Help... need your advice...

beth1(LA - Zone 8)June 15, 2007


I know that there are a lot of knowledgable herbalists here on this site and I'd like to ask your advice.

I recently found out that my blood sugar level was 239. I started watching my diet and walking 3 to 4 miles per day and drinking lots of water. After a month, I went back to my doctor and found that my blood sugar had dropped 72 points down to 167. Still not where it needs to be. My doctor is giving me two more months to get it down. A friend of mine suggested a liver cleanse (I've never done this before). Any advice that you can give me on liver cleansing and herbs to help further lower my blood sugar would be greatly appreciated.



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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Your fasting blood sugar should be under 100.

Your best bet is to watch your diet and exercise. These are proven successful in lowering blood sugar. If overweight, losing weight also helps.

Be cautious with 'cleanses'; most are laxatives or diuretics and can cause more problems then they help.

See link below for more tips.

Here is a link that might be useful: Prediabetes

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 11:12PM
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Congratulations on making those lifestyle changes to get healthier.

The best thing you can do for your liver is to avoid drugs (herbal and pharmaceutical) unless absolutely necessary, and to limit drinking.

"Cleanses" sound like an appealing idea but do not improve organ function; they may be hazardous in some instances.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 9:03AM
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I am not sure how a liver cleanse will help your blood sugar, but here is how it goes:
1.6 days before you do the cleanse, start drinking unfiltered apple juice. Knutson's organic is good. I usually do about 1/2 to 1 quart a day. The malic acid in the apple juice softens kidney,gallbladder, and liver stones.
2.On day 6, eat a breakfast and lunch with no fat. Stop eating anything at 2:00 PM. Make a solution of 4 tablespoons Epsoms salts in 4 cups of water.
3.Drink 3/4 cup of the solution at 6:00 PM.
4.Drink another 3/4 cup at 8:00 PM.
5.Shortly before 10:00PM, juice 1 large grapefruit and add 1/2 cup olive oil. At 10:00 PM, drink as much of it as you can at once.
6.GO LIE DOWN NOW. Try to sleep or at least stay still for 1/2 hour. This and the timing of it is important.
7.Drink 3/4 cup of the solution after 6:00 AM the next day. do not eat or drink the solution before then.
You will notice, in your stool,drab green floating "rocks". These are the liver and gall stones you have in your body. Don't be alarmed if you have a hundred or more. If you get nothing, the next time start drinking 3/4 cup of the Epsoms salt mixture at 2:00 PM.
The stones should be small; worry if you a bunch bigger than your thumbnail. Do not worry if the olive oil mixture makes you nauseated. Some people even throw it up. Don't try to make more mixture to take if you do. It will probably still work.
Afterwards, the herb most used is silymarin(milk thistle).
Follow the directions on the bottle. Use until the bottle is gone.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 8:37PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Please do not use cacye's suggested cleanse. Epsom salts is a laxative.

Liver stones (if they exist) and gall stones will not be passed in stool. The green floating bits will be excessive fat in the stool, as the only food consumed in the final 12 hours of the "cleanse" is olive oil.

Here is a link that might be useful: Epsom Salts

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 10:51PM
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beth1(LA - Zone 8)

Thanks everyone. I'm still researching to find the safest method of cleansing.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 12:56PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Beth, "liver cleansing" is not necessary and I don't see how it could help lower your blood sugar. Any liver cleanse I have ever seen is simply a laxative. If you want to increase the size and frequency of your bowel movements, eat more fiber including lots of fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables is a good idea anyway.

You have done a remarkable job in lowering your blood sugar through the safe, effective and healthy way of modifying diet and increasing exercise. Your doctor obviously has confidence in you as you have been given another two months to bring it down naturally without medication. If you lower your blood sugar another 72 points (your actual first month result), you will have normal blood sugar.

Keep up the exercise and diet, don't do any "cleansing".

