Diabetes - ayurvedic treatment
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  • 1. Glucose is the main form of sugar in the body. The body breaks down food into glucose and uses it as a source of energy. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a condition in which the body is unable to regulate the level of glucose in the blood. In diabetics, the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use the produced insulin effectively. This results in a high level of glucose in the blood, the condition also known as hyperglycemia. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas (a long, thin organ located behind the stomach against the back). In healthy people, insulin helps to regulate the glucose (sugar) levels. There are four main types of diabetes mellitus: Type 1: People with this type of diabetes make little or no insulin in their body, and need regular insulin injections for survival and management of diabetes. It usually starts in childhood or adolescence, and is strongly associated with genetic tendency. Type 2 (DM2): This is the most common form of diabetes, and is strongly associated with unhealthy lifestyle and obesity. The body produces low, normal or even high levels of
  • 2. insulin, but certain factors make its utilization ineffective (insulin resistance). Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy dietary patterns, and the consequent obesity are common causes. It usually starts in adulthood, but is beginning to be seen in obese adolescents also. Gestational diabetes mellitus: Pregnancy- induced diabetes Secondary diabetes mellitus: Caused by genetic conditions, pancreatic diseases (e.g. inflammation, surgery or malignancy of the pancreas, etc), drugs (e.g. steroids like prednisolone, pentamidine, excess thyroid hormone, etc) or other medical conditions (acromegaly, Cushing syndrome, pheochromocytoma, hyperthyroidism, congenital rubella, etc). Medications such as thiazide diuretics or oral contraceptives can precipitate diabetes in a person predisposed to get it later. In Ayurveda, Diabetes mellitus, known as Madhumeha, is described as one of the twenty types of Prameha (conditions involving excretion of abnormal urine). Though the condition is referred to as ‘hard to be treated’, it can definitely be controlled through judicious use of the holistic recommendations of
  • 3. Ayurveda, comprising of diet, lifestyle and medicines. General Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations: Do’s: Barley is the most useful diet for diabetics. It should be taken in every possible form. Chickpea (Bengal gram) is the second best food after barley. Preferably one year old stock of barley and chickpea should be consumed. Both can be soaked overnight in water and can be used in various preparations in the morning. Otherwise their flour, roasted powder or coarse grind powder can be used singly or in combination with flours of other grains. Other food items to be preferred are: one year old wheat, brown /red rice, corn, millet, oat, lentil, green gram, horse gram, and pigeon pea. However, cereals should be consumed in lesser amount; rather, vegetables, pulses and salad should usually be preferred. Drumsticks, Parval (Tricosanthes dioca), Brinjal (melongene), bitter gourd, ivy gourd, bottle gourd, spinach, fenugreek leaves, unripe banana, unripe papaya, radish, zinger, and other bitter- pungent vegetables are beneficial.
  • 4. Among the spices, black pepper, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, coriander etc are preferred. Mustard oil or olive oil is best for cooking. Blackberry, water chestnut, fig, apple, Indian gooseberry, pure honey, buttermilk, cow’s or goat’s milk are other preferred dietary items. Different types of workouts/exercises, walking a few miles early morning and after dinner (after two hour’s gap) is very useful. Don’ts: Leisure or Sedentary lifestyle, excess sleep or rest worsens the problem. Intake of curd, cream, sweets, chocolates, candies, artificial sweeteners, fresh stock of cereals, high sugar fruits, fried or unhealthy fat rich food items, heavy meals, alcohol and excess of sour, spicy foods, oils and dairy products are prohibited. Smoking should be avoided and quit eventually. Excess sweating, day time sleep, excessive indulgence in sex, postponing of natural urges, especially of urination, is not advisable. Ayurveda Medicines: Shilajit or Asphaltum can be valued as the
  • 5. best medicine for diabetes, especially when used after being processed in the decoction of herbs like Indian Kino tree or Sal tree. Other useful Ayurveda herbs, which are now also proven through the modern experimental & clinical research, are: Heartwood of Indian Kino tree, Turmeric, Indian gooseberry, Bitter gourd, Chinese salacia, Ivy gourd, White head, Fenugreek seed, Gymnema, Margosa, Chiretta, Winter cherry root, Tinospora gulancha, etc. A number of classical single metal/mineral preparations e.g. vanga bhasma, suvarna vanga and yashad bhasma are also very useful as prescribed by Ayurveda doctors. Apart from above medicine, some well experienced and documented classical compound Ayurveda medicines as prescribed by experts are as follows: • Chandraprabha vati • Shilajitvadi lauh • Shiva gutika • Dashmoola Kwath • Meghnath ras • Vrihat vangeshear Ras • Nyagrodhadya Churna
  • 6. • Vasant Kusumakar ras • Mehmudgar vatika Since Ayurveda advocates specific and individualized management of all diseases, including diabetes, its recommendations vary from person to person depending on various factors. Therefore it is advised that one should not try self-medication with the above herbs or medicines but, instead, always seek personal consultation from a qualified Ayurveda expert to get proper benefits and to avoid any harmful side-effects. Though, diabetes is one of the leading causes of metabolic deaths in the world today, by care and perseverance, the disease can be controlled and people with diabetes can also lead normal, healthy, and long lives.