Natural treatment for diabetes found in a subtropical plant
01/24/2019 // Ellaine Castillo // Views

Calophyllum brasiliense, which is commonly called Santa Maria, is a plant native to Latin America. This subtropical plant is widely used by practitioners of traditional medicine as a remedy for bronchitis, liver disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, pain, inflammation, high blood pressure, rheumatism, and diabetes. However, most of these folkloric uses of Santa Maria have not been extensively studied. Researchers from the Federal University of Amapa in Brazil were especially interested in the anti-diabetic potential of Santa Maria since diabetes affects millions of people around the world.

Diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It is often caused by an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and obesity. When left untreated, diabetes can cause a lot of complications because of its damaging effects on the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, making it a leading cause of death worldwide. Although there are conventional medications that help improve diabetes, these often do more harm than good since they are associated with side effects like diarrhea, dangerously low blood sugar levels, heart failure, pancreatitis, and urinary tract infections. Because of these, more people are turning to natural remedies like medicinal plants to improve their condition.

In this study, which was published in The Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy, the researchers conducted in vivo experiments in male Wistar rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes to determine the anti-diabetic activity of hydroethanolic and granulated extracts of Santa Maria. The treatments were given for a period of 30 days, after which the team evaluated the total protein, triglycerides, cholesterol, urea, creatinine, transaminase glutamic oxaloacetic, and glutamic pyruvic transaminase levels. Results showed that Santa Maria extracts significantly reduced these parameters, proving that it has potential use as a natural remedy for diabetes.


Additionally, the researchers determined the compounds that possibly contribute to the anti-diabetic activity of Santa Maria. They found that the extracts contain large amounts of polyphenols and tannins, which have been shown to have antioxidant properties. These compounds help improve diabetes by neutralizing harmful free radicals that contribute to the development of this disease.

From these results, the researchers concluded that Santa Maria has significantly improved diabetes symptoms with the help of its polyphenol and tannin content. With further studies, this plant can be utilized as an alternative to harmful anti-diabetic medications. (Related: Take this FDA-approved diabetes drug, and you might have to amputate your leg, warns the FDA.)

Other home remedies for diabetes

There are many other natural remedies for diabetes that, unlike Santa Maria, are easily found in most homes. Some examples of these include the following:

  • Cinnamon -- This aromatic spice is rich in antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress, which is a major contributor to diabetes development. Start your day right by drinking a solution composed of half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and warm water.
  • Cilantro oil -- Diffuse the scent of cilantro oil around your home to stimulate your body's production of insulin. Do this one to two times per day to effectively manage diabetes symptoms.
  • Bitter gourd -- The fiber-rich bitter gourd also has high levels of the compound charantin, which has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. One way to enjoy the anti-diabetic benefits of bitter gourd is to make a juice containing this vegetable, some salt and pepper, and one to two teaspoons of lemon juice. Drink this mixture at the start of the day, before eating anything else.
  • Ginger -- Ginger is known for its ability to reduce blood sugar levels and enhance insulin activity. To experience the optimum benefits of ginger tea, drink it three times a day.
  • Garlic -- Allicin, an enzyme found in crushed garlic, has potent antioxidant and anti-diabetic effects. You can enjoy these benefits simply by chewing a few cloves of garlic. But if the taste is too strong for you, it's also okay to add freshly minced garlic to your favorite foods.

For more articles about natural remedies for diabetes, visit

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