Diabetes is a condition in which the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream is chronically higher than normal. Diabetics are two to four times more likely than non-diabetics to die from stroke or heart disease. Diabetes may also lead to blindness, kidney disease, nerve disease, amputation, and impotence. It is responsible for over 180,000 deaths each year.
Diabetes causes rampant damage to the arteries and veins due to an accumulation of glucose in the blood. This accumulation sets an enzyme called PKC into overdrive. In addition to giving signals to the genes and causing cells to grow and divide fast, PKC also starts a chain reaction that reduces the elasticity of the veins and arteries. The consequently hardened arteries are very prone to breaking. Blockage of these arteries results in reduced blood flow to vital organs which could lead to conditions such as gangrene and blindness. Blockage of larger arteries leads to heart disease and stroke.
The complications of diabetes from heart disease and stroke to diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and damage of the nerves, have all been linked in some way to the formation of free radicals. Studies show that omega three and omega six fatty acids neutralize free radicals, and provide the additional nutrition so desperately needed by diabetics. One way of obtaining these required nutrients is to harness the power of nature and nourish the body with medicinal plants.
The Purslane Herb
Purslane, or portulaca as it is also known, is an herbaceous garden weed with fleshy succulent leaves. Purslane is one of the richest sources of fatty acids known in nature. It is also full of nutrients that can help manage diabetes. The main components of Purslane are tocopherals which are known to be strong antioxidants. It also contains vitamins C, A and E and minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, silicon and phosphorus. A regular intake of Purslane in the form of salads should be an integral part in the management of diabetes.
Purslane is also an anti-inflammatory, demulcent, antibiotic, and anti-parasitic. It is regularly used in cosmetology due to its soothing properties. This property of Purslane can also be utilized in the treatment of the skin conditions, such as boils and sores, associated with diabetes
Purslane is also used internally to deal with the symptoms of toxic dysentery, boils, sores, vaginal discharges, and urinary tract infections.
Essential Oils and Diabetes
Although essential oils cannot claim to cure diabetes, they can be used to reduce the side effects of diabetes related ailments such as ulcers, loss of skin integrity, and skin infections. The use of essential oils can reduce inflammation, encourage cell regeneration, and eliminate infection. Some of the common essential oils that may be used are Palma Rosa, Rosemary, Juniper, Lavender, Tea-tree, and Peppermint.
Essential oils can also alleviate the stress of coping with a chronic condition such as diabetes and ease the burden of living with such a debilitating disease. Aromatherapy is a known antidote for relieving stress. Some of the essential oils that can be used for reducing stress are lavender, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Lemon, Bergamot, Neroli and Germanium.