The Most Bizarre Diabetes Cures and Remedies

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The Greeks first used the word diabetes, meaning "to siphon" or "flow through," to refer to the excessive urination associated with the condition. Since those days, there has been no lack of questionable remedies and so-called “cures” for diabetes, touted by everyone from scientists to snake oil salesmen, even after effective medical treatments for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes were discovered in the twentieth century. Let’s take a look at some of the most bizarre diabetes remedies since ancient times.


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The “Drupe Diet”

One-seeded stone fruits such as peaches, pears, plums, and nectarines – known collectively as drupes – contain compounds that have anti-diabetic properties. They can be a healthy part of a diet to treat or prevent type 2 diabetes. But there’s no evidence supporting a claim like this one that the “Drupe Diet” can “cure diabetes!”


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Urine therapy

Urine therapy – drinking your own urine, or animal urine – has been proposed as a treatment for numerous conditions, including diabetes. So far, there is no evidence that this practice has any benefits for people with diabetes.


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Horseback riding

Exercise is always a healthy part of managing diabetes. Early Greek physicians, however, recommended a specific exercise –  horseback riding – as a treatment for diabetes. Their thinking was that it reduced excess urination associated with the condition. While the Greeks were wrong, recent research has found that horseback riding – like all exercise — improves insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.


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Hibiscus leaves

Extracts of hibiscus leaves have been shown in research to have some ability to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. That said, it’s a major stretch – and potentially dangerous –  to say, as this video claims, that hibiscus leaves will "kill diabetes in 8 days.


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Wine…lots of wine!

Early Greeks recommended drinking large quantities of wine as a treatment for diabetes. Drinking copious amounts of wine was thought to make up for fluid lost through urination. While wine is not a cure for diabetes, we now know that a modest intake of wine may actually reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Cheers!”


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The “Oat Cure”

Oatmeal, a source of fiber,  can be part of a healthy diet for diabetes. In the late 1800s, however, a diet of oatmeal was recommended as a cure for diabetes. The “Oat Cure,” as it was known, involved eating 8 ounces of oatmeal mixed with 8 ounces of butter every 2 hours. Needless to say, it didn’t cure diabetes.


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Dr. McDougall’s “Sugar, Rice, and Juice Diet”

We know a plant-based diet may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes – or even reverse it. But Dr. McDougall takes it a bit far, with his “Sugar, White Rice and Juice Diet” for type 2 diabetes. Sugar, rice, and juice are all high-glycemic (high-sugar/high-carbohydrate) foods, which are associated with an increased risk of diabetes.


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Isometric exercise

Fitness celebrity Yuriel Kaim is on the right track with his recommendations of exercise and dietary changes for type 2 diabetes. But he’s going way overboard when he says: “What if I told you that something as simple as flexing a group of your muscles – and holding them flexed – can cure type 2 diabetes?”


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Chiropractic “diabetes cure” programs

A knowledgeable, ethical chiropractor may be able to offer helpful guidance on healthier nutrition and dietary changes to manage blood sugar. Some chiropractors, however, are marketing expensive, five-figure, cash-up-front "Diabetes Cure" programs that rely on costly vitamins and supplements instead of proven medical treatment. Buyer beware!


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Okra, cucumber, and other “cures”

Nutrients in okra and cucumbers may help lower blood sugar, but as we often see, research findings are transformed into crazy supposed “cures” for diabetes, like the “Okra Water Diet” and the “Cucumber Diet.” Keep incorporating these healthy vegetables into your diet as a way to help manage blood sugar, but don’t forget that most of these diets are not based on any sound research or science.


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Don’t fall for the scams

When it comes to diabetes, there is no shortage of scams, fraudulent claims, and crazy protocols out there, especially online. To avoid trouble, check out the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA’s) video, Don't Fall for Fraudulent Diabetes Treatments.