Salacia oblonga is an herb commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes and obesity. Researchers fed 66 people with type 2 diabetes test meals on three separate occasions. Study participants were given a high-carbohydrate liquid meal or the liquid meal plus Salacia oblonga (S. oblonga) at a dosage of either 240 milligrams (mg) or 480 mg.

Result: Compared with the control meal alone, the 240-mg dose of S. oblonga lowered blood sugar by 14%...and the 480-mg dose lowered it by 22%. The amount of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar, produced in response to the meal was reduced by 14% and 19%, respectively (high insulin contributes to inflammation in the body). These reductions were especially impressive given the high-carb meal (carbs raise blood sugar and insulin).

This herb prevents carbohydrates from being broken down in the digestive tract, allowing less glucose into the bloodstream-and resulting in lower blood glucose and insulin levels. Studies have shown it to be safe, and side effects are uncommon. People who have mild-to-moderate elevation in glucose levels, as well as those with diabetes, should talk to their doctors about S. oblonga.

Note: Three of the study authors are employed by Abbott Laboratories, which funded the research. However, two other studies with humans also have shown the benefits of S. oblonga.

Want to Keep Reading?

Continue reading with a Health Confidential membership.

Sign up now Already have an account? Sign in