Ancient herbal helps with blood sugar

New research out of the University of Dehli shows that a plant called Withania coagulens may help regulate blood sugar.

The study was published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods. Researchers looked at the effects of a water-based extract of the Withania fruit.

Withania coagulens is an ancient Ayurvedic herbal remedy. Withania is in the solinacea family, which is well known worldwide for its potent biological activities. Like many Ayurvedic remedies long known for a particular health benefit, modern research is revealing multiple healing properties for these ancient herbs.

In this most recent study, Withania coagulens was administered to laboratory animals that had been made diabetic by an experimental procedure.1 Several measures of glucose metabolism were assessed, including blood sugar levels following a meal, storage of sugars in tissues, activity of enzymes involved in sugar metabolism, and hemoglobin A1C, or glycosylated hemoglobin, a measure of long-term blood sugar levels.

Results showed that Withania coagulens significantly lowers blood sugar levels probably through its effects on insulin and other enzymes involved in the regulation of blood sugar. This is just one study of a growing body of evidence on the potential benefits of Withania coagulens.

Withania coagulens is in the same plant family as Withania somnifera, or Ashwagandha. Research on Ashwagandha is more extensive, and has also shown potential in helping to promote healthy blood sugar levels, among other health benefits. And while modern research is still building, traditional use of Withania provides evidence of its worth for centuries in the Ayurvedic medical tradition.

1 “The Aqueous Extract of Withania coagulans Fruit Partially Reverses Nicotinamide/Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes Mellitus in Rats,” Journal of Medicinal Food. August 2012, 15(8): 718-725.