Prameha, according to Ayurveda is a group of urinary disorders. There are 20 types of urinary disorders (prameha) based on doshas. Among these 20 urinary disorders (prameha rogas), 4 are due to vata, 6 due to pitta and 10 due to kapha. Diabetes that is characterized by an increase in blood sugar levels and frequent micturition is a type of vataja prameha, known as “Madhumeha”. The causative factors and pathogenesis are very important to be noted in the Ayurvedic Treatment for diabetes.
Causative factors of diabetes
- Excessive consumption of food especially: the meat of domesticated/aquatic animals, curd, milk, newly harvested grains, jaggery/molasses
- Food and drinks that increases the kapha dosha.
- Overindulgence in sleep
- Living a sedentary life
Knowing the causative factors are very much essential in the Ayurvedic Treatment for diabetes. Ayurveda says that “Nidana Parivarjanam chikitsa” which means that elimination of the causative factors is one the main steps in treating a disease.
Due to the above causative factors, agni is disturbed and kapha dosha gets aggravated which vitiates the fat, muscle and watery elements (medas, mamsa and udaka) of the body and causes prameha that is predominant of various doshas.
Madhumeha is a type of vataja prameha that can be co related to Diabetes. In this condition, the urine of the person becomes similar to that of honey. (“Madhusamam jayate”). It is also said that any type of prameha that is not treated properly eventually becomes madhumeha over a period of time. Similar to the modern theory pertaining to diabetes, Ayurveda also has mentioned about congenital type of prameha known as “Sahaja prameha” and acquired type of prameha known as “doshaja prameha”.
Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes
Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes is based upon the built of the patient as sthoola pramehi (obese patient) or krisha pramehi (lean patient) based upon the dosha predominance.
Purificatory therapies like panchakarma are performed as the first stage of treatment in an obese patient and then rejuvenating herbs and formulations are prescribed. Whereas in cases of a lean patient with prameha, nourishing therapies are done in the first stage of treatment.
Herbs used in the Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes
Saptarangi – Salacia Oblonga
Haridra – Curcuma longa (turmeric)
Shilajit – Asphaltum (mineral pitch)
Haritaki – Terminalia chebula Retz.
Amalaki -Embilica officinale (Indian Gooseberry)
Jambu – Syzygium cumini
Guggulu – Commiphora mukul
Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia (Neem giloy)
Nimba – Azadirachta indica (Neem)
Bel – Aegle Marmelos
Herbal remedies, if taken correctly, have a powerful effect on your body but should only be used under the care and guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner. Most of these herbs target elevated blood sugar levels and balance the same.
There are several home remedies and ayurvedic medicines that you can take for lowering of your blood sugar levels. As a precaution, you should monitor blood sugar on a regular basis. Blood sugar level should not fall drastically with all these medicines and remedies. Kindly speak to your allopathic doctor and reduce the dosage of the antihyperglycaemic drugs, so that you can use the Ayurvedic formulations simultaneously.
Home Remedies in the Ayurvedic treatment for Diabetes
- Drink a glass of bitter gourd juice mixed with amla juice, added with half teaspoon of turmeric powder, daily morning on empty stomach.
- Mix half teaspoon each of amla powder and turmeric powder in a glass of warm water and consume it n an empty stomach.
- Include fenugreek seeds in your daily diet.
- Consumption of Jamun seeds (dried and powdered) has proved to beneficial in case of type 2 diabetes.
- Jamun seeds are said to be highly beneficial in treating diabetes because of its effect on the pancreas. Dried and powdered seeds should be taken in the dose of 1 tsp twice daily with warm water.
- Water can be stored in the cups/containers made from the trunk of the jamun tree and that water can be consumed in the morning.
- The seeds of parslane are useful in diabetes. A teaspoon of the seeds should be taken everyday with half a cup of water for 3-4 months. It will increase the body’s own insulin and will help in curing diabetes. The leves can also be cooked and taken as a vegetable.