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 1:31PM
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As I was reading in another forum, why do we think that our insides are bad? We eat and excrete, it's natural. I never understood this thing about cleansing. If you don't eat many chemicals, a cleanse is useless anyway. Heavy exercise sure cleanses you too, without doing strange things to your body. I get a box of vegetables a week from a Community Supported Agriculture Farm... I eat TONS of vegetables, as my compost pile shows. I eat almost no meat... I think my system is clean and running well. I am taking a medicine that causes high cholesterol, but because of my exercise program,and diet, it seems to be fine. I always thought that cleanses are based on some idea that feces is bad....

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 8:21PM
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Liver stones are passed this way in your stool. I have seen them every time I did this cleanse. They are dull army green and they float. Please don't tell people a thing if you don't know if it true or not without qualifying it as your opinion. By the way, if you do this, do it on a weekend or some time when you have time to make several bathroom trips. Do not do this cleanse more than once every two months if you have a lot of stones. Generally it is done once a year. Yes, epsom salts is a laxative. So? Use it once is not going to mess you up. It is the using of laxatives often that does so. Get your colon checked by a doctor and they will use Fleet's on you. So are you saying you should't get a colon cancer screening? Please try to use a sense of proportion.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 1:33PM
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I am not a believer in internal cleansing - it's so unnatural and harsh on the body, and the body is really self-cleansing.

Why not try a liver tonic instead, such as Milk Thistle? (I'm allergic to it, but that's rare.) Maybe use Stevia as a sweetener, too.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 6:23PM
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cayce: "Liver stones are passed this way in your stool. I have seen them every time I did this cleanse. They are dull army green and they float."

These are not liver stones, but are derived from the fatty material taken in the "liver cleanse" (the fact that they float is a clue to their real origin). A letter published a few years ago in the British medical journal The Lancet describes a similar case:

"A 40-year-old woman was referred to the outpatient clinic with a 3-month history of recurrent severe right (upper abdominal) pain after fatty food. Abdominal ultrasound showed multiple 1Â2 mm gallstones in the gallbladder.

She had recently followed a "liver cleansing" regime on the advice of a herbalist. This regime consisted of free intake of apple and vegetable juice until 1800 h, but no food, followed by the consumption of 600 mL of olive oil and 300 mL of lemon juice over several hours. This activity resulted in the painless passage of multiple semisolid green "stones" per rectum in the early hours of the next morning. She collected them, stored them in the freezer, and presented them in the clinic...

Microscopic examination of our patient's stones revealed that they lacked any crystalline structure, melted to an oily green liquid after 10 min at 40°C, and contained no cholesterol, bilirubin, or calcium by established wet chemical methods. (Lab analysis) indicated that the stones contained fatty acids...Experimentation revealed that mixing equal volumes of oleic acid (the major component of olive oil) and lemon juice produced several semi solid white balls after the addition of a small volume of a potassium hydroxide solution. On air drying at room temperature, these balls became quite solid and hard.

We conclude, therefore, that these green "stones" resulted from the action of gastric lipases on the simple and mixed triacylglycerols that make up olive oil...A search of the internet reveals many health websites promoting so-called "gall-bladder flushing" or "liver cleansing" regimes. We have shown that these flushing regimes for expelling gallstones are a myth, and that the claims made by some are misleading."

There are additional examples of people who do "cleanses" and pass material in their stool that they think is something undesirable in the body, when it's actually a component of the stuff they took in the "cleanse" (another example is so-called "mucoid plaque" after colon "cleanses").

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 12:26AM
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If your blood sugar is already elevated the last thing you want to do is drink lots and lots of apple juice. It will elevate your BS even more.
Keep up the weight loss, healthy diet and exercise program.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 1:18AM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Another reason not to do the liver cleanse:

The 1/2 cup olive oil you are supposed to take contains about 1100 calories and 125 grams of fat -- that's almost a full day's worth of calories and about 3 days worth of fat!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 11:07PM
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beth1(LA - Zone 8)

Hi All,

Just wanted to give an update on how I'm doing with my blood sugar. I still have a month to go before I go back for my next Dr.'s visit but have already lowered my blood sugar from 239 to 131 in 2 months... that's 108 points already! I'm still walking every day, being very careful about what I eat and trying my darnest to loose more weight. I'm taking several supplements daily including cinnamon, chromium, garlic, magnesium, a multi vitamin, fiber, and a few other supplements that I can't recall at the moment. I'm going to look today to see if I can find Fenugreek and add it to what I'm already taking. I'm also going to try taking a tablespoon of aloe vera daily (I grow it) and seeing what the results are.

