Berberine could be effective treatment for diabetes (and has other benefits)

Berberine, a constituent of a number of herbs, has some powerful qualities; not least it reduces blood sugar and blood lipid levels. It is known to regulate sugar and lipid metabolisn in vitro and in vivo.

Lead researcher Jun Yin and his team compared berberine with metformin over two studies and found that berberine acted by lowering Fasting Blood Glucose and Plasma Blood Glucose levels from week 1 to the end of the three month trial. Fasting Blood Insulin and HOMA-IR were reduced by 28.1% and 44.7% respectively.

Also total cholesterol and damaging LDL were reduced 'significantly'. Some short-term gastro-intestinal problems were noted in about a third of the patients. However, no functional liver or kidney problems were noted whatsoever for berberine.

The team concluded that berberine could be a very effective treatment for type-2 diabetes in patients who did not want to take drugs.

Ref: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/