- Neem leaves should be ground and made into a paste and a small bolus of this should be added to water. This should be taken on empty stomach in the morning.
Ways to Reduce Insulin Resistance
- Add 1 tsp of cinnamon powder to a glass of hot water and drink it daily for a couple of months.
- Mix ground flax seeds to a glass of water and drink daily.
- Consume fish oil which is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. It will improve insulin sensitivity. It will also help to reduce body fat.
- To help balance insulin, consider a diet consisting primarily of lean meats and protein, high-fiber, whole grains, leafy greens, fresh vegetables and legumes, and fresh fruit.
- Essential fatty acids (EFA) or healthy fats, are important to help insulin resistance. These fats include tuna, salmon, and other cold-water fish; fish oil supplements, eggs, avocado, and flaxseed, which can be taken in as a nutritional supplement.
Home Remedies for Oedema (Fluid Retention)
The main reason for oedema is improper blood circulation due to damaged blood capillaries as a result of increased pressure. Damaged capillaries cause peripheral oedema, leakage of fluids into surrounding tissues, which causes swelling. Here are some natural remedies that you can try:
- Elevation of feet (above the heart level) using a support or a pillow for 10-15 minutes every day can help to reduce swelling.
- Regular exercises will improve the blood circulation to the legs.
- Massage improves blood circulation in the entire leg and reduces pain associated with swelling.You may use Chinchadi tailam for massage. It improves the circulation.
- Avoid wearing tight shoes. It’s better to buy shoes with one size bigger so that even if your feet are swollen, circulation won’t reduce totally.
- Apply a paste of coriander seeds soaked in water on the affected area to relieve the water retention in your feet.
- You can also soak your limbs in rice water for 15-20 minutes for relieving water retention and removing swelling of the leg. Rice water is also good for drinking when you have a swollen leg. This will help in microcirculation and removal of inflammation.
- Restrict salt intake.
Healthy Diet for Diabetes
- A diabetic patient should never skip meals.
- Proper meals on time is a must.
- Sprouted horse gram, green gram, barley can be taken after boiling or in a soup form.
- oats, brown rice, flax seed, garlic, onion, cinnamon, fenugreek can be taken regularly.
- Fruits including berries and apples, vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, all types of gourds and squashes can be taken.
- Tender coconut water can be taken and the whitish pulp should be avoided as it is high in sugar and fat.Taking coconut water directly improves blood circulation and helps to widen the vessels for smooth blood circulation.Therefore, coconut water provides great relief against fighting the symptoms and side effects of diabetes. It suppresses the appetite and also increases metabolism. Hence it is an ideal drink for obese diabetic patients. Only pure and unflavoured (fresh) coconut water should be taken.
- Raw honey can be taken that is astringent in taste and will not elevate the blood sugar levels.
A diabetic patient should avoid the following food items in their diet:
- Fried and grilled (BBQ) food should be completely avoided.
- Jackfruit, mango, banana, potato, fruit juices, meat should be avoided.
- Regular consumption of curd
- Consumption of milk and other dairy products
- Food rich in high glycemic index like the white rice, white flour, potatoes, white bread, pasta
- All kinds of junk food, processed and canned foods are to be avoided.
Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes includes strict diet and lifestyle changes along with the consumption of ayurvedic medicines.
Lifestyle changes that have to be done in the ayurvedic treatment for diabetes are :
- Brisk walk for atleast 30 mins in a day
- Resistance exercises like weight lifting
- Aerobic exercises like Walking, Jogging/Running, Tennis, Basketball, Swimming, Biking
- Yoga postures like Mandukasana, Soorya namaskara, Pawana muktasana helps a lot in controlling the blood sugar and insulin resistance. Click here to read more about yoga for diabetes.
Ayurvedic Medicines for Diabetes
If you are looking for Ayurvedic supplements to manage diabetes, Salacia-O capsule is a beneficial formulation, which should be taken in the dose of 1 capsule twice daily, 30 minutes before food.
Traditional Ayurvedic formulations beneficial in case of diabetic patients are: