Peppermint and Diabetes
Peppermint is a particular herb found more often than not in the continents of Europe and Asia. Peppermint, whose scientific name is Mentha piperita, is commonly used in foods, chewing gum and toothpaste because of its herbal qualities. Peppermint has been known to aid in indigestion, skin problems and nerve issues. Diabetics have been noted for benefiting from the herb. Peppermint is available in many different forms such as capsules, oils, ointments, teas and tinctures. There are two main forms of diabetes: type 1, which happens when the body does not produce enough insulin, is necessary for food to be absorbed appropriately into the body and type 2, which is when the blood cells become resistant to the insulin the body is creating. Type 2 diabetes is more conspicuous, while type 1 diabetes is diagnosed typically during the early stages of life.
In diabetes, sugars are not digested effectively therefore, peppermint is and has been a prominent recommendation. Diabetics have trouble digesting fats, as well, which leads to indigestion and stomach pain. Peppermint has been known to improve the movement of bile from the liver, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Peppermint has also shown great promise in alleviating bloating. Diabetics often have a gut motility known as gastroparesis. Due to this condition, food remains in the stomach longer than it should and bacteria can begin to grow due to the fermentation of the food. Peppermint helps alleviate many of the digestive tract muscle issues that are associated with bloating. This allows for unwarranted gas relief.
Peppermint has been frequently tested in many different laboratories to understand the foundation it has in terms of benefits for a diabetic. In many tests, peppermint has been shown to reduce glucose levels in diabetics. Many of these tests, however, were performed by clinical labs at universities such as the University of Maryland Medical Center. In a 2011 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers studied the effects of peppermint on diabetic rats and found that the herbal remedy lowered sugar levels tremendously. This is why peppermint has become a more dominant cure that may alleviate symptoms associated with diabetes and even prevent the disease from developing in the body. Because of this factor, the true effects of peppermint and its association to lowering blood sugar levels is not as well-known. Peppermint has also been noted to have an effect on diabetics who have diabetic neuropathy, which is a nerve ailment that exhibits symptoms such as burning pain and tingling. Naturopaths and physicians alike have often endorsed peppermint based creams and ointments to help manage the pain. These creams and ointments provide a cooling feeling because of the menthol ingredient, which is a form of peppermint.
It is imperative to consider the side effects of peppermint. As with all herbs, there may be potential allergic reactions to it. Peppermint is also not suggested to alleviate certain conditions such as gallstones and ulcers. It is also possible that peppermint may interact with diabetic medications, so it is essential that the diabetic who is considering taking or using peppermint, consult with a medical professional first.