In the deserts of Arizona and Mexico grows a particular species of cactus who’s fruit is highly medicinal and can help sufferers of one of the most common ailments in America today, diabetes. The prickly pear cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica, also known as Nopal has shown tremendous results for treating diabetes, especially type 2, the most common form of diabetes.
Research has found the prickly pear, Nopal to be an effective replacement for blood sugar medication with zero side effects. Unfortunately, most clinical trials conducted with Nopal are published only in Spanish, pointing to the possibility that the medical community is not keen on the idea of the information about Nopal readily reaching the public.
In Volume 11 of Diabetes Care published way back in 1988 at study was revealed where three groups of patients in Mexico were treated for diabetes. All of the patients discontinued their previous medications 72 hours prior to the study. Each of the groups was treated slightly differently. One group just received water, so they were basically fasting. A second group consumed Nopal, about 500 grams. The third group had water, the Nopal and 500 grams of zucchini. All of the groups had a drop in blood sugar insulin, but the Nopal group experienced a significant decline in blood insulin levels compared with the other two groups.
The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database(NMCD) reports that Nopal cactus has been shown to decrease blood sugar levels by up to 46% in trials, with effects lasting as long as six hours after administration. This is fabulous news for those with type 2 diabetes. Prickly pear or Nopal, also contains a high amount of fiber per serving, almost 19 grams per 500 mg, which can help to slow the digestion of carbs and fats, assisting in the regulation of blood sugar.
Prickly pear cactus has also been used to lower cholesterol, treat asthma and assist symptoms of whooping cough as well as reducing symptoms of a hangover and protecting cells as a valuable antioxidant. Those native to Mexico and southwestern regions of the US have been eating prickly pear cactus for decades or longer. It seems as though the population of Native Americans suffering from type 2 diabetes today could stand some re-education on the benefits of ingesting this amazing fruit which has been found so helpful to many.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from type 2 diabetes, it would be wise to research prickly pear cactus, also known as Nopal. You can buy it in most health food stores in capsule or liquid form making ingestion easy to incorporate into a busy lifestyle. As opposed to regular insulin medications and diabetes protocol, Nopal seems like an amazingly simple alternative. If you are interested, talk to your doctor or health care provider before stopping any medication you are currently taking. It may be as easy as reducing what you are on while increasing Nopal in your daily regimen. If you can find relief and even healing from a possibly very debilitating problem such as diabetes by eating just one fruit – wouldn’t you do it? It can’t hurt to look into it more and hold the intention that health is possible for all.
Written by: Stasia Bliss