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My dad was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 10 years ago. While his doctor wanted to put him on medication, my dad had a different idea.
You see, my dad is not the type to pop a pill and expect everything to be okay (especially a pill that can come with some unwanted side effects, like metformin — you know, that muscle pain, trouble breathing, confusion, irritability, fatigue, dizziness and more that come part and parcel with the prescription).
And, while my dad’s doctor wasn’t happy, my dad was able to get his blood sugar under control through a combination of watching his diet, exercising, and taking a little-known herb…
One that’s been used in China for thousands of years to treat diabetes — Goldenseal.
What is goldenseal?
Goldenseal is also known as Hydrastis Canadensis, orange root, yellow root or yellow puccoon. It’s a perennial herb that you may recognize since it belongs to the buttercup family. The roots and stems of the plants are what are used to make the extracts, teas and other natural treatments.
Goldenseal is mostly well known for being a great immune system booster, but that’s far from the only health benefit the herb has to offer. Goldenseal’s power comes mainly from an alkaloid known as berberine, which is a proven anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cancer-fighting and blood sugar-lowering.
How goldenseal works to reduce blood sugar
A collaboration between Chinese, Korean, and Australian scientists at Sydney’s Garvan Institute found that the berberine in Goldenseal acts two ways:
First, by activating an enzyme in the muscle and liver that is involved in improving sensitivity of the tissue to insulin — this in turn helps lower blood sugar levels.
Second, berberine helps to reduce blood sugar by reducing body weight.
What a bonus, right? Who wouldn’t sign up for that?
How to use goldenseal
So, if you’re ready to start using goldenseal to get your blood sugar (and maybe even your weight under control) here’s what you need to know…
You can buy goldenseal both online and in your local health store either in supplement form (a capsule, tablet or powder) or as a tea.
In general, the dosage for goldenseal is four to six grams per day.
You can also find goldenseal in extract form. In this case the recommended dose is two milliliters in two ounces of water or juice three to five times per day, but it’s best to follow the recommendations on the supplement brand you purchase.
The one thing you need to remember when it comes to taking goldenseal is this…
Don’t take it for more than three weeks at a time without taking a two week break from the supplement and for best absorption, be sure to take it between meals.
Goldenseal may interact with some medications. Talk to your health-care provider before taking any form of goldenseal if you take prescription medications, have a heart condition, or you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, jaundice, liver or kidney disease.
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- Metformin (Oral Route) — Mayo Clinic
- Current knowledge and pharmacological profile of berberine: An update — European Journal of Pharmacology
- The anti-inflammatory potential of berberine in vitro and in vivo — Cancer Letters
- Inhibition of chemical carcinogenesis by berberine in rats and mice — Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
- Berberine lowers blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients through increasing insulin receptor expression — Metabolism
- Traditional Chinese Medicine For Diabetes Has Scientific Backing — Garvan Institute of Medical Research