Diabetes – Globally the prevalence of diabetes in adults (18 years and older) is 8.5 %. An estimated 1.5 million deaths are directly linked to diabetes each year in addition to 2.2 million deaths attributable to high blood glucose levels.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high glucose levels in the blood caused by insulin related abnormalities within the body. Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancrease. This hormone facilitates the production of energy from glucose provided by carbohydrates in the food we consume.
TYPES OF DIABETES
Based on the relationship with insulin, diabetes is categorized into two; type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Click to read All You Need To Know About Diabetes
Bitter leaf plant – otherwise known as Vernonia amygdalina is an important component of many local cuisine especially in the tropics where it is used in the preparation of bitter soups, bitter leaf tea, dishes and for medicinal purposes. A recent study published in the journal of food biochemistry exposed the huge potentials of the bitter leaf plant. Click to See The Health Benefits of Bitter Leaf
Bitter Leaf and Diabetes
Among the many health benefits of bitter leaf is its ability to help you control your blood sugar levels and in the process help in the management and prevention of diabetes. A research published in the American journal of Biochemistry and biotechnology reported that bitter leaf tea is very useful in the reduction of blood glucose, as such bitter leaf tea is a very useful plant in the management of diabetes and other blood sugar related conditions.
Another study published by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka on the antidiabetic effect of the various combina-tions (ratios) of metformin (50 mg/kg) and aqueous extracts of the bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) found the use of a combination of the extract from the leaves of bitter leaf and metformin (Glucophage) to be quite efficacious, additive and safe for the management of diabetes mellitus.
Results from the study showed that the combinations of the bitter leaf extract and metformin caused more reduction in glycemia compared to any of the agents acting alone in either of the two categories studied. A similar study conducted by the Department of Medicine, College of Medical Science University of Maiduguri Nigeria reported that a combination of Vernonia amygdalina extract and metformin shows significant decrease in the blood glucose level compared to the diabetic control and group of animals administered with plant extract alone and concluded that combining metformin with the plant extract of bitter leaf produced a more hypoglycemic effect than using metformin or the plant extracts singly.
According to a publication in the Medical Journal of Islamic World Academy of Sciences, bitter leaf does not only reduce the blood sugar to levels comparable with that of chlorpropamide which is a standard drug used in the management of diabetes, it also helps to repair the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ located behind the lower part of the stomach, in front of the spine and plays an important part in diabetes. It is the organ that produces insulin, one of the main hormones that helps to regulate blood sugar levels in the body, keeping the blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).
However, Sarah Abagia, head, Dietetics Department at the National Hospital, Abuja, said: “It is not that bitter leaf can cure diabetes, but it has some sugar controlling influence to a certain degree. Bitter leaf is able to influence some drop in the sugar level. But it is not suppose to be regarded as an entire medication for diabetes.
How To Make Bitter Leaf Juice For Diabetes
-.Get a handful of fresh bitter leaf and wash them properly checking beneath the leaf for insect eggs and other contaminants.
– Place the washed leaves in a blender, pour the desired amount of water and blend to desired texture.
– Using a fine sieve drain the juice into a cup or jug and your medicinal bitter leaf juice is ready. It is also safe to drink the blend as a smoothie. There are several other health benefits of consuming bitter leaf juice.
How to Make Bitter Leaf Tea for Diabetes
The following instructions will help you to make a good cup of bitter leaf tea. Also included are suggestions for the amount of tea leaves, time of infusion, water temperature, and materials used in making bitter leaf tea . There are Two types of bitter leaf tea namely
– Black Bitter leaf tea
– Green Bitter leaf tea
Black Bitter leaf tea- Black bitter leaf tea is made from dried bitter leaves. Sun drying is the best method for drying bitter leaf in order to preserve the active compounds in the leaf. Bitter leaves can also be dried using an oven.
Green Bitter tea – Green bitter leaf tea is made from fresh bitter leaves. Green bitter leaf tea is among the healthiest beverage on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. These include improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other impressive benefit of bitter leaf.
Step 1 : Get the leaves and wash them if they are fresh and in case you prefer black bitter leaf tea wash the leaf before drying.
Black Bitter Leaf Tea
Light Flavor: 1.5 Teaspoons, or about 3-4 grams of tea per 10-12 ounces or 30 CL of water.
Strong Flavor: 2 Teaspoons, or 5 grams of tea per 10-12 ounces or 30 CL of water.
Green Bitter Leaf Tea
Light Flavor: 1.5 Teaspoons, or about 3-4 grams of tea per 8 ounces or 24 CL of water.
Strong Flavor: 2 Teaspoons, or 5 grams of tea per 8 ounce or 24 CL of water.
Step 2: If you are making black bitter leaf tea, it’s okay to use boiling or almost boiling water to brew. If the tea leaf is lighter (colorful or green), boil water but let it sit about 5 minutes before pouring over your tea. Once you know the temp of your water, steep loose tea leaves for 1 to 2 minutes to see if you like the tea. You can also boil the leaf and the water in a kettle to obtain a more concentrated extract .
According to a study conducted by Baylor University Medical Center Texas, If the tea leaves are left in the hot water too long, they start releasing tannins, which impart a bitter taste to the tea. Interestingly, steeping green or black tea for a longer period of time, such as 15 minutes, gives a bitter drink that can be used as a home remedy for diarrhea. Read How Bitter leaf Affect Pregnancy
How Many Cups of Bitter Leaf Tea Should I Drink?
Bitter leaf tea is packed full of health-promoting compounds. Regularly drinking bitter tea can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Drinking three to five cups of bitter leaf tea per day seems to be optimal to reap the most health benefits. Very high doses may be problematic for some, but generally, green tea’s benefits far outweigh its risks.