Blood Sugar and Basil Tea
Everybody relies on something to boost their energy and get through the day. From energy drinks to coffee, many people will increase their sugar and caffeine intake with reckless abandon. The sugar rush many people take on can actually be harmful though. Glucose, a simple sugar that fuels the body’s cells, is carried through the blood stream by insulin, a substance made by the pancreas. When blood sugar exceeds a normal level the body can overcompensate with insulin production, leading to disorders such as diabetes. Regulating blood sugar is made feasible with the herb basil, which as a tea has properties that can lower the amount of glucose in the blood stream.
Glucose and Diabetes
The name glucose comes from a Greek word meaning “sweet wine.” Glucose provides many organisms with energy and serves as one of the building blocks of carbohydrates. At normal levels, the body uses glucose from the blood stream to provide energy to cells. When the amount of glucose in the body becomes too high, the pancreas overcompensates to create an excess of insulin, which carries glucose through the blood. As the body struggles to keep up with exorbitant amounts of glucose and insulin, many of the body’s organs can actually be damaged trying to return to a balanced state.
Diabetes, a disease characterized by the body’s impaired ability to create or use insulin, can result from excess levels of glucose. Type 2 diabetes is more commonly found than type 1, and can be managed by those who have it through medication, lifestyle choices, and diet modifications. Currently, there is no cure for diabetes, and people who have diabetes must maintain lifestyles that are conducive to managing the disease.
Basil Tea and Lowering Blood Sugar
Herbal remedies often do not have enough scientific evidence behind them to be considered “viable.” In the case of basil tea, animal studies have been conducted and the results have been positive in decreasing the blood sugar of normal and diabetic animals. In human studies, the tea has been shown to decrease the blood glucose of diabetics, though specifically which compound causes this is still yet to be determined. People already on medication for diabetes should consult with a doctor prior to drinking basil tea, as the prescribed medication may already lower blood glucose and create dangerously low levels.