According to Brown University researchers Dr. John Luo and Lugang Luo, American ginseng lowers high sugar levels (hyperglycemia) and may have potential in treating diabetes mellitus. It may be a helpful as a supplemental ingredient to diabetes therapy. Unfortunately, the absence of standardization of ginseng root, has led to inconclusive results in diabetes treatment. American ginseng root’s actions are not understood.
Studies have shown that it increases insulin production and reduces death of pancreatic cells. Additionally, it has demonstrated the ability to lower blood sugar (glucose) levels in people with type 2 adult onset diabetes. This information suggests that the effects of ginseng in improving high sugar levels may change the cellular function of mitochondria (the organelle responsible for producing energy in the cell).
Additional research is required to identify the component(s) of ginseng that are responsible for the sugar lowering and other beneficial effects observed in animal studies, which may be applicable to humans as well.
Other studies have also determined that the commonly used spice, Cinnamon is also effective in reducing high sugar levels.
Source: eCAM 2009 6(4):423-427; doi:10.1093/ecam/nem178