Diabetes and Ayurveda – Herbs and Tips
Diabetes is a commonly increasing disorder of the modern world and is hitting epidemic proportions. According to William Herman director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Diabetes Translational Research and a consultant to the World Health Organization, diabetes really is an epidemic, both in the U.S. and globally. According to recent studies, WHO estimates that nearly 350 million people worldwide have the condition.
Diabetes also known as Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder characterized with excess amount of blood sugar or blood glucose, and is due to the lack of the hormone insulin in the body or because the insulin present in the body is inefficient to synthesize glucose and absorb it into the body.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which the person suffering has high amount of blood glucose or blood sugar, either due to inadequate insulin production in the body or because the body cells do not respond properly to the insulin. Frequent hunger, thirst and urination are common symptoms.
Diabetes is of three types namely Type 1 Diabetes, An auto immune disease; Type 2 Diabetes the body does not produce enough insulin for proper functioning and Gestational Diabetes seen developing in women during pregnancy. Of these Type 2 is most prevalent and Type 1 least prevalent.
The common causes of diabetes are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin deficiency or insulin resistance. It can be hereditary and also rarely due to pancreas.
The main symptoms are extreme thirst, hunger, blurry vision, polyuria, weight loss, fatigue and frequent urination.
Ayurveda and Diabetes
In Ayurveda diabetes is known as “Prameha”. It is a chronic metabolic disorder, which makes the body unable to utilize proper use of glucose produced, resulting in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and glycosuria (sugar in urine). If left unattended, diabetes may lead to heart-attacks, strokes, blindness, nerve damages, amputation of limbs, impotence in men and pruritus (Itching).
Ayurveda has much more scientific information on Diabetes, its symptoms and causes and has some of the oldest records on the disease. According to Ayurveda there are 20 forms of diabetes, 4 due to Vata dosha, 6 due to Pitta and the remaining 10 due to Kapha dosha. Diabetes is mainly a Kapha disorder.
In Ayurvedic view, Diabetes is caused mainly due to the diet increasing the Kapha dosha like sugar, rice, fats, and potatoes, lack of exercise, mental stress and strain and excessive sleep.
Diet planning, is the key factor in controlling diabetes. Proper daily exercise and restricting and reducing over-weight play another role in managing diabetes. Also avoid smoking, sleep during daytime and stress. Practicing Yoga can help in reducing and managing stress and strain.
Some most useful Herbs for the Treatment of Diabetes are
• Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia)
• Bael (Aegle marmelos)
• Gurmar Leaves (Gymnema sylvestrae)
• Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum)
• Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
• Onion (Allium cepa)
• Nayantatra (Vinca rosa)
• Neem (Azadirachtha indica)
• Garlic (Allium sativum)
• Sagar gota (Ceasalpinia crista)
Few Ayurvedic Tips for Diabetes
1. Bitter gourd is considered the best remedy for diabetes. Consume one teaspoon of bitter gourd juice daily as it reduce blood sugar levels in your blood and urine. Also having bitter gourd cooked in ghee and consuming for a period of three months, brings down diabetes by a significant level.
2. Indian gooseberry is considered to be an effective medicine for treating diabetes. A teaspoon of Indian gooseberry juice mixed with a cup of fresh bitter gourd juice, taken for a period of two months will enable the pancreas to secrete insulin.
3. Tulsi leaves are packed with antioxidants that relieve oxidative stress and have essential oils that help in lowering blood sugar levels in the body. Sugar levels can be kept under control by drinking a glass of water with 10 Tulsi (Holy Basil) leaves, 10 Neem (Azadirachtha indica) leaves and 10 Belpatras (Aegle marmelos) early morning on an empty stomach.
4. Mix and grind seeds of fenugreek, turmeric, and white pepper. Have one teaspoon of this powder with a glass of milk twice daily.
5. Put a cup of water into a copper vessel at night, and drink the water in the morning.
6. Boil 15 fresh mango leaves in a cup of water, leave over night, and drink the filtered water first thing in the morning, as tender mango leaves are very effective to treat diabetes by regulating insulin levels in the blood.
7. Eating a healthy diet that contains vitamins and minerals like fruits such as apples, apricots, and berries, and vegetables like carrots, beet and bitter gourd is essential for keeping your body healthy and in balancing blood sugar levels.
8. Fenugreek seeds consist of fiber useful for controlling diabetes. Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight and consume early in the morning before breakfast. The seeds can also be powdered and mixed with milk. This can enhance the secretion of glucose-dependent insulin. Repeat this remedy daily for few months to control blood sugar levels.
9. Drinking a cup of green tea on an empty stomach is found to be good for overall health. Green tea has polyphenol content, a strong antioxidant compound that is helpful in reducing the blood sugar insulin level in the body.
10. Also recent studies have found that yogurt and curds may help lower the risk for diabetes.
Diet planning is the key remedy to controlling diabetes. Avoid consuming sugary foods such as rice, banana, potato, cereals and high sugar content fruits. Include bitter dishes in every meal, have leafy vegetables, black gram, soy, fish etc.
Include vegetables like Bitter Gourd, string beans, cucumber, onion and garlic, fruits such as Indian gooseberry, Jamul fruit and grapes and grains like Bengal gram and black gram in the diet. Also consume raw vegetables and herbs as they play a key role in stimulating the pancreas and enhancing the insulin production. Go for organic vegetables for better results.
To conclude diabetes is not just the lack of insulin production in the body. It is due to the poor maintenance of the body. Balancing the health of the body and the Doshas can only cure it. For this purpose, having a healthy life style is significant.