The Potential of Essential Oils in the Management of Diabetes

lemon balm essential oil

Story at-a-glance -

  • According to a study published in the Journal of Oleo Science, clove bud oil was found to help inhibit key enzymes produced in the pancreas connected to Type 2 diabetes
  • Research has discovered that black seed oil may help diabetics by modulating hyperglycemia and lipid profile dysfunction, as well as introducing positive effects on insulin secretion, glucose absorption, gluconeogenesis and gene expression

Although typically used to help treat common ailments, there is growing research regarding  the application of essential oils in the treatment of diabetes. Studies have been performed regarding their potential to help manage the symptoms and reduce blood sugar levels to a healthy range.

These Essential Oils May Help With Diabetes and Offer Other Positive Effects

Coriander — Coriander, the seed of the cilantro plant, is known for its antifungal and antioxidant properties.1 In a study published in the Journal of Food Science, diabetic rats who were fed with coriander extract exhibited lower LDL cholesterol, triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

Furthermore, it helped increase antioxidant activity in the subjects' systems.2

Lemon Balm — Lemon balm belongs to the mint family, and its essential oil is typically used for digestive problems such as bloating, flatulence and upset stomach.3 In one study, sugar was directly consumed by lemon balm extracts after exposure in an in vitro setting.

Note, however, that the study did not use humans as test subject, but the results suggest the possibility that lemon balm oil may help diabetics when applied to the skin or added to a diffuser.4

Clove BudClove bud oil comes from the flower of the clove tree, and is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities.5

According to a study published in the Journal of Oleo Science, clove bud oil was found to help inhibit key enzymes produced in the pancreas connected to Type 2 diabetes. Based on this discovery, clove bud oil may help curb inflammation-related complications associated with diabetes.6

Black Seed — Black seed oil comes from the cumin (Nigella Sativa) plant, and studies have found that it may help with various conditions such as asthma,7 eczema8 and digestive bloating.9

Research has discovered that black seed oil may help diabetics by modulating hyperglycemia and lipid profile dysfunction, as well as introducing positive effects on insulin secretion, glucose absorption, gluconeogenesis and gene expression.10

CinnamonCinnamon is known for its potential ability to help boost brain function, improve blood circulation, speed up healing and ease infections.11 According to a study published in Diabetes Care, diabetics who regularly took cinnamon for 40 days were able to drop their blood glucose levels between 18 to 29 percent.12

LavenderLavender oil is extracted from the lavender flower via a process known as steam distillation and it is known to help promote sleep, maintain a healthy nervous system and even improve blood circulation.13

Lavender oil may have potential benefits for diabetics as well. Researchers discovered that it helped protect against oxidative stress and control hyperglycemia in diabetic rats.14

How You Can Maximize Your Essential Oils Effectively

Essential oils can be utilized in three main ways depending on the product that you currently have:15

Inhalation or Diffusion — The scent is inhaled using a diffuser or vaporizer to experience its benefits. Depending on the oil you have, it may induce relaxation or make you more awake and aware.

You can also spread the aroma throughout your household. Add a few drops into your laundry or mix it with water in a spray bottle when cleaning surfaces.

Topical Application — Certain essential oils are better used topically because they can easily penetrate the skin. They can be rubbed on the neck, forehead or chest, or used as a massage oil.

In addition, you may add a few drops in a warm bath. Be sure to keep essential oils away from your eyes and any open wounds to prevent irritation, and always dilute in a safe carrier oil prior to use.

Ingested or Added to Foods — Some essential oils are safe for consumption. If you choose this approach, be sure to read the product label first and confirm they are food-grade because the wrong oil can cause digestive problems and other toxic reactions.

Lastly, remember to use these oils in moderation, because they can be very potent compared to their plant counterparts.

Before Trying Any Essential Oil, Consult With Your Doctor

Essential oils contain plant compounds that may have an allergic effect on your body when inhaled, ingested  or applied topically. It is recommended that you visit your doctor first before purchasing any to check for potential allergies and other side effects you might experience.

Also, keep an eye on your diabetes symptoms while using essential oils. If they become worse or other side effects appear, stop using the oil immediately and contact your doctor.

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