Okra Water: Helps lessen diabetes symptoms

Some research exists on okra water, however,  it may be linked to several health benefits due to its plant compounds and hydrating effects.

Drinking “okra water” is a popular new method of using okra. Some have even suggested that drinking it helps lessen diabetes symptoms.

The drink is made by putting okra pods in water and soaking them overnight. Some of the valuable nutrients in the skin and seed pods will be absorbed into the water.

If you’re not crazy about the taste of okra, drinking this okra water solution is a quick and simple way to derive the benefits of okra without eating it.

Okra Water

Some people prefer to cut the okra into thin slices instead of soaking the pods whole. If you’re going to prepare okra water this way, be prepared for a slightly bitter drink.

Okra peel and powdered seeds

Okra peel is the most traditional way to use okra medicinally.

In the preliminary studies(Khatun et al. 2011) conducted to investigate the benefits of using okra, using shredded okra peel was seen to be the most favorable way to ingest it.

You can prepare okra peel yourself by using a handheld kitchen grater or a lemon zester. Though there’s no known limit for how much okra peel someone should eat at one time, half of a teaspoon of okra peel should be more than enough for your body to benefit.

Powdered okra seeds are dried out before being ground down. Ingesting the powder from the seeds as a supplement has also been researched and seen to be beneficial.

The process of making the powder is a bit time- and labor-intensive. However, you can easily buy powdered okra seeds from health food stores and online suppliers.

You will benefit from the many nutrients in okra. For instance:Two studies(Carr and Maggini, 2017; DiNicolantonio et al. 2015) found that okra isa good source of vitamins C and K1. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that aidsholistic immune function, and vitamin K1 is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s known for its role in blood clotting.

Moreover, okra is low in calories and carbs and contains some protein and fiber. Numerous fruits and vegetables lack protein, which makes okra somewhat unique.

Eating enough protein is linked with weight management, blood sugar control, bone structure, and muscle mass(Pasiakos SM, 2015; Devries and Phillips, 2015).


Okra is loaded with numerous antioxidants. One study(Xia et al. 2015) found that the main antioxidants in okra are polyphenols, including flavonoids and isoquercetin, as well as vitamins A and C.

Tressera-Rimbau et al.(2017) note that eating a diet high in polyphenols may improve heart health by lowering the risk of blood clots and oxidative damage. It may also support brain health as it can penetrate the brain and protect against inflammation (Sarubbo et al. 2018), enhance symptoms of aging and improve cognition, learning, and memory.

Decreases heart diseases risk

The thick-gel nature of okra called mucilage plays an important role as it kind binds cholesterol during digestion and this trigger it to get rid of the body with the stool instead of maintaining it in the body.

For instance, Wang et al.(2014) conducted an 8-week duration randomly separated mice into 3 groups and gave them a high-fat diet containing 1% or 2% okra powder or a high-fat diet without okra powder. It was found that themice on the okra diet got rid ofextra cholesterol in their stools and had decreased total blood cholesterol levels than the control group.

Okra also contains polyphenols. For instance, Medina-Remón et al.(2017) conducted a 4-year study on 1,100 people and found that those who ate a diet rich in polyphenols had reduced inflammatory markers linked with heart disease.

Two studies(Kuruwitaarachchige et al. 2018; Nuhu et al. 2020) found that okra water has bioactive compounds that can reduce the levels of heightened lipids (fats) in the blood. They held that crude okra water extract reduced different lipid fractions (total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL) and atherogenic index (a measure of cardiovascular risk).

Hence, okra water extract modulates cholesterol levels in the blood. This reduces the risk of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis (the buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on your artery walls).

 May lower blood sugar

Recent studies by ( Peter et al. 2021; Weng et al. 2020; Jain et al. 2018; Kalyani K, 2017)found aqueous (water) extracts of okra to decrease blood sugar levels and increased insulin secretion in diabetic rats.  These studies provide scientific evidence for its effectiveness.

Fan et al. (2013) mice study found that eating okra or okra extract could decrease blood sugar levels.

In one previous study, rats were prescribed liquid sugar and purified okra and had smaller blood sugar spikes than animals in the control group(Khatun et al. 2011). They further held that okra reduced sugar intake in the digestive tract, thus causing a stable blood sugar response.

Apart from that,  okra could interfere with metformin, a common diabetes medication. Therefore, eating okra is not recommended for those taking this drug.

A previous study also found that okra water improved the blood sugar levels of pregnant rats that had gestational diabetes(Tian et al. 2015).  Also, roasted okra seeds, have been studied and proven to have a positive effect on lowering blood sugar (Thanakosai and Phuwapraisirisan, 2013).


Two studies (Rachida et al. 2018; Carvalho et al. 2011) found that okra water is a good source of antibacterial and phenolic compounds. Okra extracts can inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as Mycobacterium, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Take Home

Few studies have been conducted on okra water and its impact on our health. Drinking okra water solution is a quick and simple way to derive the benefits of okra without eating it.It’s common to drink okra water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Proponents claim that this maximizes its potential health benefits. However, no research supports the claim that okra water is more beneficial in the morning than at other times of the day. Therefore, you can enjoy okra water whenever works best for you.


Prof. Nyarkotey has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups.  My articles are for educational purposes and do not serve as Medical advice for Treatment. I aim to educate the public about evidence-based scientific Naturopathic Therapies.

The writer is a Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare, a Medical Journalist, and a science writer. President, Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT)/African Naturopathic Foundation, Ashaiman, Ghana. Currently BL Candidate at the Gambia Law School, Banjul. E. mail: professor40naturopathy@gmail.com.



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