Lower Your Blood Sugar with This Prickly Plant

2herbs - nopal cactus

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Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect

The leaves and fruit of the nopal cactus contain eight flavonoids with antioxidant effect.  Also, it is rich in vitamin C. Adding the leaves and fruits of a cactus in the diet, you can increase your intake of antioxidants in the body. High concentrations of the bioflavonoid – quercetin contribute to the antioxidant activity. A study published in 2007 in the journal Archives of pharmaceutical research has identified two new ingredients in the nopal that have a strong anti-inflammatory effect.

Blood glucose control

In the Mexican traditional medicine, nopal cactus is used in the treatment of  Diabetes -type 2  Mexican researchers recorded a huge drop in blood sugar levels in people with insulin-independent diabetes, after consuming cooked nopal leaves. A study from 1995 shows that extract Nopal significantly reduce blood sugar levels (up to 18%). Adding a Nopal in the diets rich in carbohydrates causes decreases in blood glucose after a meal.

According to the study on animals, published in March 2013 in the International Journal of Molecular Science, combination of regular exercise and using leaves of Nopal cactus improve insulin sensibility. There is also another study showed that nopal may lower blood sugar levels by preventing the liver to excrete glucose in the blood. The extract of this cactus is effective in reducing sugar when consumed before meals.


A few studies have shown that the pectin from nopal cactus lowers LDL cholesterol up to 28%. Mexican researchers found that animals that eat raw nopal are not obesity and have a 34% lower LDL, the bad cholesterol. Consuming 250 mg nopal cactus lowered total and bad LDL cholesterol without affecting the HDL, good cholesterol, and triglycerides, according to a recent survey.

Stomach ulcer

On the Sicily, nopal cactus is traditionally used in the treatment of ulcers. Italian researchers found that nopal cactus has a preventive effect on a stomach ulcer.

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