Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Burkemper

Q: I am a bit overweight and practically live off of carbohydrates and sugar.  I know I need to change my eating habits because I am worried about becoming diabetic (it runs in my family).  Can you recommend any supplements that may help me?

A: You are indeed a candidate for diabetes, especially pre-diabetes.  If you try to lose the extra weight through diet and exercise, you will most likely manage your blood sugar levels.  There are, however, some supplement suggestions that will also help you.

Alpha lipoic acid improves glucose uptake.  It will also help regenerate the body’s own antioxidants (Vitamins C & E).  B-complex (specifically B6, B12 and folic acid) help lower homocysteine, which is linked to diabetes.  Bitter melon, cinnamon and gymnema all help to lower blood sugar.  Fenugreek reduces blood sugar, improves glucose tolerance and also lowers LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides.  CoQ10 and fish oil will help lessen insulin resistance.  Chromium is an important mineral that will help insulin transport glucose to the cells and balance blood sugars.

So, you have quite a few options to help manage your blood sugar.  You can find many of these in a combination form that are quite effective.  Remember, diet and exercise are critical to your success.


Q: What is Ashwagandha?

A: Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is an adaptogen herb.  This means that it helps your body adapt to certain situations, whether it be physical effort or stress.  It supports the adrenal glands as well as helping to maintain muscles and bones.

This herb information is for health education purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners.  Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins?  Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist.  Write to:  Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO  63011.