Diabetes is characterized by an abnormally high level of blood glucose and by the excretion of the excess glucose in urine. It results from an absolute or relative lack of insulin which leads to abnormalities in carbohydrate metabolism as well as in the metabolism of protein and fat.
It is a disorder of assimilation.
When the Pancreas become inactive or atrophied and ceases to produce insulin, the body is unable to convert sugar into energy for the muscles. According to Ayurveda, Diabetes can be correlated with Prameha.
It is primarily a Kapha disease caused by obesity and excess consumption of sweet, Kaphogenic foods. Kapha increases in the stomach due to low pancreas function, then enters the other tissues causing frequency and turbidity of urination.
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Diabetes is a complicated disorder in which a lot of complications appear if diabetes in not treated properly. Till date there are many researchers working on to find cure of diabetes but still there is nothing concrete. There are however some ancient remedies described in ayurveda which are found to be very effective herbal remedies for diabetes. We do not claim that we can cure the diabetes but we can certainly claim that the herbs have natural tendency to keep sugar levels in control without causing any side effects and can be used for long term. The levels can be monitored regularly and the dosage of drugs can be reduced slowly.
These herbal remedies do not cause low blood sugar immediately but slowly and steadily control the sugar levels. It is better to use natural products for diabetes rather than depending upon drugs. If the targeting level of glucose control is achieved and the purpose can be achieved by using herbal remedies, then we do not think it is very important to depend upon drugs.
In Ayurveda, it has been mentioned that a person who is habituated to sedentary habits and lifestyle, sitting idle, excessive intake of meat, curd, new grains, jaggery products and all other Kapha aggravating factors are susceptible to Prameha.
It is described mainly as a dysfunction of the water system (Ambuvaha srotas) or a water metabolism imbalance. Ayurveda has twenty such diseases according to the three doshas that cause them. Natural remedies cannot cure it on a whole, particularly that of juvenile onset, but they can alleviate many of its side effects and improve the quality of life and energy. For juvenile onset, and once the pancreas function is totally lost, the condition is generally not reversible.?
The types of Prameha are classified on the basis of the doshas involved.
Kaphaja Prameha - 10 types
Pittaja Prameha - 6 types
Vataja Prameha - 4 types
Long term and juvenile onset diabetes involves thirst and wasting away of tissues, and is or primarily becomes a Vata disease. Vata accumulates in the large intestine and travels to the pancreas, deranging pancreas function.
In case of Pitta, it accumulates in the small intestine then travels to the liver and pancreas, upsetting their functions. Pitas have a high 'Agni' that can burn out the Pancreas.
The main Dosha involved is Kapha and the Dushyas are Medas, Rakta, Shukra, Ambu, Vasa, Lasika, Majja, Rasa, Ojas and Mamsa.
The symptoms include:
The best general herb and common spice for regulating pancreas and liver function, particularly useful in the initial stage of diabetes, is turmeric. Take it as a powder, 1-3 grams twice a day, with little aloe gel or aloe juice.
The main Ayurvedic herb in severe or long term conditions is Shilajith, usually taken in the form of shilajith compound. Another important Ayurvedic herb is Gurmar (Gur-mar means Sugar destroying). It is able to reduce excess sugar in the body as well as countering sugar cravings. Spices like ginger and cardamom also aid in the digestion of sweets.
Vasanta kusumakara, a special mineral preparation is great in severe cases. Most bitters help control sugar metabolism, especially gentian.
For kapha types, a long term anti-kapha diet is the main treatment. Bitter taste is indicated because it helps control sugar and fat metabolism and liver and pancreas function. Bitter melon is an excellent food. Good bitter herbs for diabetes are aloe, gentian, katuka, neem, barberry, turmeric, golden seal, and myrrh. Black pepper, cayenne and ginger and other pungent herbs are useful for weight reduction that is a necessary part of treatment. Useful Ayurvedic formulas include Chanderprabha, Shilajith, as well as Trikatu.
Vata type diabetes involves emaciation, thirst, dehydration, extreme hunger, insomnia, low energy and burning sensation in the hands and feet as well as high blood sugar. An anti-Vata diet is indicated, avoiding sugar and sweet juices. Complex carbohydrates, nuts and dairy should be taken instead. Calamus or ashwagandha is useful. Oil treatment is essential.
Herbal treatment aims at tonification using herbs such as shilajith, Ashwagandha, bala and shatavari.
Important Chinese herbs that are useful are ginseng, astragalus, dioscorea, schizandra, trichosanthes root and lyceum.
Pitta type diabetes involves fever, thirst, acidity, irritability and hypertension. Bitter herbs are indicated as under kapha along with cooling demulcent tonics such as shatavari, aloe gel or marsh mallow for weaker types. Gotu kola is also useful.
Apart from the above mentioned herbs, vegetables like bitter gourd, beans, drumstick and that which has high water content like snake gourd, radish, cucumber etc. are good for health. Fruits like Papaya, Mosambi, Jambu, and Amla are also good. A person suffering from Diabetes can take other sweet fruits once in a while.
Generally steamed and boiled foods are advisable. Can have boiled green gram once in a day. Can also barley-porridge especially during constipation. At night, have diluted milk without sugar, in a warm state. Avoid artificial sweeteners and sweets. Avoid processed ghee and cheese. Take whole grain bread instead of the one available in the Bakery.
Sugar levels also increase when Diabetic Patients starve for a long time. So they should not starve nor should they be gluttonous. Small meals at regular intervals or optimum intake of food are advisable.
Walking is must in Diabetes. Even Patients who are dependant on Insulin who don't walk, it is found out that the Sugar levels never decrease. An evening walk for a continuous half hour is helpful.
Diabetic and Hypertensive Patients are more susceptible to Stroke, so it is not advisable to go out in sunlight especially when under stress.