Herbal strategies for diabetes

Diabetes can be a complex and difficult situation to deal even when using a comprehensive natural approach, IF the person is unwilling to make basic dietary changes and some other simple changes. Most often it is the result of years of over-indulgence in the sweets and starches that are readily available and very cheap in today’s world.

The more difficult cases often develop early in life due to strong genetic precursors for diabetes.

Herbs can help with the secondary symptoms of diabetes, as well as the underlying causes as described pretty well in TCM. However, there is a western/occidental plant that is used for quite dramatic effect both to prevent diabetes and to remedy its development — Jerusalem Artichoke root.

Dietary Changes

Cane sugar products and corn syrup should be entirely avoided in the early stages of getting diabetes under control. Same for all simple sugars, including alcohols, particularly beer. There could be some exceptions to this for those who truly need some type of alcoholic stimulant as a medicine (not as a mere beverage).

Some people may be able to handle small amounts of fruit juice and/or fruit, but just forget about ice cream, sherbet, cake, and pie for at least the first few weeks of gaining insulin and blood sugar stability.

One must also avoid all the processed white powders in favor of real food. Avoid white flour, mashed potato mixes and white potatoes (they may be added back later if used whole with skins), substituting sweet potatoes instead.

The second stage of dietary changes would be to pinpoint your particular problem foods. Sometimes food allergies or intolerances trigger a falling set of dominoes of food/sugar cravings and flare-up of symptoms.

The yeast/fungi connection

One medical doctor has proposed that underneath diabetes is a persistent fungi/yeast problem in the body. Certainly yeast of the Candida albicans type causes sugar cravings that can be very difficult to deny, further worsening whatever blood sugar/energy roller coaster a person may already be on.

Sugars feed yeast. Yeast populations then proliferate, increasing the need for sugars to sustain them.

I recommend the enzyme supplement Candex for all those who are diabetic. Start immediately using the maximum recommended dose always taken on an empty stomach with water at least 20 minutes before any food or beverage. This enzyme complex is designed to stop yeast/fungi in its tracks all through the body. It will end sugar cravings soon enough and allow a person to undertake the necessary dietary changes.

Later a person may be able to drink a certain amount of Kombucha on a regular basis to maintain the balance of internal flora to keep yeasts under control. This won’t be appropriate for everyone, so use caution in this approach. Try Kombucha for a week, day-on-day-off and see what effect you get. If the modest sugar content of this brewed beverage starts to trigger cravings, or if there seems to be a reaction to the fermentation factors, then its probably not helping.

Tonic herbs for diabetes

People will have different needs. There is no “one size fits all” approach. However, the dysfunction and exhaustion of the pancreas and kidneys, imbalanced hormones and blood that is innate to diabetes can benefit enormously from certain tonic herbs, known as Yin Tonics. Aromatic digestive herbs (carminatives) like Mint can also be very helpful.

Long-term recovery from diabetes

Most people with diabetes do not need to be on insulin long-term, or at all. Candex, Jerusalem Artichoke, digestive supplements (like Papaya, Mint), and Tonic herbal therapy (TCM) can assist in total recovery from or control of diabetes.

If a person presents with a very bright red tongue, no cracks or white/yellow coating, then there therapeutic requirements will be quite different from a person whose tongue is paler with a whitish coating.

The first person has fire/inflammation that is burning up body fluids and it must be brought under control before making much progress. Yeast/fungi is not a major factor in their overall condition, but their prognosis short-term is better. Cooling anti-inflammatory herbs would probably dominate the initial approach, but Ginseng would not be included.

The second person will need tonic herb therapy to boost energy, remove stagnation and possible yeast/fungi before appetite and energy can stablize. Warming, circulating, energy-boosting herbs, possibly including Ginseng, would be used to start.


Walking, cycling, swimming are gentle exercises that stimulate circulation and can be very helpful in changing the patterns of stagnation involved in diabetes. Without these, there is not much expectation of a person getting back their strength and vigor.

Start small. Change things up or exercise with a partner to keep variety and interest.


About Kannon McAfee

Poet, herbalist/healer, professional astrologer. Kannon means Kwan Yin -- healer. So I approach my work and others with a healer's heart. I'm dedicated to advancing astrology as a soul-oriented science. My specialty is birth chart interpretation and rectification.
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