Researchers find a simple
flower fights diabetes
If you are one of the millions with adult diabetes, here's a potential breakthrough for you. An Indian research team investigated the plant Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. People have used it for centuries in traditional medicines. It has laxative and antiparasite effects; it fights colds and circulation problems, and much more. Now we know it fights diabetes.

The team induced diabetes in rats with a drug. This actually destroys pancreatic beta cells, which cause more of a type-1 diabetes. But the effects work for both. Then the researchers divided the animals into five groups: normal controls, control rats eating a petal extract, rats with diabetes (which they used as a second control), diabetic rats that ate the petal extract, and diabetic rats that took Metformin. This is quite the elegant study, comparing untreated animals with both the herb and to a common Pharma preparation.

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The researchers gave the extract to the animals via a tube into their stomachs. This enabled them to ensure the dose. The results showed that hibiscus flower extract had both glucose-controlling properties and antioxidant effects. The hearts of the hibiscus treated rats showed significant protective effects. This might be due to flavonoids/polyphenols in the extract, which we know are protecting natural molecules.

What a delightful report. Hibiscus is dirt cheap on the Internet. I have no experience with it, so I'd suggest following label directions and monitoring yourself. If your blood sugar responds, you can gradually reduce whatever other drug(s) you are taking for blood sugar control (you may want to work with your doctor on this, though most diabetics know how to control their medication). And, it seems you'll be doing your heart a favor at the same time.

REF: Narendran, Reema. “Study proves anti-diabetic properties of hibiscus,” New Indian Express.com, 19th March 2013.

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