Chamomile tea helps diabetics control blood sugar

March 14, 2009


Chamomile, also known as manzanilla, is believed to contain more antioxidants than nearly any other natural dietary source. It is a long-established herbal remedy for relieving stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and many other common complaints.

Now it seems it may also be able to help diabetics control their blood sugar and prevent serious complication. Just by having a cup of chamomile tea with meals could help prevent the progress of hyperglycemia and diabetic complications is the conclusion of a study jointly undertaken by the University of Toyama in Japan and Aberystwyth University in Wales.

Chamomile appeared to reduce the activity of an enzyme called aldose reductase, which plays an important role in sugar metabolism. Aldose reductase helps turn glucose into sorbitol, a different sugar. In diabetics, the build up of sorbitol has been directly linked to neuropathy and blindness, as this sugar moves across cell membranes less freely than glucose and thus has a tendency to build up in nerve and eye tissue.

Chamomile tea isn’t everyone’s favourite – I can’t stand it myself – but this might be worth a try. Some of the best teas with chamomile are from the American company Celestial Seasonings as they have a depth of flavour that others seem to lack, but experiment and see what you like – adding a squeeze of lemon might help too.


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