Common treatments for diabetes include medication to help control blood sugar levels and lifestyle approaches like diet and exercise. But some people choose to try a different kind of treatment called homeopathy in their diabetes care plan. Here’s what you need to know about it.
What Is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a medical system started in Germany. It aims to treat the whole person instead of just the disease or symptom.
This system of medicine is based on two main beliefs. The first is that “like cures like.” This is the idea that you can treat a disease with a natural substance that causes symptoms of that disease when a healthy person takes it. The second is the “law of minimum dose.” Homeopathic remedies are watered down (diluted) to give you the lowest dose possible. Sometimes the treatment is so diluted that there may be no trace of the original substance.
Homeopathic practitioners describe their medicines as all natural. The ingredients come from plants, minerals, or animals. They remedies are available as ointments, creams, drops, tablets, and sugar pellets. There are no one-size-fits-all guidelines; each individual gets a unique treatment plan. A homeopathic practitioner may give different remedies and dilutions to different people with the same condition.
What Are Some Common Homeopathic Remedies for Diabetes?
Homeopathic practitioners use several remedies for diabetes-related symptoms, among them:
- Blood sugar levels. Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) is a plant that may lower sugar levels in the blood and urine in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Numbness. Conium, or hemlock, is also a plant-based remedy. It might help with numbness in the feet or hands from nerve damage due to diabetes or diabetic neuropathy. Plumbum may also ease these symptoms.
- Kidney function. Uranium nitricum and phosphoric acid are a common homeopathic remedy for people who problems with having to pee too much due to diabetes (polydipsia). Honeybee (Apis mellifica) may help improve urine flow and help your body release extra fluid from the tissues.
- Infections. Calendula or marigold can be used as a lotion to treat infected skin ulcers. Candida may help with yeast infections. But for serious conditions like infected ulcers due to neuropathy, it’s important to see your doctor. You may need antibiotics to prevent serious infection.
Does Homeopathy Work for Diabetes?
Most homeopathic remedies for diabetes have only been tested in animals and not in human clinical trials. For example, black plum (Syzygium jambolanum) is a common homeopathic remedy for diabetes. Studies show that this treatment may help control blood sugar in animals like rats and rabbits. But in studies with people with type 2 diabetes, there was no effect.
There’s no homeopathic substitute for insulin, but some research does show that homeopathic remedies may help control blood sugar when you use them along with regular treatment for diabetes. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes got individualized homeopathic treatments in addition to their normal medication. After 1 year, their blood glucose control and A1c levels improved.
We need more research in large studies in humans to be able to say whether homeopathic remedies can help control diabetes or not. Right now, there isn’t proof that they’re effective for any health condition.
Are Homeopathic Remedies Safe for Diabetes?
There also isn’t a lot of research on whether homeopathic remedies are safe. The FDA doesn’t test them to see if they are safe or effective.
These medicines may also have other active ingredients that cause side effects. They can also interact with other medication you may take. And some liquid homeopathic products may contain alcohol.
Homeopathic remedies should not replace your doctor’s treatment plan for your diabetes. If you’re curious about a homeopathic product, talk to your doctor before you try it.