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What are some medicinal uses for the nopal cactus?

A:

Quick Answer

Although more evidence is necessary, the nopal cactus plant is a possibly effective form of treatment that lowers blood sugar levels in people who have Type 2 diabetes, states WebMD. The plant can also reduce the symptoms of a hangover after alcohol intake.

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Full Answer

Only the Opuntia streptacantha species of the plant reduces blood sugar levels. In this case, one must make broiled stems out of the nopal cactus, as raw and crude stems do not work, adds WebMD. When taken as a hangover cure, the plant can possibly reduce nausea, anorexia and dry mouth caused by alcohol. However, it has no effect on other symptoms of hangovers such as headache, dizziness and diarrhea.

There are other medicinal uses of the plant for which there is insufficient but developing evidence, as seen on WebMD. These uses include reducing the full bladder symptom of enlarged prostates; reducing low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol; and treating disorders such as obesity, colitis and diarrhea.

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