Ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng, is a family of plants that grow in subtropical parts of the world. Ashwagandha plants may have some medicinal properties, with proponents suggesting that they can help with conditions such as diabetes. However, more research is necessary to prove its effectiveness.
Ashwagandha is the common name for Withania somnifera, a family of plants with
While some evidence suggests that ashwagandha may possess
This article discusses how ashwagandha may affect blood glucose levels and may have some benefits for people living with diabetes.
While ashwagandha cannot cure diabetes, and many existing approved and effective medications help people manage their condition, the plant shows some promise in helping to manage blood glucose levels. For example, a
Some human studies also suggest that the plant can reduce blood glucose levels. A
Although there is
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera and Indian ginseng, is a family of plants that may possess many potential health benefits. Ashwagandha plants contain powerful antioxidant properties, which may help protect cells from free radicals, improving the body’s response to stress. Ashwagandha could also help increase protection from some diseases by enhancing immune response.
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. When a person has type 1 diabetes, their body cannot produce insulin. Individuals can manage type 1 diabetes by controlling their diet and administering insulin to manage their glucose levels.
Type 2 is the more common type of diabetes. This is where the body does not use insulin correctly. Some people can manage type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise, but others may also need medication.
While research is still ongoing, some evidence indicates that ashwagandha has
Additionally, while more research is still necessary, some evidence suggests that ashwagandha may possess the following properties:
It is always important for a person to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new diabetes treatment, even if the product has natural origins.
A systematic review of ashwagandha investigated four studies between 2000–2015, all of which found that participants using the herb to treat diabetes reported no adverse effects. This suggests that if a person uses the herb properly and consults with a doctor first, it has a low risk of causing harm.
Additionally, a 2020 study evaluating the safety aspects of ashwagandha suggests that the plant products are safe for all ages and sexes, including pregnant people. However, a study in
Further research can improve current understanding of the potential effects that ashwagandha may cause. While the plant may show promise, it is important that people continue with their doctor’s recommended treatment to help manage their diabetes.
There are different methods of preparing ashwagandha depending on the condition it is treating and the type of plant within the Withania somnifera family.
For example, a
One ashwagandha species, Ashwagandha ghrita, is particularly useful when people combine it with ghee, a type of clarified butterfat. This is because processing the plant in this way increases antioxidant function.
For people with type 2 diabetes, administering ashwagandha in the form of root and leaf extract could be an effective form of treatment. As a powder, ashwagandha may help
Ashwagandha is a resource that people can use to help manage diabetes, particularly with type 2. However, it is one of many treatment options that people can use. Guidelines recommend that self-management and education are crucial aspects of diabetes care.
An important aspect when controlling type 2 diabetes is diet, as people can reduce their blood glucose levels by consuming a healthy diet. Other strategies people can use to help manage their blood glucose levels may include:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- exercising regularly
- stopping smoking
- taking medication as prescribed
Ashwagandha is a family of plants that potentially contains beneficial health properties. This may include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ashwagandha has been an important part of an alternative treatment called Ayurvedic medicine originating from India for more than 3,000 years. Ashwagandha is becoming increasingly popular in Western society.
Ashwagandha could play a role in treating a range of physical and mental health conditions, including diabetes. Using ashwagandha might help people manage their type 2 diabetes as it can help lower blood glucose levels. Despite evidence supporting ashwagandha’s use in treating diabetes, more research is still necessary to prove its effectiveness. Before using ashwagandha, it is important for people to speak with their doctor.