You may hear or read about natural cures or home remedies, but currently there are no proven alternative or complementary therapies than can cure diabetes or diabetic retinopathy. It's important not to delay standard treatments to try unproven therapies. Early treatment is the best way to prevent vision loss.
Several alternative therapies have shown some benefits for people with diabetic retinopathy, but more research is needed to understand whether or not these treatments are effective and safe. Potential alternative therapies include:
- Butcher's broom
- Grape seed extract
- Pycnogenol (Pine bark)
Be sure to let your doctor know if you are taking any herbs or supplements. They have the potential to interact with other medications, or cause complications in surgery, such as excessive bleeding.
Mar. 27, 2012
- Standards of medical care in diabetes, 2012. American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2012;35(suppl):11.
- Diabetic retinopathy. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy.asp. Accessed Dec. 26, 2011.
- Fraser CE, et al. Classification and clinical features of diabetic retinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html . Accessed Dec. 26, 2011.
- Preferred practice pattern: Diabetic retinopathy. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/PPP_Content.aspx?cid=d0c853d3-219f-487b-a524-326ab3cecd9a. Accessed Dec. 26, 2011.
- Fraser CE, et al. Prevention and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html . Accessed Dec. 26, 2011.
- Grape seed extract. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/grapeseed/ataglance.htm. Accessed Jan. 6. 2012.
- Retinopathy. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Jan. 6, 2012.
- Head KA. Natural therapies for ocular diseases, part one: Diseases of the retina. Alternative Medicine Review. 1999;4:342.
- Engels G. Butcher's broom. HerbalGram. 2010;85:1.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 14, 2012.