These top 5 natural herbs for diabetes have shown some promise in lowering blood sugar, boosting insulin sensitivity, reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol, and more. 1. Gymnema Sylvestre This plant’s Hindi name translates as “sugar destroyer,” and the plant is said to reduce the ability to detect sweetness. It’s regarded as one of the most powerful herbs for blood-sugar control. It may work by boosting the activity of enzymes that help cells use glucose or by stimulating the production of insulin. Though it hasn’t been studied extensively, it’s not known to cause serious side effects. 2. Bitter Melon The aptly named bitter melon is thought to help cells use glucose more effectively and block sugar absorption in the intestine. When Philippine researchers had men and women take bitter melon in capsule form for three months, they had slight, but consistently, lower blood sugar than those taking a placebo. Gastrointestinal problems are possible side effects. 3. Prickly Pear Cactus The ripe fruit of this cactus has been shown in some small studies to lower blood sugarlevels. You may be able to find the fruit in your grocery store, but if not, look for it as a juice or powder at health food stores. Researchers speculate that the fruit may possibly lower blood sugar because it contains components that work similarly to insulin. The fruit is also high in fiber. 4. Bilberry This relative of the blueberry contains powerful antioxidants in its fruit and leaves. These antioxidants, called anthocyanidins, seem to help prevent damage to tiny blood vessels that can result in nerve pain and retinopathy (damage to the eye’s retina). Animal studies have also suggested that bilberry may lower blood sugar. 5. Ginseng Known for its immune-boosting and disease-fighting benefits, this Chinese herb has several positive diabetes studies behind it. Researchers have found that ginseng slows carbohydrate absorption; increases cells’ ability to use glucose; and increases insulin secretion from the pancreas. A team from the University of Toronto has repeatedly demonstrated that ginseng capsules lower blood glucose 15 to 20 percent compared to placebo pills.