Managing Diabetes with Ayurveda
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? If so, you are not alone. There is a worldwide epidemic of diabetes; the World Health Organization estimates that 340 million people suffer from this disease.
- Nearly five million people died from complications of diabetes last year.
- Experts estimate that 80,000 children will be diagnosed with diabetes this year.
- Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the world.
Here, we will examine diabetes and how Ayurveda’s holistic approach can help you manage this disease and its symptoms.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps the body break down sugar so it can be safely eliminated. When there is too little insulin, the sugar is not metabolized, and builds up in the bloodstream. Ayurvedic practitioners call diabetes as Madhumeha, which loosely means “honey urine.” The main cause of diabetes are fat, and Kapha buildups due to foods, liquids, lifestyle, stress and others. Classical Ayurvedic therapy for madhumeha (diabetes) begins with an assessment of the dosha imbalance. In all types of pramehas (urinary disorders), kapha is vitiated, but in madhumeha, vata is often aggravated as well. Therefore, therapies will be directed at both vata and kapha simultaneously to restore the balance of the doshas.
If blood sugar is not managed properly, it leads to heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, blindness, nerve damage, and limb amputation. Less serious effects from too much sugar include rash, itching, dry skin, fatigue, and loss of concentration.
Western medicine uses diet and medications, which sometimes include insulin injections, to control the disease.
The Ayurvedic Approach to Diabetes
Ayurveda considers Diabetes as a metabolic disorder in fat digestion. The symptoms of diabetes are different based on the individual’s dosha.
- Kapha – Indigestion, cold hands, and feet, runny nose and congestion, sleepiness, vomiting, excess thirst.
- Pitta – Pain in the lower abdomen and when urinating, burning sensation, frequent urination, rash, excess thirst, a jittery feeling, and trouble sleeping.
- Vata – Tremors, coughing, pain, excess thirst, constipation, insomnia, and blurry vision.
The Ayurvedic approach to managing diabetes involves diet, herbs, treatment, and exercise. Ayurveda strives for a reduction of active processes, detoxification, nourishment and toning of the body, and achieving balance. By determining the causal imbalances at the basis of a disorder, an Ayurveda evaluation strikes the root causes of diabetes which are Overeating and consequent obesity, Excessive intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, Overloading of proteins and fats which get converted into sugar if taken in excess, Excessive tension, worry, anxiety & grief, Hereditary factors.
The Ayurvedic Diet for Diabetes
The diabetic person’s diet should consist of 60% vegetables and mild fruits, 30% protein, and 10% grains and starch.
Good foods for diabetics include:
- Leafy greens
- Bottle gourd
- White pumpkin
- Green millet
- Soybean and soya products.
Foods to avoid:
- Red meat
- Deep fried foods
- All artificial sweeteners
Try to limit dairy products, and drink two cups of green tea or lime tea every day, which helps lower blood pressure and increase weight loss. Ayurveda also addresses the diet modification by eliminating sugar and simple carbohydrates, and emphasizing complex carbohydrates. Protein is limited, as excessive intake can damage the kidneys. Fat is also limited because there is often a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, making fat digestion difficult.
Herbal formulations are used to control the sugar levels and needless to say that no chemicals are being added to it and they have no side effects.
Classical Medicines- Available in Ayurvedaforall.Com
- Nishakatakadi Qwath
- Katakakhadiradi qwath
- Dhanwantharam qwath.
- Rasonadi qwath.
- Aveerabeeja Churna
- Amrita Mehari Churana
- Vaiswanara Churna
- Brihat Triphala Churna
- Niruryadi Gulika
- Mahadhanvantharam Gulika
- Suvarna Muktadi gulika
** Gurmaar (Gymnema sylvestrae) – they will blend with the glucose molecules that are in intestines and prevent their entry into the blood.
** Karela (Momordica charantia) – it has such a good anti-diabetic property that prevents diabetic complications.
** Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – very useful to fight weakness, fatigue, and weightloss that occurs due to diabetes.
** Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) – The leaves when used regularly controls the blood sugar level.
**Karela is an all-natural herbal supplement that has been prepared from the seeds of bitter gourd, that regulates the blood sugar level and prevents complications like diabetic neuropathy.
** Turmeric with aloe vera gel can be used to treat the initial stages of diabetes that help in regulating the pancreas and liver functions.
** Decoctions of Triphala, fenugreek, musta, Arjuna, sandalwood, lodhra, ajwan, gokshura, vidanga, Guduchi, haritaki, and chitrak, when taken with little ghee, is highly beneficial for diabetic neuropathy.
** Saptrangi (Salacia oblonga) – effective in controlling diabetes.
Cinnamon has properties similar to insulin; try to add one-half teaspoon to your diet daily. Fenugreek has very strong blood sugar-lowering properties, as well. Salacia is an excellent anti-diabetic herb which also strengthens the nerves.
You can also try this home remedy drink each day:
Mix one-half teaspoon turmeric powder, one teaspoon of amla powder, one-half tablespoon of Methi seed powder in half a glass of water and drink first thing in the morning.
Drink in the empty stomach one glass of Cucumber juice and half glass of Karela juice.
Our Swami Ramdev Divya Madhunashini Vati is an excellent herbal blend that lowers blood sugars.
Mehanil Tablets from Ashtavaidya tradition is a good combination to answer issues related to Diabetes.
Katakakhadiradi tablets from Aryavaidyasala, Kottakkal is traditionally used in India for managing Diabetes Type II
Ayurvedic practitioners recommend Panchakarma for cleansing and detoxification. An herbal liver purge followed by a colon cleanse will help clear the digestive tract and restore balance.
Snehana with medicated oils aids in detoxification, and shodhana helps to purify.
Diet restrictions -Avoid foods that increase Kapha dosha like potatoes, rice, sugar, fatty foods and avoiding alcohol.
Exercise – Regular physical exercise is a must for diabetics. Practicing yogic asanas like ‘Halasan’, ‘Paschimottanasan” are found effective.
Panchakarma Therapy – The greatest benefit of Panchakarma is that it reduces the insulin resistance in the tissues in diabetics which is the primary goal in treating diabetes.
i.e., Ayurveda also addresses diet modification by eliminating sugar and simple carbohydrates and emphasizing complex carbohydrates. Protein is limited, as excessive intake can damage the kidneys. Fat is also limited because there is often a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, making fat digestion difficult. Since many diabetics have autoantibodies, Panchakarma is typically used for this cleansing the same. This begins with herbal massages and an herbal steam sauna, followed by fasting to cleanse the body. This is followed by an herbal purge for the liver, pancreas, and spleen. Colon therapy is next, first to cleanse the digestive tract and then to reconstitute the system.
Walking daily for at least 30 to 45 minutes is very helpful in lowering blood sugar, as is daily meditation. Morning abhyanga, or self-massage, with warm sesame oil is highly recommended, with special attention given to the abdominal area. Pranayama and daily yoga also lower blood sugar, aid in digestion, break down fat, and help insulin work better.
If you are over 40, weigh more than recommended, or have symptoms of diabetes like excess thirst and frequent urination, you should visit your doctor to see if you have diabetes or pre-diabetic syndrome. Even if you don’t, your mind and body will improve by following the ayurvedic diet and treatment program for diabetes. Visit our online store for a comprehensive selection of herbs and dietary supplements to keep you in good health.