The cactus plant, Nopal is grown commercially in California and can naturally be found in Southwest America and in Arizona and Mexico. Cactus easily grows and can be found in the Sonoran Desert. It is also regularly exported to India and Europe.
Among the cactus plant varieties, the nopal cactus is known to have medicinal qualities that can lower blood sugar levels of diabetics and can fight cholesterol. Nopal is an important ingredient in many safe and highly effective supplements used to regulate blood sugar levels.
Studies have been conducted to document the ability of the nopal cactus to lower blood sugar levels. The prickly pear cactus and its other composition are edible as a cooked dish, fruit, jam or jelly. Studies have shown that if at least 250mg of nopal is consumed daily, the levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol can be lowered. The triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels of the patient are not affected.
Since one sign of diabetes is the occurrence of high glucose levels, there are some doctors who advise a patient to add the nopal cactus in their diet to lower his or her glucose.
Before trying a natural way to lower your glucose levels, first consult your doctor. Seek proper advice on how to regulate your glucose and confirm if the natural way is advisable. The following is the usual process done:
1. The doctor determines the variety of cactus to be used to lower your glucose level. The nopal cactus is the variety that has documented effective results.
2. Look for sources where you can get a regular supply of food products or food supplements made from nopal cactus. The products you use may include the juice nectar, fruit squares, fruit spreads or in powdered form. Refer to suppliers of all natural goods and the website of the Arizona Cactus Ranch. Search for recipes making use of the nopal cactus as well
3. Plan your meals including the cooked dishes, fruit, product, drink or food supplement using the cactus.
- Try to regularly consume a minimum of 2 servings of the cactus food everyday.
- If you are using the cactus in powdered form, add the powder to a regular juice drink or liquid and take it twice in a day.
- If you opt to take it as a food supplement, take the capsules as recommended per day.
4. Consult your doctor for the best time to take the cactus treatment with your meals. Most suggest that it be taken before eating a meal to aid in controlling the quantity of sugar the body will absorb.
5. Regularly monitor the level of glucose in your body. Keep track of your readings and compare the results.
Doctors in India use the nopal cactus in treating asthma and whooping cough, while in Mexican medicine; the nopal cactus is traditionally used in the treatment of Type-2 Diabetes. In a research conducted in Mexico to determine the effect of giving broiled stems of a nopal cactus to patients with diabetes, but are non-insulin dependent, the results showed a significant drop in the blood sugar levels of the patients.
For some diabetics who have used nopal, it has replaced the use of drugs prescribed to regulate their blood sugar. It has been proven that their blood sugar levels were regulated with no damage to the liver, nor produced any negative side effects. It is strongly suggested that the use of prescription drugs still be continued. Any medication taken should be done under the close supervision of a naturopathic doctor.