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Salt bush is a shrub that grows throughout the Mediterranean region, in the Middle East, northern Africa, and southern Europe. As its name suggests, it is especially common in areas where the soil is saline. Salt bush is a nutritious plant, high in protein, vitamins C , A , and D , and minerals such as chromium . It is also fairly tasty—shepherds as well as their flocks enjoy eating salt bush.
Salt bush may prove useful in the treatment of type 2 (non-insulin-dependent or adult onset) diabetes . This idea came to the attention of medical researchers in 1964, when they discovered that a rodent called the sand rat ( Psammomys obesus) is highly susceptible to developing diabetes. 1 Yet wild sand rats, which regularly consume salt bush, never show any signs of diabetes—they tend to develop it in response to being fed regular laboratory food! As a result, scientists have explored the possibility that salt bush has an antidiabetic effect.
The results of animal studies and preliminary human trials suggest that salt bush does indeed have antidiabetic effects. 2 3 4 5 However, while these studies are certainly intriguing, only double-blind, placebo-controlled studies...
As a plant food commonly consumed by animals and humans, salt bush appears to be relatively safe. However, no comprehensive safety testing of salt bush has been performed. For this reason, it should not be used by young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease.
Keep in mind that if salt bush is effective, the result might be excessive lowering of blood sugar levels. For this reason, people with diabetes who take salt bush should do so only under a physician's supervision. 6