Chamomile tea helps diabetics control blood sugar

March 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Natural Medicine


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.

More sleep = Better health

November 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Lifestyle, Natural Medicine

As they get older, many people find they are sleeping less, but that could be a health risk. So to encourage you to try and improve your sleeping habits, if you are currently sleeping fewer than seven-and-a-half hours a night – and are over 60 – then you could be increasing your risk of heart disease.

If you don’t get a full 8 hours plus, then that is associated with a higher rise in overnight blood pressure which increases your risk. This is based on a Japanese study of older patients with hypertension, where they found that the combination of little sleep and elevated overnight blood pressure was associated with an increased risk as well.

Previous studies on the effect of lack of sleep have been done on younger patients and they showed a link to multiple health disorders, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease so they are not exempt either. This is the first study on older patients and shows a particular link with increased risk of heart disease.

If you have trouble sleeping, try a late night drink of chamomile tea, a lavender oil warm bath, or the excellent Bach Rescue Sleep. This is a new formulation that I tried recently and it contains the original 5 effective ingredients of “Rescue Remedy┬«” plus White Chestnut which is effective against restless mind. I certainly found it to be very effective, though rather too sweet for my taste, and am waiting to hear from the Bach Centre what that ‘sweet’ ingredient is!