I'm almost reluctant to post this because I don't want to inspire anyone to tinker in an irresponsible way with their own health, or have anyone mimic what has worked for me without seeking their own medical supervision. So whatever you read here is simply MY experience, not my recommendation for anyone else.
I am my own guinea pig...that's what I'm saying.
And the second thing I'm saying is that I might never have known that I could SOLVE a very crucial problem as a diabetic with any of these things, were it not for the availability of a wide range of resources via the internet...not all of which are trustworthy, but the bulk of which can be cross-referenced, compared, and gleaned from. Here are the players God has provided in our own backyard, which have each added up in different ways to bringing my blood sugars down from Very Scary, to normal...TODAY...for the first time in years:
Certain tree leaves made into strong tea
Certain fresh green herbs
Certain cooked greens
My sugars had gotten out of control, for reasons I don't fully understand except that the longer I am diabetic, the more stubborn the symptoms seem to be in responding to improvement. The trick now is keeping the numbers in a good range and eventuall easing off the prescription meds, or at least reducing them.
I still need to lose weight...it's my Achilles heel, and my body is so so resistant at this point. But when my sugars surged to over 450 a couple months ago, the biggest problem was that I was already on the maximum dose of this level of oral medication,and I REALLY don't want to graduate to insulin injections.
In a somewhat more desperate run of Google searching, I have run across so many more anecdotal mentions of common plants useful in different cultures for either lowering, controlling, or stabilizing blood sugars. Since natural plants don't come with "parental government controls" (thank goodness!) as far as dosage recommendations and a list of contraindications, we are CAUTIOUSLY testing some of these (the ones with the fewest cautionary mentions) on ourselves. This is just my own personal philosophy, but I believe that if we learn, learn, learn as we go and judiciously ease into the use of some of these natural "remedies," the likelihood of permanent damage and side effects is significantly less than that of most pharaceuticals, most of which are synthetic. The fact that our backyard plants are pesticide-free, suited to our climate and location, hardy (some are considered weeds), and either free or inexpensive all adds up to encouragement and availability instead of the pricey dollar figure of so many "magic bullets" offered elsewhere.
We don't have this down pat yet...maybe we never will? But we've eased into more natural eating. I tried going "mostly raw" for a time, and gained some experience and some benefits. What I carry with me from that is the determination to eat more greens of all sorts. Our regular eating had included unbalanced proportions of cooked foods and too few raw ones...like the myriad greens that can be paired with almost anything to round out a meal and ramp up the body's energy and nutrients. The simple act of including a wide variety of greens, raw or cooked, to our daily meals meant a noticeable health difference.
Black beans are now a staple in our household -- we had them quite often before, anyway, since Jack is from Cuba and since both of us seem to digest black beans easier than most other types of beans. But n ow we have them almost daily. When I read a while back that black beans in particular significantly help slow down the metabolizing of sugars, helping diabetics sustain a "slow burn" rather than quick spikes, I decided to test it on myself. And it doesn't hurt that I happen to really like black beans... A simple blend of spices, after some tinkering around, really does the trick, and we use our new pressure cooker to make them from scratch. Maybe I'll be tired of them someday, but for now they are a great "side" for so many things and I find myself needing to use very little meat throughout the week because of how "meaty" the black beans are in a meal, even for Jack (which is amazing since he's the meat eater around here...black beans do the trick instead of meat for him now, most times).
The other recent addition to our regimen (read my disclaimer above, don't do as I do...) is the use of loquat tree leaves for fresh tea taken daily.
Loquat leaves have a shiny top side and a slightly fuzzy underside. When washing to make tea from the leaves, the fuzz of the underside must be rubbed off under running water, or it can slightly irritate the throat. We take four loquat leaves (just go outside and pick them), clean them under running water (making sure the fuzz is rubbed off), tear them into pieces, cover with a good amount of water, and heat in a stainless steel pan till boiling. We simmer it, covered, about 10 minutes at a fast simmer (sometimes add a cinnamon stick for extra flavor and extra blood sugar regulation), and then turn the heat down to low and let it stay there till whenever we're ready to drink it. We pour it out into individual mugs through a small strainer, and the color turns out a rich mahogany brown. The taste is fresh and fragrant and not heavy or very distinctive. The cinnamon goes well with the loquat tea.
I try to drink that at least once a day, but we like it so much we usually drink at least two full mugs each, daily.
This is the 7th day I've been drinking the loquat tea, and today is the first day my daytime blood sugar reading was in the FULLY NORMAL range.
I"m VERY pleased and excited! I credit the black beans AND the loquat tea, as well as the combination of other plants we alternate eating from the backyard (weeds such as Bidens alba, the gynura procumbens, the moringa, etc), almost all of which require almost no fuss or true "gardening skills" to grow.
Color me happy! I'll keep posting here about my progress, but since this is the first day I saw "Normal," I had to report in with the news :)
Whatever ails us, I am encouraged that there is MUCH information to be further researched simply by beginning with an internet search, a willingness to keep looking for more natural answers, and a determination to not give up...
I truly believe God gave us the green herb (plural) for healing. Not as a magic bullet, but for vitality and longevity and a closer eye to elements so taken for granted, such as the soil beneath our feet, and the plants we've come to think of as weeds. I laugh to keep finding that I can make a meal from the weeds I pass by everyday, and that our mower chews right up, and that the goodness contained within those plants exceeds so many bottles I could pay an arm and a leg for at the health food store. (Don't get me wrong, we still frequent the health food store and take some supplements) I discover another "weed" that was sitting beside my house all along and learn of its benefits...and laugh at my own ignorance...and begin to feel really really RICH. How blessed we are by our Creator that food and medicine are so abundant, they frequently are chopped back and considered pests!
SO glad God has a sense of humor! And I'm so glad He uses the humble things in ways much mightier than we were conditioned to understand.
What are some of your favorite "humble" plants with big nutritional and medicinal punch?