In Ayurveda, diabetes is referred to as madhumey or madhumeha, which is known to mankind since ages and is a global health problem of clinical medicine and alarming the world as a non-infectious pandemic. Incidence of diabetes mellitus is increasing day by day because not only it has a family background. But at the same time with the advent of automobiles and machines, the physical labor is drastically reduced (especially with the availability of protein-rich diet along with changing lifestyle and increased stress in the society). Type 2 diabetes forms 95% of total diabetes. India alone has more than 35 million diabetes, with many of them being unaware of their condition.

With the discovery of the relation between the pancreas and diabetes mellitus, and with the invention of insulin, it was hoped that the battle of diabetes was solved. But only after few decades it was realized that the problem of this disease had many facets and it is of multifactorial origin, so there had been a keen desire to find out oral hypoglycemic agents which can replace insulin therapy.

In this pursuit, it has always been felt to explore the Ayurvedic resources which provide a promising field of drug research, especially in view of the least side effects of these drugs. Etiological factors of diabetes mellitus are now fairly known and it is almost decided that it is the resultant of the interaction of multiple etiological factors, HENCE THE MULTIFACTORIAL APPROACH will be appropriate.

Diabetes-Home-Remedies

Acharya “CHARAKA” has also emphasized that as one etiological factor may produce different disorder or may be specific for producing one disease only similarly multiple etiological factors may be involved in the causation of one disease:

एको हेतुरनेकस्य तथेकस्यैक एव हि I

व्याधेरेक्स्य चानेको बहूनां बहवोsपिII [ च० नि० 8/24 ]

Thus one pacificatory measure is useful in many disorders, as well as in single disorder, likewise, many measures are required for a single disorder as well as multiple ones:

एका शान्तिरनेकस्य त्थेवेकस्य लक्ष्यते I

व्याधेरेक्स्य चानेका बहूना बहवय एव च II [ च० नि० 8/30 ]

Thus an indigenous drug may not be useful in lowering the blood sugar to the same extent as the insulin and other agents. But we may have some other influences which may be useful for the management of the disease. Keeping in view the poor acceptability of insulin and the troublesome untoward effects and reduced efficacy after the prolonged use of oral hypoglycemic agents [OHAs]. The need for potent and safe oral hypoglycemic drug(s) is always felt. Hence in the following article, an attempt has been made to publish some ayurvedic home remedies and herbs possessing anti-diabetes properties.

EVALUATION: Charaka Samhita has detailed description of diabetes under the disease “PRAMEHA” which deals with etiology, clinical features, classical types, pathology, prognosis, complications, and principles of treatment and management of diabetes [MADHUMEHA] by various streams. Acharya Charaka has described “PRAMEHA” as ‘Anushangi’ which means ‘Punarbhavi’ i.e. the disease is very difficult to cure.

GENERAL ETIOLOGY

Diabetes-home-remedies

The most common factors are hereditary and dietetic which are responsible for causing the disease, thus PRAMEHA can be classified accordingly as:

  1. SAHAJA OR KULAJA PRAMEHI [hereditary]: this can be interpretated as inherited disease due to certain defects in the sperm/ovum before fertilization. The person having Sahaja Prameha is asthenic, may develop this disease without overeating or without consuming excess of fats and without lack of exercise. It can be compared with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
  2. APATHYA NIMITTAJA PRAMEHI [acquired]: this is due to lack of exercise and faulty lifestyle, such persons are obese and habitual of sedentary life and sleep. It can be compared with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

CHIKITSA OF PRAMEHA [MANAGEMENT]

Diabetes Diet-Home Remedies

In Ayurveda, management of Prameha can be divided into:

