Evidências em Diabetes

Health and the old search for a miracle (this is the Wonder of Life’s leaves turn!)

Conventional wisdom is not always so reliable and you can put your life at risk. There are thousands of websites and many homemade remedy recipes for all types of diseases. As diabetes is a prevailing disease, it’s common that several recipes appear to cure this illness. One of them aroused my curiosity and then I decided to search about it.

This is the kalanchoe pinnata, also known as Wonder of Life leaves, used in some parts of the world as a medicine for treating from bladder weaknesses to gut disorders, diabetic foot and diabetes. I searched for studies and their evidence levels, as well as the impact the posts about kalanchoe pinnata or Wonder of Life leaves had caused. My search showed three results, all of them were published in a scientific journal of a low impact factor, two of them with animals and the other one with humans, focused on diabetic foot.

The results

In both researches, – I have to point out that the evidence and publishing levels aren’t so significant— the results for glycemia treatment, tested in laboratory rats, seemed very promising. There was a glycemia decrease in both studies, and the kalonchoe pinnata (wonder of life leaves) would have a secretagogue action mechanism of insulin, in other words, it would spur the insulin action through the closure of the channel K+ -ATP, an action very similar to Sulfonylurea, still being widely used for the type 2 diabetes treatment.

The first research that I found was conducted in 2013, in Trinidad and Tobago and published in the Pharmaceutical Biology journal. It measured the antidiabetic activity of the kalonchoe pinnata in diabetic rats induced by streptozotocin through the action of glucose-independent insulin secretagogue. After administering doses between 5 e 10 mg/kg of bodyweight for 45 days, there was a reduction of approximately 50% in the fasting glycemia and in the glycated hemoglobin. This is a very impressive result, which doesn’t mean you should go around drinking the wonder of life tea. Simply because we have here the plant toxicity, including reports of domestic animals’ deaths. These components were isolated in the research.

The second study was carried out in 2016, by the Life Sciences department of A&M Universtity of Texas, published in the Pharmacognose Research journal and also conducted with rats. It came to the same conclusion of the study previously mentioned, in regard to  the antidiabetic potential of the compound (aqueous solution), with the reduction of glycemia levels caused by the same insulin action through the closure of the channel K+ -ATP.

Diabetic Foot

A case-control study, regarding the diabetic foot, published in 2014 in the Tropical Doctor journal and was also conducted in Trinidad and Tobago. Patients suffering from diabetic foot infection were divided into two groups: one composed of 382 patients were given topical kalanchoe pinnata, and the other 96 patients were submitted to the conventional therapy. Then, they were observed during their hospitalization. The amputation and death rates were similar in both groups, which shows the action of the wonder of life leaves in the diabetic foot treatment.


It may exist a significant potential of the wonder of life leaves for the diabetes treatment. However, there are still few studies and low levels of evidence concerning their benefits. There would need to be wider studies and carried out with humans to prove the kalonchoe pinnata efficacy in the diabetes treatment. Always remember: Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Do not put your life at risk. Do not replace your treatment without talking to a specialist.

Miracles happen every day. And the miracle is your current diabetes treatment.

Tradução: Carla Rafaela, MyLeaeningStuff

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