I decided not to do the liver cleanse since it was unfamiliar territory for me.

So, please keep me in your prayers as I don't want to be put on medication if I can help it. God put all these herbs here for a reason and I'm believing that He's helping me to be a healthier person because of all of this.

Thanks for all of your posts and I'll update you again soon.

God bless,

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 12:40PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Great news Beth.

Don't think that supplements are the answser -- it is YOU who are exercising and watching your diet who has achieved this remarkable drop in blood sugar. Supplements can have negative effects and can interact with each other.

Try diet and exercise without supplements and see what happens -- I'll bet your results are the same and then you will truly know that YOU, yourself are in control of your health.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 1:22PM
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By the way, I just ran across a link showing photos of the "stones" passed after liver cleanse/flushes along with the explanation of what they really are.

There's some other good information in the article (I'll have to check on the claim that certain dietary changes can dissolve most gallstones - news to me).

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 1:59PM
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"So, if the stones were created by mixing the ingredients together, then wouldn't I see the same amount of stones both times?"

I don't see why the exact same number of "stones" would be passed, as digestion doesn't always work in an identical way each time one does a "cleanse".

If the "stones" float and are soft, it's a good indication that they're not gallstones at all.

While drinking olive oil may stimulate bile production and help symptoms in some people, it may also cause gallbladder contractions and worse symptoms in others, as well as adding excessive fat and calories to the diet.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 1:30PM
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There is NO such thing as liver stones, and gallstones generally don't pass in such a way that you could tell either - if you COULD tell, you'd be in Emerg. screaming! Only what MD's call 'sand' is passed on occasion, and even that generally lets you know loud and clear what's going on. There is NO need for any cleansing of any internal organs at any time, or if in fact there really is such a need, it probably isn't cleansing that's called for, but a proper diagnosis of whatever is bothering you. Our digestive and plumbing systems are designed to do all the 'cleansing' they need quite efficiently and if things go wrong, see a doctor, not a quack.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 6:11AM
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I would not let myself be put on meds for blood sugar just because some arbitrary target was not met. You have made good progress and seem to be reversing the problem.

I would suggest using sesame oil for all cooking, or take a teaspoon twice a day. This can help with blood sugar, hypertension, cholesterol, and other metabolic indicators.

Don't use the toasted or roasted sesame oil - that is used for flavoring in some Asian cuisines, but it is altered by the roasting and is not the same. An unrefined sesame oil or semi-refined is best, and you may have to go to a health foods store to find it.

Low carb diets can usually lower blood sugar and trigylcerides. Read up and do it right if you are going to do it. If your cells are insulin-resistant due to metabolic syndrome, this could make a big change.

Fasting is a bit difficult, but has been shown to correct a variety of metabolic conditions, including hypertension, cholesterol and blood sugar issues.

Fish and fish oil have been linked to lower blood sugar (among other things).

Keep up the good work!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fish Intake and Blood Glucose

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 12:11PM
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The target is not arbitrary, but one proven to be meaningful after thousands of studies over decades and decades in properly set-up and monitored labs, with strict regulation and ongoing re-proving. There's a reason numbers are used, and it's not whimsical. Even if some people manage to survive on one side of the 'line' or the other for some time, without a laid down target number, they'd be all over the place, deciding if they were sick or not depending on the weather, if their sig. other yelled at them recently, whether they slept well last night, or ate a conveniently forgotten chocolate for lunch, but if I wanted to live in such chaos, I'd build a time machine to get back to the dark ages. Do you realize you only have the luxury of playing with your alternative ideas about medicine because you know (somewhere inside) that if anything really goes wrong, you have the real medical establishment to fall back on and save you, but I wonder how you'd feel if they really weren't there, and you had to depend on someone's cousin's half remembered trial of a weed she boiled up once to maybe save your life?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:22PM
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lucy, I agree that the original poster's physician is the person best qualified to determine the optimum blood sugar level for her.

