Diabetes

Three systemic reviews of herbal medicines for glycaemic control in diabetes found that Aloe vera can lower blood glucose levels in diabetic patients (Grover et al 2002, Vogler & Ernst 1999, Yeh et al 2003). In one trial aloe juice consisting of 80% gel or placebo was given in a trial of 40 patients who were recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the dose of 1 tablespoon twice daily. From day 14 the blood sugar levels in the aloe group began to fall significantly compared with the control group and Aloe vera 27

continued to steadily drop during the period of study (P < 0.01). Blood triglyceride

levels were also substantially reduced but cholesterol levels remained the same (Yongchalyudha et al 1996). A single blind, placebo-controlled trial found that oral aloe gel was more effective in reducing blood sugar levels when combined with glibenclamide than glibenclamide alone in 72 patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients took 5 mg of glibenclamide twice daily and 1 tablespoon aloe gel. Fasting blood glucose levels dropped appreciably after just 2 weeks' treatment, and were still falling after 42 days (Bunyapraphatsara et al 1996).

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