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25 Natural Remedies For Diabetes

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
25 Natural Remedies For Diabetes

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A few weeks ago I read an email from a reader that made me sad.  In it, she said that given her daughter’s reliance on insulin, she had come to terms with the fact that in a true SHTF scenario, her daughter would die. Those of you that have read William Forstchen’s book, One Second After may recall that the main character’s daughter was a diabetic and died because of a lack of insulin.

I really had no words of wisdom to pass on to this reader.  I am, after all, not a healthcare or medical professional.  On the other hand, I did know that Backdoor Survival featured contributor Joe Alton, a medical doctor, has written extensively about diabetes in a survival situation.  When I reached out to him for advice, he graciously agreed to address this topic in a newly refreshed article just for us.

25 Natural Remedies for Diabetes | Backdoor Survival

If you, or someone you know has diabetes, you will find this article interesting.  Just be aware that there has not been a lot of scientific studies proving that one remedy or another will be beneficial.  Then again, the same applies to essential oils and we all know how well they work!

As you read though this list of natural remedies for diabetes, take special note of Joe’s last paragraph; it might surprise you.

Natural Remedies for Diabetes

One of the most difficult issues that the medic will encounter in a survival setting is that of chronic illness. Of these, diabetes is perhaps the most problematic. In the U.S., more than 29 million cases of diabetes were identified with more than 1 million requiring insulin therapy (type 1 diabetes). Diabetes causes damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, extremities, and more. It is the 7th leading cause of death in the country, and that’s in normal times.

What is diabetes? To understand this, you should know a little about how your body works to process food into energy. When you eat, food is turned into glucose, sometimes referred to as “sugar”. An organ in the body called the pancreas releases a substance called insulin in response. Insulin allows glucose to be used for energy.

In diabetes, this process doesn’t work due to various reasons. The pancreas may not produce enough insulin or certain factors may cause the body to be resistant to its effects (Type 2 diabetes).

We’ve discussed diabetes and survival in detail in a series of five articles some time ago; here’s a link to Part 1: Diabetes in a Collapse Situation.

In today’s article, we’ll explore some of the natural substances that may have a beneficial effect on diabetes. Alternative therapies encompass a variety of disciplines that include everything from diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes to herbal remedies, acupuncture, yoga, hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, and others.

It should be noted that a honest conversation with your medical caregiver is important before embarking on a new course of therapy. It’s also important to realize that it’s much more difficult to control type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes than the much more common type 2 (non-insulin dependent) with either conventional or alternative strategies.

Having said that, there are quite a few natural substances that have been put forth as being helpful in the control of diabetes . Most of these are thought to have effects on type 2 diabetics only. Unfortunately, there is a lack of hard scientific data on many, and variability exists in terms of effect on each individual.

Here are some natural substances, taken alphabetically, that may have a beneficial effect on glucose control:

Aloe Vera
Aloe may lower blood glucose in type 2 diabetics, especially when used in conjunction with some conventional oral drugs.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that helps decrease insulin resistance and the effects of kidney and nerve damage due to diabetes.

The leaf and seed of some types of Basil may help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. The seed may work by providing fiber which slows the elevation of blood sugar levels after meals.

Bilberry contains substances called anthocyanosides which improve blood flow which may prevent vessel damage caused by type 2 diabetes.

Bitter Melon
Bitter melon contains several substances, including some insulin-like compounds, that may lower blood sugars in type 2 diabetics.

Cayenne contains capsaicin, something we’ve talked about before as a form of natural pain relief. Indeed, capsaicin creams may improve pain due to damaged nerves in diabetics.

Gaye’s Note:  See Make an Awesome Cayenne Salve for Pain Relief

Chromium supplements improve sensitivity to insulin in those resistant to it. It’s thought to be helpful in those who are pre-diabetic and in women with pregnancy-related diabetes.

Research suggests that regular intake of cinnamon may help reduce levels of blood glucose by augmenting the action of insulin.

Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) is needed for normal blood sugar metabolism. Type 2 diabetics have been shown to have lower Co-Q10 levels than non-diabetics, suggesting that supplementation may be helpful in control.

Evening Primrose Oil
Studies have shown that 4 grams of evening primrose oil per day improves, over time, the pain associated with diabetic nerve damage.

Fenugreek may improve glucose control in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. It may even lower cholesterol in those with coronary artery disease.

Studies have shown that American Ginseng (there are several kinds) gives some sugar-lowering effects as well as a decrease in A1c levels (Hemoglobin A1C is a blood tests that measures long-term glucose control).

Glucomannan is fiber derived from konjac root (Amorphophallus konjac). It delays stomach emptying, which leads to slower absorption of dietary sugars which results in lower glucose levels after eating.

Gymnema leaves were documented in studies to raise insulin levels in healthy volunteers.

L-carnitine helps you utilize fat to produce energy. When people with diabetes were given L-carnitine, high blood levels of fats decreased, including triglycerides and cholesterol.

