this post, I'll concentrate on type II, as it is nearly 100% reversible and treatable. The initial diagnosis can bring on a sense of hopelessness. However, we live in an age where our knowledge of science and holistic treatment is readily available and increasing. Together with your willpower and dedication, there is definitely a chance for remission.


Mother Africa is abundant with wildlife, beautiful people, and natural medicines.

Traditional African folk medicine was, and still is, the people's primary choice of treatment in urban and rural communities. As a matter of fact, 70% of the Ghanaian population relies on herbalists. In the past couple of decades, African countries have been re-establishing and regulating herbal practices with national agencies and programs, as it was nearly wiped out due to colonialism.

During this restoration period, researchers have been hard at work, analyzing different healing plants and species used in traditional healing practices. The results thus far have been remarkable.

There are several medicinal plants with promising results for diabetes treatment, and a few will be highlighted below.

Fluted pumpkin leaves

> reduces blood glucose levels

> since it is comparable to Chlorpropamide, those at risk for hypoglycemia should avoid this plant

Cashew stem bark

Anacardium occidentale Linn

> originally from Brazil, this tree landed in Africa through Portuguese travelers

> contains terpenoid and coumarin compounds, which assist in lowering blood glucose concentrations in blood sugar measurements and fasting blood sugar measurements

> ideal for type II diabetes patients who also have cardiovascular issues

Red Hogweed

Boerhavia diffusa L.

> don't mix with giant hogweed, a toxic plant that will cause burns, scars, and blindness

> also known as Punarnava in Ayurveda; translates to "renewer," "bring back to life"

> proven more effective than Glyburide

> " effective diuretic it works very well on the urinary system and it targets directly the damaged nephrons (kidney’s basic functional unit) which get damaged specially in cases of high blood sugar level i.e. in diabetic people"

Mango tree leaves

Mangifera indica

>  assists in absorbing less glucose in gastrointestinal tract, thus lowering blood sugar

> rich in vitamins A, C, B vitamins, and anthocyanidins and other antioxidants

In addition to these four powerful plants, incorporating aloe vera, onion juice, and garlic juice can have a profound therapeutic and healing effect on the body for diabetes treatment, and overall optimal health.

As always, please consult with your health care provider if you wish to incorporate these plants into your treatment.

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The herbalist, chemist, and medicine maker at Asili Apothecary, Gloria created this space to facilitate healing and learning for yourself and those around you. The apothecary and homestead is based in Fayetteville, NC. Gloria enjoys time with her family and Mother Nature.

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