But I don't think this is the proper occasion to level a general blast at alternative medicine.

While I don't buy into all of apollog's recommendations (such as promoting fasting), some may have merit (there is at least preliminary evidence that sesame oil may be a beneficial choice for diabetic cooking).

Alt med as a whole is not the issue here.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 12:22AM
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Eric, you're totally right - I lost it, but because there's no 'edit' feature on these forums, I couldn't take it back once I realized it. Maybe I should take a pill and go way for a while. And sesame oil is great, of course, never meant to knock innocent stuff. I just get cuckoo sometimes at other peoples' ideas (not even necessarily in this thread at all), and should know better - we're not likely to change anyone's mind greatly anyhow, so why get so hot about it all! Sorry everyone.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:26AM
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I'm not saying that elevated blood sugar isn't a risk factor for lots of problems - clearly it is. My point was that if someone tries diet and exercise for three months and their blood sugar changes from 239 to 238 or 251, then a medication may be in order because what they tried obviously didn't work. If they try something and their blood sugar goes from 239 to 101 or 110 or 135, they didn't meet the target, but they ARE getting things under control.

Hitting 100 in 3 months is an arbitrary target. Even if we accept the 100 as a hard break point (which is questionable), why 3 months and not 2 months or 4 months or 6? Where are the guidelines on exactly how fast something has to be brought under control? Are there any?

The RDA for many vitamins have changed more than a few times in my life - generally they have been increased. Optimal blood pressures, Body Mass Index, cholesterols and other values have also changed (mostly they've been lowered). These guidelines are not gospel written in stone - they are generally a good idea, they are our best estimates of risk, our current picture of optimal health. They are very useful in distinguishing white from black, not so precise when comparing two similar shades of grey.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 9:08AM
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beth1(LA - Zone 8)

Hello Everyone,

I have to admit, I'm amazed to see my original post still going! It should be obvious to all that the reason I posted my orginal question to this site was because I believe in herbs and their benefits and that the Herbalist Forum would be a great place to start. I have to also admit that I was disappointed to find some on here that obviously do not share the same opinion. If you don't believe in the benefits of using natural herbs why are you on this forum? Just had to ask. Thank you to all who tried to guide me in the right direction. I have been growing and studing herbs for well over 12 years now and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they work.

To update you all on my progress... My blood sugar is down to 93, blood pressure is normal, and I have lost about 25lbs (still in the process of losing), I walk daily, watch what I eat, drink lots of water, and take serveral natural supplements. I believe in what I'm doing. I have managed to get my numbers under control naturally without harmful medications that too often have more side effects than benefits. My doctor is estatic at my results and I thank God daily for what He has done in my life.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 1:00PM
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Glad to hear you're doing well.

I think that if more people put effort into dieting and exercise, there'd be less need for herbal and non-herbal drugs and supplements.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 1:10PM
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Apollog - ok, I thought there was a specific target number set out by MD's, but maybe it's a lot more flexible (depending on other factors) than I imagined. Three months is probably what they allow as being enough time for exercise plus diet changes to show evidence they're really working - two weeks not being enough of course, 6 mos. longer than necessary, and the magic 100 being the ruler they use (if all do use that #). I think also that the point of it all is for MD's to decide whether they're going to give the patient a chance to pull out of it on their own (early on), whether they need to go on something like Diabeta, or whether they're past the point of no return and need insulin shots forever. Type II does have that flexibility... too bad kids with Type I don't have the options.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 5:44AM
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It is amazing how many toxic and addicting substances are in wheat and other common grains. They cause addictions that turn off ones satiety mechanism and promote the consumption of carbohydrates. There are chemicals called phytates in the wheat seed that are actually work as pesticides to protect the seed from pests. And another chemical that has been shown to destroy lab rats gastrointestinal tracts. The bottom line is that grains in all likelihood are causing your high blood sugar. I highly recommend reading the Wheat Belly Total Health book by Dr William Davis. He also has a blog with some good info on it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wheat Belly Total Health

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 5:16PM
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Davis' claims about wheat are (to put it mildly) disputed.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 9:42PM
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