The Sweet Herb For Hypertension
Can Stevia help lower high blood pressure? Can it help regulate blood sugar? Can it stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin?
Sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, sweet herb, as it`s known by its other names, has been around and used for centuries but in this last century has been labelled as being toxic. Well up until the Coca-Cola and Cargill companies began using it!
Now substance is being promoted as the best zero calorie, natural sweetener ever known. That in itself should help many with high blood pressure that is caused through diabetes, weight gain, and high blood acidity.
What direct benefits as mentioned at the beginning of this article are gained through using this herb, and is there any scientific data to support the claims?
Effects on Hypertension
It has been proven that large amounts of stevia taken in capsule form significantly reduced hypertension. Reports are that it`s the herb`s vaso-dilating effects that cause blood pressure to lower. In the year 2000 a placebo-controlled study was conducted with 106 Chinese volunteers who had hypertension. Capsules containing 250 mg of stevioside were given to 60 of these male and female volunteers 3 times a day with monthly follow-up intervals for a year, but the other 60 were given placebo capsules instead.
What were the results? Those 60 who took stevia had significant drops in systolic and diastolic pressure which persisted for over a year.
I have mentioned only human studies, although there are numerous animal studies, because I disapprove of animal testing.
When cell gateways stop responding to insulin that helps them receive glucose, your body will produce more to try and “force” the glucose into the cells.
Stevia has been proven to help improve the cell`s sensitivity to insulin helping them to respond again.
Many inquiring people ask if this is not a bad thing, because who want`s more insulin. They ask, “Is a response to insulin going to cause more problems?” Not if you are controlling your high glycemic food intake. You need a measure of glucose, and glucose needs insulin to help it get into cells. If you have been consuming too much high glycemic foods, too much glucose too often in the blood will result, causing the pancreas to produce more insulin that ultimately desensitized the cell gateways that let glucose in, and also burns out the beta cells in the pancreas. The herb has been shown to help sensitize the cell gateways again, and stimulate insulin production. When these metabolic processes are being supported, then blood sugar has a chance to stabilized and to calm down the system.
In 2004 a study was carried out on 12 patient volunteers who were suffering from type 11 diabetes. Jeppesen PB et al studied stevioside and its anti-hyperglycaemic properties in these patients, and the results demonstrated that stevia was successful in the reduction of postprandial blood glucose levels.
For the results of a study about glucose tolerance in normal adult humans. Go to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed and paste this phrase (Effect of Stevia rebaudiana on glucose tolerance in normal adult humans) into the search box without the brackets.
There are volumes of scientific studies conducted to test therapeutic abilities of our sweet, leafy herb. That in itself gives credibility to this versatile substance. I have the raw, dried herb in powder form, and I intend to continue to use it to help keep my glucose levels in check while I keep to a balanced, healthy diet.
I will keep you informed of any new developments in the field of science. In the mean time, you can try it out for yourself. The FDA have approved it!