  1. Chikitsa Sutra [ Principle of Management]
  2. Chikitsa [ Management Proper]
  1. Chikitsa Sutra: Acharya Sushruta and Charaka have strongly emphasized that sole principle of treatment is elimination of etiological factors, which are responsible for the disease production, this is called the principle of ‘Nidana Parivarjana’ i.e. if diet and exercise are regulated. By avoiding the food and behavior which precipitates the disease, and by providing the foods and exercise which antagonize the pathology and the disease, no drug is required: “संक्षेप्त: क्रियायोगो: निदान परिवर्जनम I “ [ सु० सू० 1/25 ]
  2. Chikitsa: which means DIET & LIFESTYLE REGIME: (below are the instructions on what to take and what to avoid)
  1. Pathya [Wholesome] : regularize timings and quantity of meals, green gram, horse gram, bitter gourd, turmeric, Indian gooseberry, black pepper, pumpkin, radish, spinach, bottle/ridge gourd, brinjal, tomato, cauliflower, okra, pomegranate, apple, pears, guava, barley/wheat bran flour/black chickpeas mixed chapattis,  barley porridge, roasted corn flour, preparation of bitter vegetables, pigeon peas, rock salt, fenugreek leaves and seed, cucumber, lemon, melons, papaya, walking/gardening, yoga asana like Mayurasana, Paschimuttana asana.
  2. Apathya [ unwholesome]: newly harvested rice, black gram, curd, jaggery, sugarcane, betel leaves, overeating, , cold water, bloodletting, sweets, ice cream, bakery products, chocolates, biscuits, mango, dates, banana, grapes, potato, sweet potato, carrot, colocacia, fried food, day time sleeping or excessive sleep, smoking, sedentary life style, abstinence from physical and mental activity.

HOME REMEDIES AND INSTRUCTIONS

  • Drink water of vijaysaar [ pterocarpus marsupim] empty stomach: buy the wood of this herb from a local grocery shop and soak it overnight in a vessel or water purifier and next morning drink one glass of this water.
  • Take bark of banyan tree and boil in 450 ml water, when 20 ml remains then remove from boiling and after filtering give it to drink. [morning/evening for 1 month].
  • One can eat Chapatti of black chickpea.
  • 20 ml [dose is important] bitter gourd juice.
  • Eating bael leaves with black pepper helps in regulating blood sugar level.

HERBAL MEDICINE FOR DIABETES

Diabetes Medicine-Home remedies.
  • Ayurvedic herbal drugs for diabetes are selected on the principle of Rasa [taste], Guna [physiochemical properties], Veerya [potency], Vipaka [post digestive effect], and Prabhava [unique action]. These drugs are easily available at your home and each of these principles is felt to have a specific effect on the Doshas and function of the body. Which is how they exert their therapeutic effects, like
  1. Tejpatra [cinnamomum tamala]
    Indian bay leaf : 2-4 gms as leaves powder.
  2. Methi [ Trigonella foenum graecum] Dried Fenugreek: 1-3 gms as seed powder.
  3. Jamun [ Syzygium cumini]
    black plum: Oral intake of boiled seeds and fruits.
  4. Bitter melon [ momordica charantia]: oral intake of boiled fruits.
  5. Hapusha [junipers communis]
    Common juniper: oral intake of boiled berries.
  6. Indian wormwood [Artemisia vulgaris]: oral intake of the filtrate of the boiled leaves, young shoots, and roots.
  7. Garlic [allium sativum]: oral intake of raw bulbs or its juice.
  8. Other drugs available on prescription are: Patoladi ghrita, chandraprabha vati, Punarnavasava, Nishamalaki, Dhanvantra kvatha,  maha prasarani taila, shilajit, yashada bhasma, lauha bhasma, gomutra shilajit, triphala kashaya, chandanasava, vasantmalti rasa, navayasa churna.

SUMMARY

Management of diabetes [madhumeha] may be summarized in with some methods that you can take notes on. Abstinence from etiological factors, i.e. high glycemic diet, and sedentary lifestyle. Drugs having antagonistic properties against the disease. Regular physical exercise to burn maximum calories and for proper oxygenation of tissues and organs.Avoidance of mental stress with meditation, Yogic practices. i.e. progress of the disease has to be thoroughly evaluated.

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Dr Munish Sood

Dr Munish Sood

B.A.M.S, MD (Ayu) Kayachikitsa
He is an Ayurveda Specialist with working experience of almost 18 years as: Sr. Consultant cum Physician (M.D.) & Sr. R.M.O, JNANI Hospital: (An Undertaking of Tibetan Craft Community, Tashijong, Kangra), Paprola. Consulting (M.D.) & Sr. R.M.O, DTIL Hospital, Chimbalhaar, Palampur. Sr. Medical Officer, Simla Sanitarium & Hospital, Himachal Pradesh. Assistant Professor & Medical Officer, SUDAC & Hospital, Hoshiarpur.