The hypoglycemic potential of Kigelia, a common African fruit
01/24/2019 // Ellaine Castillo // Views

The adverse side effects and high costs associated with most prescription drugs have turned people towards using cheaper and safer alternatives like herbal remedies. However, not all natural remedies are already proven effective, so it's important to go for ones that are backed with scientific studies. One herbal remedy that has been shown by researchers from Malawi to be effective against diabetes is the powder derived from the fruit of the sausage tree (Kigelia africana).

The sausage tree, which was given its name due to the sausage-like appearance of its fruit, is a plant native to the tropical regions of Africa. This plant has many different applications such as in the production of beer and traditional African medicine. Its different parts have long been used as herbal remedies for various conditions including fungal infections, boils, pneumonia, and diabetes.

Previous studies also determined that the fruit of this plant, specifically, has activities against fungi, bacteria, ulcers, and inflammation. These therapeutic applications of the fruit are possible because of the different bioactive compounds present, which includes phenylpropanoid derivatives, flavonoids, glycosides, alkaloids, terpenoids, tannins, and saponins. Additionally, the powdered form of sausage tree fruit is commercially sold as a remedy for diabetes. However, there are limited studies regarding its hypoglycemic potential.

In this study, which was published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, the researchers determined the ability of sausage tree fruit to reduce blood sugar levels through an in vivo experiment done in male albino rats. The test subjects were induced to exhibit high blood sugar levels through the administration of dexamethasone, and then they were subjected to treatment with the fruit powder. Additionally, the team also administered some rats with the conventional antidiabetic medication metformin to help gauge its potential as an alternative remedy.


From this experiment, the researchers found that sausage tree fruit powder significantly lowers blood glucose level. Moreover, they observed that its effects were comparable to metformin. This means that it has the potential to replace conventional antidiabetic medications, which is great because many of them exhibit side effects. Examples of complications that can arise due to metformin and other drugs for diabetes include liver disease, weight gain, extremely low sugar levels, diarrhea, and heartburn.

Overall, these results prove that with further studies, sausage tree fruit can be used as a natural alternative to harmful antidiabetic medications. (Related: Use of most-prescribed diabetes drug, metformin, during pregnancy found to increase risk of obesity in the child.)

Other natural remedies for hypoglycemia

If you're looking for natural antidiabetic treatments that are more accessible than the sausage tree fruit, then you can opt to use any of the following since these are already backed by scientific evidence.

  • Aloe vera -- Most people use aloe vera to remedy various skin conditions, but it also has a lesser-known use as an antidiabetic remedy. It works by reducing blood sugar levels and increasing insulin production. To enjoy this benefit of aloe vera, you can choose to add its juice pulp to your drinks or take supplements containing its extracts.
  • Cinnamon -- Many people with diabetes use cinnamon as a sweetener since it adds to the taste without increasing the sugar found in your food. However, they have even more reasons to enjoy this spice because it also improves blood sugar, insulin levels and sensitivity, lipid profile, and blood pressure.
  • Bitter melon -- This medicinal fruit has long been used as traditional medicine in China and India, and it has also been proven to be effective against diabetes. One study showed that 86 percent of diabetic patients who were given juice made from bitter melon pulp exhibited significantly lower blood sugar levels.

For more articles about natural diabetes remedies, visit

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