Goat’s rue has been used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, since the early 1900s. ‘Guanidine’ is the active ingredient present in goat’s rue that helps in lowering the blood glucose levels. Metformin, a potent anti-hyperglycemic drug is produced from the guanidine derivatives present in goat’s rue. Compounds present in this medicinal plant, stimulate the release of insulin, which helps in controlling blood glucose level. It further transports glucose into the cells and tissues and reduces the presence of excess glucose in the blood. The alkaloids present in goat’s rue induce the prolonged hypoglycemic effect. Rutin, a compound present in this plant acts as an antioxidant and an anti-diabetic agent. It protects the pancreatic beta cells against damage caused by free radicals and preserves insulin action.
Goat’s rue is an amazing anti-obesity agent. An animal study observed that goat’s rue helped in weight reduction in those who are normal and genetically obese. Intake of goat’s rue along with a calorie-restricted diet helps in losing excess body fat. A high-calorie diet without exercise causes weight as well as fat gain. Guanidine, a precursor to metformin is responsible for this weight loss effect. It suppresses the appetite and delays hunger pangs. Thus, lesser calories enter the system, which may help one to lose weight. It further prevents the storage of fat in the body and helps in fat-burning.
Goat’s rue is a natural galactagogue and it possesses lactogenic effect. It increases breast milk supply. Phytoestrogens present in goat’s rue are plant chemicals that mimic the action of estrogen. They bind to the estrogen receptors and increase the concentration of prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone responsible for the secretion of milk in breastfeeding mothers. Dried leaves of this plant improve lactation and enhance the production of breast milk as well as increase the size of the breast tissue.
Chronic inflammation is the cause of various diseases and disorders. Goat’s rue has the ability to prevent the production of pro-inflammatory compounds, which give rise to inflammation. A study observed that natural compounds present in goat’s rue prevent the generation of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide, if produced in higher amounts in the body may give rise to serious inflammatory diseases.
Consumption of goat’s rue increases the supply and production of antioxidants in the body and reduces the negative action of pro-oxidants. It is very well-known that oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of various diseases and disorders. Phenolic substances are health-enhancing compounds, which are present in abundance in goat’s rue. These substances possess antioxidant properties. They neutralize the free radicals and fight against oxidative stress. They further enhance the natural antioxidant defense system of the body. Phenolic compounds protect the healthy cells of the body against damage and destruction and maintain DNA integrity. (6)
Scientists have observed that goat’s rue is an excellent anti-cancer agent. Leaves of goat’s rue are a great source of phytoestrogens. These phytoestrogens act similar to estrogen and protect against human breast cancer. These compounds kill the dangerous cancer cells and prevent their spread to other healthy cells of the body. They further prevent the growth and multiplication of the cancer cells and suppress the formation and growth of the tumor.
Goat’s rue is effective in lowering high blood pressure due to its anti-hypertensive effects. It widens the arteries and blood vessels and ensures smooth blood flow throughout the body. Hence, it helps in the management of high blood pressure, along with a salt-restricted diet.
The traditional use of Goats rue to treat diabetes has been a staple since the middle ages. Goats rue contains an alkaloid, galegine, that was found in clinical trials to decrease blood sugar and insulin resistance. This lead to the development of metformin, which is currently used in the treatment of diabetes. Studes in mice also point to a weight-reducing action for galega, that appears to involve a loss of body fat. Other uses for goat's rue herb are in the treatment of rheumatism, bladder problems, fever, hard coughs, irregular menstruation, and as a galactagogue.
The herb contains galegin, which affects blood sugar. The blood sugar-lowering effect of goat's rue herb has not been well documented. More study is needed on the potential uses of the ancient herbal medicine. It is not recommended for use as a primary therapeutic agent for treatment in severe diabetes.
Boil 1 teaspoon goat’s rue in 1 cup of water for 2-3 minutes. You can drink this tea 2-3 times a day. You can improve the flavor the tea by adding one of the below-mentioned ingredients: Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom or fennel seeds.
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