Essential Oils For Diabetes
Essential oils have a huge number of benefits for the mind and body and can be used in a vast range of different ways. They can be applied topically to help treat skin conditions, blisters, acne and sun burn. Likewise, they can also be consumed directly to alter the mood, inhaled to combat congestion and much more. In fact, you could call essential oils a ‘panacea’, meaning that they’re one solution that seems to help a vast range of different problems and issues.
But this is where things get a little interesting. Because if you’re at all cynically minded, then that last paragraph should have set off alarm bells. When one solution offers to treat a million different things, you need to question who stands to make money from it!
But the thing about essential oils is that they aren’t one solution. Essential oils represent a vast range of oils from a wide variety of plants that can provide benefits through aromatherapy, massage, diet and much more. This is not a single solution but a category of solutions and thus it makes sense that it can answer a category of problems. Just like food can cure a wide range of problems.
Perhaps one of the boldest claims when looking at essential oils though is that they can treat diabetes. What’s the real scoop behind this?
Essential Oils for Diabetes: What to Expect
Firstly, it’s important to note that essential oils cannot cure diabetes. There is no such thing as a cure for diabetes and thus all treatment must revolve around managing the condition and helping to make it more liveable.
What’s more is that essential oils are not going to replace insulin shots or other medications used to manage diabetes. You should not try to manage diabetes on your own and should certainly consult with your doctor.It’s no coincidence that I compared essential oils to foods earlier. That is to help present some context and to give you an idea of how this might work. Just as certain foods and diet changes can help manage the condition, so too can using certain essential oils be beneficial.
What Causes Diabetes and How Essential Oils Might Help
To understand the role of essential oils in diabetes, it will first be useful to address what diabetes is and how it works.
Essentially, diabetes means that you either don’t produce enough insulin (type 1, present from birth) or you become resistant to it (type 2, developed later in life). Insulin is a hormone that tells the body to absorb sugar from the blood stream. When blood sugar levels are high, the body releases insulin and that causes that sugar to be absorbed and used. This gives us energy and any left-over glucose gets stored as fat.
So if you can’t produce or use insulin, then you can’t make use of the energy form your diet and you will likely feel tired and lethargic as a result.
Likewise, this also leads to an abundance of sugar in the blood which can eventually start to cause damage to the nerves, the organs and more, leading to many of the other side effects associated with diabetes.
Thus, insulin injections are used in order to add extra insulin and to reduce the blood sugar. What’s also important is to monitor blood sugar levels so you can decide if you need more or less. It is absolutely essential that you see a doctor who can help you with this, otherwise you will be putting your life at risk. Understand then that essential oils are really not a substitute for this treatment.
But what they are is a suitable tool that you can use along with your diet to manually manage your blood sugar and to prevent it from becoming too high. The most obvious way to accomplish this through diet is simply to consume less sugar. At the same time, you can also aim to keep your sugar levels moderate by thinking about the absorption rate of different types of carbohydrates.
Essential oils for diabetes might have similar benefits because they have been shown to be effective at stimulating and altering levels of hormones (insulin being a hormone), of improving cellular energy metabolism and of slowing the rate of absorption among other things.
Best Essential Oils for Diabetes
So which essential oils can do this specifically and how should you use them?
This use for essential oils is relatively recent and is based on research that has shown certain oils to be effective at modulating the levels of various blood markers.
For example, coriander oil was shown in one study to help both directly enhance the secretion of insulin from the pancreas at the same time as providing improved energy metabolism in the cells. This is a popular essential oil that is traditionally used to treat digestive problems, flatulence and diarrhoea.
In one 2008 study, coriander seed oil was demonstrated to help improve the lipid profile of rats and to help improve their levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. They also saw a slight increase in HDL cholesterol. These are all positive effects that could positively influence diabetes symptoms in patients.
Cinnamon bark oil is an antimicrobial essential oil that is often used for rheumatism, blood pressure and stress. This one has been shown in studies to once again reduce glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. This was found in a study that tested the effects of this oil on patients suffering with type 2 diabetes. This is an important distinction as animal studies do not always translate to successful human use. It’s not actually known precisely how this might work but it appears to once again have something to do with heightened sensitivity to insulin.
With these recent positive results, it’s likely that we will see more research looking at the potential benefits of essential oils.
Note however that these results all point to potential positive benefits for type 2 diabetes. As these substances work by increases insulin sensitivity, it is unlikely they would be as effective for use in type 1 diabetes.
How to Use Essential Oils for Diabetes
So how might you use these essential oils yourself to treat diabetes? Well actually, it’s not possible to fully recommend essential oils for that purpose just yet. These are very early studies and it’s too soon to draw any major conclusions based on these alone.
But with that said, it’s also true that essential oils can’t hurt your plight against the condition. Keep in mind that almost all essential oils have numerous benefits for your overall health and so it’s no bad thing to add them to your diet and routine!
So in other words, add these to your diet in order to benefit from any additional benefits but don’t expect them to necessarily make a huge difference. View them as one part of a much larger strategy to help keep blood sugar levels at bay and insulin levels high. Your insulin shots and regular measurements are going to be your number one defence and it’s important to get regularly check-ups with your doctor. On top of that though, you can also make sure that you are sticking to a healthy diet, getting lots of exercise and avoiding sugar snacks. Fiber and water are things to look for in your diet, while simple carbohydrates like white bread should be avoided where possible. Fats and complex carbs are a useful way to provide a steady supply of energy.
And on top of this you can also try adding essential oils to your routine. Mix 2-4 drops of your chosen oil (or both) as instructed on the packaging with a little warm water. You can add honey as well to taste if you like. This should then help you to keep your blood sugar in check and give you just a little more of a fighting chance at keeping your blood sugar steady.
There are many more additional things that might provide similar benefits if you have diabetes. These include all manner of herbs, spices and nutritional supplements. Again, you shouldn’t expect them to make a huge or profound difference but it all adds up and if you combine it with the right lifestyle and following doctors’ orders, you can ensure you are taking the very best care of yourself in difficult circumstances.
Meanwhile, watch this space to see what else is revealed about the benefits of essential oils!