Type 2 diabetics often have low magnesium levels. Magnesium supplements are thought to increase insulin production in older people with type 2 diabetes.

Animal studies suggest that mistletoe can stimulate insulin secretion from pancreatic cells, which might decrease glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Onion contains allyl-propyl-disulphide (APDS), and certain flavonoids, such as quercetin (see below). APDS has been shown to prolong the effect of insulin and stimulate insulin production as well, thereby improving glucose control.

The fiber in psyllium may improve blood glucose in some diabetics.

Quercetin can help diabetics by reducing levels of sorbitol—a sugar that accumulates in nerves, kidneys and eyes of type 2 diabetics.

Vanadium is an element that, in preliminary studies, helped improve blood glucose levels in diabetic animals. When humans with type 2 diabetes were given Vanadium, a decrease in insulin resistance was noted.

Vitamin B1, B6, B7, B12
These vitamins are thought to be deficient in diabetics with neuropathy (nerve damage). Supplementation has been associated with improvement in related pain.

Taking Vitamin B7, also called Biotin, for two months dropped fasting glucose levels significantly in some patients.

Vitamin C
Like Quercetin, vitamin C may reduce levels of sorbitol (see above). Also, 500 mg of Vitamin C twice a day decreases loss of protein in the urine in diabetics. High levels of protein in the urine are associated with poor outcomes among those with glucose issues.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is needed to maintain normal blood levels of insulin. The cells that produce insulin in the pancreas have receptors that accept vitamin D, suggesting that supplements might help improve sugar control.

People with type 2 diabetes are often zinc-deficient; adding some through the diet or supplements may correct the deficit.

The above list doesn’t take into account some techniques that aren’t associated with ingesting a substance, such as yoga and acupuncture. These methods are valid options, as is strict attention to diet, exercise, and lifestyle. All these can be incorporated as a component of a holistic approach to diabetes. Again, you can expect the effectiveness of alternative modalities to vary greatly from person to person.

You might be surprised to hear my belief that, in a true survival scenario, the condition of some type 2 diabetics may not worsen and, indeed, might even improve. The restrictions that we’ll see in our diet and the increased physical exertion necessary for activities of daily survival may have a positive effect, at least from a glucose standpoint.

By Joe Alton, MD, of
Co-Author, The Survival Medicine Handbook


Joe and Amy Alton are the authors of the 3 category #1 Bestseller “The Survival Medicine Handbook”.  See their articles in Backwoods Home, Survival Quarterly, and other great magazines. For over 600 articles on medical preparedness in wilderness, disaster, or other austere settings, go to their website at The opinions voiced by Joe Alton, M.D., and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P. are their own and are not meant to take the place of seeking medical help from a qualified healthcare provider.


The Final Word

Diabetes is often referred to as the silent killer because the symptoms can mimic other ailments or simply be ignored.  My recommendation is that you educate yourself relative to those symptoms and of necessary, have your health care provider perform a simple blood sugar test.  If diagnosed, consider incorporating some of these natural remedies into your daily routine and continue to monitor your progress.

As I like to say, knowledge is power, and knowing how to control diabetes with natural remedies  could become a lifesaver down the road.  Thinking out loud, many of the remedies listed above are quite commonplace; it simply makes sense to stockpile a few for the long term.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

Spotlight Item:  THE SURVIVAL MEDICINE HANDBOOK, by Joe and Amy Alton, is a guide for those who want to be medically prepared for any disaster where help is NOT on the way.

It is written from the non-medical professional and assumes that no hospital or doctor is available in the aftermath of a catastrophic event.  It covers skills such as performing a physical exam, transporting the injured patient, and even how to suture a wound. This medical reference belongs in every survival library.

For your convenience, here are the items related to today’s article plus many of the items referenced in Fast Track Tip #10: 8 Uncommon First Aid Items as well as some other useful first-aid items.

One Second After:  For many, the novel “One Second After” was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared. It is a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war based upon an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) used as a weapon.  It could happen.  If you have not read this book, you really should.

New-Skin Liquid Bandage, First Aid Liquid Antiseptic:  I have been using New Skin for years.  It is an antiseptic, invisible, flexible, and waterproof.  It works.

Super Glue  – The Original: This is the original Super Glue brand.  This works a lot like the liquid bandage above in that you apply it to the wound and when it’s dry, it will hold the cut together. Also check out Krazy Glue or Gorilla Brand Super Glue.

First Voice Self-Adherent Stretch Bandage (Pack of 10):  I first learned about self-adhesive bandages when my dog came home from the vet such a bandage wrapped around his leg.  A light went off telling me I needed to add some to my first-aid kit.  And so I did.  This is a fantastic price and rivals the price at the farm supply.

Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.

