Periwinkle tea (catharanthus roseus) is one of the widely used natural remedies for diabetes treatment. The flowering herb, which is also referred to as ‘madagascar periwinkle’, has been used since ancient times as a herbal medicine to treat several internal and external diseases. The first use of periwinkle for diabetes treatment dates back to the 1920s i.e. even before insulin was discovered.
Periwinkle for Diabetes
A study at the Mymensingh Medical College in Bangladesh examined the effects of madagascar periwinkle in diabetic rats and it was found that the herb had a significant hypoglycaemic effect on blood sugar levels in both diabetic and non-diabetic rats. A similar study published in the BMC Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, studied the effects of periwinkle on rabbits and found that it helps reduce blood sugar levels in them.
The aforementioned studies found that periwinkle lowered blood sugar levels in both normal animals and diabetic animals by promoting the secretion of insulin, a hormone responsible for controlling blood-sugar levels. The findings need to be confirmed as there is a fair chance that periwinkle works by improving glucose utilisation by the tissues.
[Read: Ayurvedic Treatment for Diabetes]
Precautions for using Periwinkle for Blood Glucose Control
Researchers from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University raised a question at periwinkle’s toxicity, calling it an unsafe diabetes remedy. Furthermore, they added that the alkaloids responsible for improving blood glucose levels are also highly toxic, which could only worsen the medical condition.
Researchers have assured that the properties of periwinkle may be useful in treating diabetes, but more research is required to certify it safe.
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