5 Medicinal Plants for Diabetes

Besides medication, a healthy diet, and physical activity, certain medicinal plants can do a lot when it comes to controlling diabetes. Here, we'll tell you what they are.
5 Medicinal Plants for Diabetes
Cesar Paul González

Written and verified by the biologist Cesar Paul González.

Last update: 09 October, 2022

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is one of the most unappreciated causes of death. However, if it’s not controlled, diabetes can cause heart disease, kidney failure, gangrene, blindness, and even death. Here, we’ll give you some information you may find quite interesting, along with certain medicinal plants for diabetes.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic illness that develops when the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or when the body doesn’t properly use the insulin it does produce. If this isn’t managed, the blood ends up with too much sugar.

Diabetes is classified as:

  • Type 1: when the pancreas doesn’t synthesize insulin
  • Type 2: when the body is unable to properly use insulin
  • Gestational: during pregnancy, when there is an abnormal increase in blood glucose.


A woman with a headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Hunger
  • Weight loss

Is there a cure for diabetes?

So far, science has not discovered a medication that completely cures diabetes. Currently, it can only be controlled with drugs, diet, and physical activity. The goal of these three strategies is to control blood sugar.

Medicinal plants for diabetes

Nature provides us with certain medicinal plants for diabetes, the objective being to control blood sugar. However, it’s important to check with a doctor to make sure there won’t be any negative interactions with your medications. 

The best medicinal plants for diabetes include:

1. Copalchi

Copalchi, medicinal plants for diabetes

Copalchi comes from Mexico and Colombia. The bark functions as a hypoglucemic and antipyretic, among other things. How does it help fight diabetes?

Well, copalchi bark contains a substance that generates glucose through hydrolysis. It helps improve the secretion of your pancreas and the metabolism of carbohydrates. Therefore, blood sugar levels go down.

It is recommended for type 1 and 2 diabetes, since it helps with appetite and thirst, while also lowering a fever.

Here is a way to prepare it (we should warn you it tastes quite bitter!):


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of copalchi


  • Firstly, add the tablespoon of copalchi to the cup of water.
  • Then place in a cool spot.
  • Let sit overnight.
  • After that, strain and drink on an empty stomach.

2. Gymnema

This plant is mainly found in Asia, and particularly in India, in the southern tropical areas of the country. Gymnema lowers your blood sugar and helps you lose weight. Also, it’s diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying. It’s also used for weight loss and arthritis.

How does it with diabetes? When you consume it, you feel less of a desire to drink sweet things, since it acts much like glucose molecules. In other words, the plant blocks sugar absorption. Therefore, it’s good for both preventing and controlling diabetes.

Here’s how to prepare it:


  • 1 tablespoon of Gymnema leaves
  • 1 cup of water


  • Firstly, pour the water into a pot and wait until it boils.
  • Then add the Gymnema leaves and let cook 10 minutes.
  • After that, remove from the heat and let it cool a bit.
  • Drink one or two cups a day.

3. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaves

Eucalyptus is very well-known for its ability to help with respiratory problems. However, both the fruit and leaves also reduce glucose levels, as well as lowering a fever. They act as an expectorant, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory too. 

Together, all of these properties help get glucose under control.

Now, here’s how to make it:


  • Eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 cup of water


  • Firstly, boil the water.
  • Then add the eucalyptus leaves, previously washed.
  • Let simmer for 10 minutes, and then serve

4. Cinnamon

Even though cinnamon tastes sweet, it’s actually good for people with diabetes. Cinnamon comes from India. Some of its highlights include the fact that it’s good for your digestion, helps get rid of gas, acts as a stimulant, and is an antiseptic. 

How does it help with diabetes? This plant helps stabilize sugar levels, as it stimulates insulin receptors, which naturally lower the glycemic index.

Here’s how it’s prepared:


  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Water


  • Firstly, boil the water.
  • Then add the cinnamon sticks.
  • After that, let it steep for 10 minutes, and then serve.

5. Stevia

Stevia in different forms

The last of our medicinal plants for diabetes is stevia. Stevia is a sweetener originally from Brazil and Paraguay. The leaves lower blood sugar levels in addition to blood pressure. They are also diuretic, antibacterial, and antifungal. Amazingly, despite being up to 50 times sweeter than sugar, it contains no carbohydrates.

How does it fight diabetes, then? It induces beta cells, found in the pancreas, to produce insulin, thus lowering glucose levels. 

You can have it like this:


  • Stevia leaves
  • Water


  • Firstly, boil the water.
  • Then add the stevia leaves.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Then drink one cup a day.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.