Israeli Battle Dressing, 6-inch Compression Bandage: This is another inexpensive, yet critical item. Combat medics, trauma doctors, and emergency responders all recommend this Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD) for the treatment of gunshot wounds, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other traumatic hemorrhagic injuries.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor:  This is a fantastic book from fellow blogger, Cat Ellis.  In it you will learn that natural remedies are not voodoo but rather, natures way of healing without the use of toxic chemicals and additives.  Highly recommended.

Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival:  Whether you are miles from help or immersed in an urban disaster situation, every second counts during a medical emergency. This book will help you take quick, effective action to stabilize the situation. One of the best things about this book (other than the information, of course) is it’s size.  It is small enough to keep in your bug-out-bag and also in your first aid kit.

Spark Naturals Essential Oils: I use essential oils from Spark Naturals exclusively.  They are high quality yet reasonably priced.  In addition, there are no membership fees and a distributor relationship is not necessary to get best pricing. Interested in checking them out? Backdoor Survival readers get a 10% discount by using coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout!

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.


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13 Responses to “25 Natural Remedies For Diabetes”

  1. I am 43 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes last summer. I took generally good care of myself with the help of herbal cure and exercised on a regular basis. For at least the year before, I noticed that I had to urinate all the time, waking me up several times a night. In the month or so prior to being diagnosed, I lost 40 pounds and was thirsty all the time. One day I got extremely sick, could not keep anything down, had blurry vision, a rapid heartbeat, and began hyperventilating. My blood glucose level in the ER was in the high 500s and my A1C was 9.7. Since then, I have developed neuropathy, which makes life pretty difficult but I was able to get rid of it totally with the help of total cure herbal treatment . If you have diabetes there is herbal formula that neutralize the disease

  2. With many diabetics in my family of multiple generations, what works for some may not work for others. Add to that it’s not just type one or two, but also gestrational and 1.5 (autoimmune type) I strongly suggest trying different methods BEFORE an event happens. By all means working with your medical team too.

  3. “Cousens, whose Diabetes Recovery Program is the most successful antidiabetes program in the world, presents a three-week plan that focuses on a moderate­-low complex carbohydrate, live food, plant-source-only diet that reverses diabetes to a physiology of health and well-being by resetting the genetic expression of a person’s DNA.”


  4. Acv is not my favorite ….I really have a hard time swollowing burns my throat and I feel like it is going to come back up…suggestions

    • I mix ACV and Lemon juice in a form of Lemonade – that makes it easier to drink. (Juice of 1 lemon, or 1/2 c. + 6 Tbsp Honey + 1/4 c. ACV in 1 Quart of water)

  5. this article suggests that type 1 diabetics may be helped by the natural remedies. That will never be the case. They will never produce insulin and will always be insulin dependent. In addition the article implies that type 2 diabetics are not insulin dependent. Again, not true. I am an insulin dependent type 2 diabetic. When and if the SHTF, I will only have my current month’s supply of insulin as well as any other medicines crucial to my life support. While many type 2 diabetics in varying stages of the disease may respond to some natural remedies, keep in mind that those natural remedies will also be just as unavailable as insulin in a crisis situation.

    • I was diagnosed 6 years ago as a Type 2 and have never taken insulin and don’t plan on it. I eat what I want, with moderation and don’t check my BS on a daily basis. I get my A1C checked every 3 months and it is always between 5.5 and 6. I drink approximately 1oz ACV after every meal, and have plenty stored for after SHTF event.

  6. Another plant one can use is the crepe myrtle for type 2 diabetes. The variety you would want to use is the Lagerstroemia indica, it is used in India, China, Korea, and Japan. These are also found throughout the United States and do very well especially in the south. All one has to do is steep the leaves in hot water then drink. Very useful plant to have around the house if you have Type 2 diabetes like me. I have been using this bush/tree for over 2 years now and have had no ill effects and have not taken any medication for diabetes for over 1 1/2 years. So you might want to look into it just incase or as an alternative.

  7. Although I cannot speak for all of these possible remedies, I do have experience with Type 2 and cinnamon intake. I tried a suggested regime of cinnamon for about 3 months. My blood sugar indeed was staying much more stable and I was able to reduce my prescription intake of Metformin. I was very happy about that. Until I went in for my 3 month check-up with my doctor. We did the usual blood work and he called me the next day to make another appointment ASAP. I went in the following day and he said that he needed to send me to the hospital for more invasive testing. He said he suspected kidney cancer because my kidney function had dropped by about 60% since my last check-up. Scared the crap out of me! We talked a bit and I mentioned the cinnamon thing. He asked me how much I was taking and I told him 4 capsules a day, which was equivalent to about one teaspoon daily. He told me to stop taking it because high daily dosages like that cannot be tolerated by a lot of people, and kidney damage was the result. To wrap this up, I did regain most of my kidney functions, but it took several months. The doctor said I was lucky that I regained as much as I did. So, please be sure to talk to your doctor and monitor your progress if you decide to try any of these natural remedies. I strongly believe in them, but just because they are natural, does not make them without risk.

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