If you are obese, Ayurveda recommends Apatarpana (de-nourishment of fats) and Samshodhana (cleansing of toxins) using medicines and therapies like Panchakarma. If you are chronically ill, with low immunity and are underweight, Santarpana (replenishment) and Brumhana (increasing body bulk) using oil massages and herbs like Ashwagandha are prescribed.
In today’s stressful modern living, incidences of diabetes are definitely increasing. Ayurveda offers a comprehensive treatment solution for diabetes.
Symptoms Of Diabetes
- Excessive urine production and frequent urination
- Burning feeling on palms and soles
- Increased hunger
- Excessive thirst
- Sweet taste in the mouth
- Weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Wounds that take time to heal
- Skin infections
- Unexplained extreme fatigue
Ayurvedic Treatment For Diabetes
Depending on the physical constitution or body type (prakriti) or the health status of an individual, Ayurveda categorizes two types of treatment schedules for patients.
1. Apatarpana (De-nourishment) and Samshodhana (Cleansing)
This treatment is recommended for an obese diabetic patient (sthoola pramehi). The typical characteristics of the obese diabetic patients are:
- Sudden weight gain
- Excessive hunger
- Excessive tiredness
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty in breathing (due to obesity)
- Lack of interest in sex
- Preference for sedentary habits
- Inability to take up physical activities
In this, along with anti-diabetic herbal medicines, importance is given on the de-nourishment of fats and elimination of toxins by way of:
- Various exercises
- Fasting therapies – such as juice fasting, water fasting, etc.
- Cleansing therapies – called panchakarma (five-fold therapies viz. emesis, purgation, oil enema, decoction enema, and nasal drops instillation)
2. Santarpana (Replenishment) and Brumhana (Body Bulk Promotion)
Santarpana or nourishment therapy is recommended for a lean diabetic patient (krusha pramehi). The typical characteristics of the lean diabetic patient who has lost body tissues and energy are:
- Sudden loss of weight
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of strength
- Excessive weakness
- Inability to do routine physical activities
- Lack of interest in sex
If you are chronically ill, with low immunity and underweight due to the draining of essential nutrients, this therapy helps in providing the easily acceptable nutrients and micronutrients to rebuild body tissues and help strengthen the defense mechanism, without increasing circulating blood sugar and fat tissue.
This prevents further damage and ensures enhanced healing and repair. This is achieved by:
- Oil enema therapies (Anuvasana Basti)
- Nourishing massages like Navarakizhi
- Oil massage
- Administration of nourishing Ayurvedic herbs such as ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), vidari (Pueraria tuberose), shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), and aloe vera; fruits like pomegranate; and nuts
Ayurvedic Anti-Diabetic Herbs
Jambul (Eugenia jambolana)
The jambul fruit is regarded as a specific traditional Ayurvedic medicine because of its action on the pancreas. The fruit, the seeds, and the whole fruit juice are all useful in the treatment of diabetes. The seeds contain jamboline, which controls the excessive conversion of starch to sugar.
Note: For internal usage, dry the seeds, powder them, and take 3 grams twice daily with water or butter milk.
Bitter Gourd/Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia)
The fruit and seeds of this plant contain most active blood sugar-lowering components. This contains an active ingredient called charantin. For better therapeutic benefits, extract juice from four to five bitter melons every morning and consume on an empty stomach. You can take the seed powder either directly or in the form of a decoction.
Bael (Aegle marmelos)
Though this plant is famous for its fruit, the leaves have been scientifically proven to be anti-diabetic. Drink fresh juice of the leaves daily along with a pinch of black pepper. This will take care of your excess body sugar.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum)
The medicinal qualities of fenugreek seeds are described in Ayurvedic literature. In recent studies, it has been reported that the decoction of fenugreek seeds suppresses the urinary excretion of sugar and relieves symptoms of diabetes.
It contains trigonelline, an alkaloid known to reduce blood sugar levels.
Ayurveda recommends turmeric as an exclusive remedy for diabetes. It is more effective if taken with an equal amount of amla powder.
Neem is an age-old remedy and is easily available anywhere. Its juice or paste can be taken internally to lower blood sugar levels.
Useful Ayurvedic Medicines For Diabetes
- Dhatri Nisha: This is a combination of turmeric powder and amla powder, to be taken early morning. It is especially useful in diabetic eye problems (diabetic retinopathy).
- Triphala: This is a simple combination of three fruits, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, Emblica officinalis, that helps reduce blood sugar levels, relieve constipation, and provide eye care. It is a very good source of antioxidants.
- Asanadi Kashayam: This is useful in diabetes associated with obesity, non-healing wounds, and diabetic carbuncles.
- Chandraprabha Vati: This is useful in diabetes associated with recurrent urinary tract infection and diabetic nephropathy.
- Pathyakshadhatryadi Kashaya: This is rich in anti-oxidants.
- Shilajatu vati: This is useful in diabetes associated with premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, etc.
- Panchanimba churna: This helps treat diabetes associated with repeated skin infection disorders.
Other Useful Anti-Diabetic Medications
- Nishakathakadi Kashayam
- Kathakakhadiradi Kashayam
- Varanadi Kashayam
- Varadi Kashayam
- Aragwadhadi Kashayam
- Jeevanthyadi Kashayam
- Nimbamritadi panchatiktakam Kashayam
- Niruryadi gulika
- Dhanwantaram ghritam
- Trikantakadi ghritam
Useful Herbs In The Management Of Ayurveda
- Asana – Pterocarpus marsupium Linn
- Nimba – Azadirachta indica A. Juss.
- Bilva – Bael tree – Aegle marmelos Corr.
- Haridra – Turmeric
- Lodhra – Symplocos racemosa Roxb.
- Jambu – Jamun seeds
- Saptaparna – Alstonia scholaris R. Br.
- Meshashringi – Gymnema sylvestre R. Br.
- Kathaka – Strychnos potatorum Linn.
- Khadira – Acacia catechu Willd.
- Guggulu – Commiphora mukul (Hook. Ex. Stocks.) Engl.
- Mamajjaka – Enicostemna littorale Linn
- Shilajatu – Asphaltum punjabinum
Wholesome Diet For Diabetics
- Shigru (drum stick)
- Haridra (turmeric)
- Amalaki (gooseberry)
- Yava (barley)
- Godhuma (wheat)
- Mudga (green gram)
- Kulattha (horse gram)
- Patola (snake gourd)
- Karavellaka (bitter gourd)
- Maricha (pepper)
- Lashuna (garlic)
- Jambu (blue berry)
Along with the above medicines and remedies, Ayurveda also recommends regular yoga, meditation and Pranayama to prevent or treat stress.
Also, indulge in regular oil massages to treat muscle and joint aches, regular eye exercises, and therapies like the tarpana treatment to prevent and treat retinopathy and foot massage with neem-based oils to prevent and treat wounds and ulcers.