Indian Bay leaf also called as tej-patta is widely used in Indian cuisine and is an integral part of “garam masala” spice. How good is it as a spice? Does it have health benefits? Are there any studies about bay leaf for diabetes? Let us find out.
Meghalaya, a state in the Northeast of India, with its pristine lands and hilly terrain, is home to naturally grown bay leaves too. Zizira, based in Meghalaya sources bay leaves directly from the farmers we work with.
Scientifically called Cinnamomum tamala, bay leaf belongs to the Lauraceae family, and is endemic to India. In this article, we will learn from a study on bay leaf for diabetes and see how bay leaf may help in the improvement of insulin function, thus aiding against type 1 diabetes.
The objective of the study was to determine if bay leaf may be important for the prevention and alleviation of Type 1 diabetes.
Bay leaf is a popular spice known for its fragrance, from the laurel tree belonging to the Lauraceae family. Bay leaf is one of the most popular culinary spices used widely in both western and Indian cuisines. Various Indian food, ranging from spicy to sweet dishes, have bay leaf as a common condiment of flavoring.
The whole leaf is generally not consumed directly but is added in curries and simmered for its flavor and removed before the curry is served.
Bay leaf is also used for its herbal and medicinal properties that include antibacterial, antifungal, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Although primarily used for culinary purposes, bay leaf has several benefits. Of which one that stands out is its effectiveness against Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, and is a chronic condition of glucose metabolism that occurs due to the nonfunctional beta cells of the pancreas. In other words, the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. (Source)
If the blood sugar level is not managed, it leads to further complications such as disturbances in lipoprotein serum concentration which causes abnormal lipid metabolism such as hyperlipidemia. This further elevates the chances of suffering from coronary heart diseases and arteriosclerosis.
Uses of herbs and spices as herbal medicines to help with diabetes have been practiced in different cultures of the world. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and turmeric displays insulin-enhancing activity. The use of bay leaf for diabetes is a not uncommon and is said to improve glucose metabolism and the overall condition of individuals with diabetes.
Using bay leaf for diabetics not only has hypoglycemic effects but also improves lipid metabolism and the capillary functions.
Studies have shown that elevated concentration of total or LDL cholesterol in the blood are powerful risk factors for coronary heart disease, whereas high concentration of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or a low LDL to HDL cholesterol ration may protect against coronary heart disease. (Source)
The study was structured to show the impact of bay leaf supplements on lipid and blood glucose level among type-1 diabetes.
Method used: 55 patients suffering from type-1 diabetes were selected and divided into 2 groups. Out of which 45 of them were given capsules containing 3 g of bay leaves every day. These patients were made to consume the capsules for 30 days. The other 10 patients were given the placebo capsules.
Diabetes subjects who were not taking any medicine for other health conditions, whose blood glucose and lipid level were relatively high were included in the study. Patients suffering from type-1 diabetes were allowed to take their routine diet and usual diabetic medicines. Along with it, they were prescribed 2 capsules of bay leaf powder be taken after breakfast, lunch, and dinner continuously for 4 weeks. Each capsule contained 500mg of bay leaf which means the patients consumed 3g of bay leaf every day.
The biochemical analysis was done by collecting the blood samples of the patients who were under this study. This was done to measure the blood glucose level, total cholesterol, LDL and HDL, triglyceride.
All the patients who consumed the bay leaf capsules showed reduced glucose serum with the significant decrease of 27% after 30 days. The total cholesterol that was decreased was 21% after 30 days with large decrease in lipoprotein (LDL) 24%. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) increased 20% and Triglycerides also decreased 26%. However, there were no significant changes in the placebo group.
The two tables given below are results of the effectiveness of bay leaf and placebo capsules, assessed after repeated measurements were taken. (Source) Thus, consumption of bay leaf capsules seems to reduce total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and glucose and increased HDL levels in people with Type-1 diabetes.
The study suggests that consuming bay leaf powder for 4 weeks straight does improve the glucose plasma and lipid profiles in patients suffering from type 1 diabetes. Thus, also decreasing risk from cardiovascular diseases.
We at Zizira believe and work with all things natural, that are healthy and nutrition driven. We present to you bay leaf powder sourced from the traditional farmers of Meghalaya. You can use this bay leaf spice to enjoy a deliciously flavored food as well as benefit from the good health it brings.
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