Diabetes – The author is , Ayurvedacharya
and Director, Jiva Ayurveda
Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder in which
the body is unable to make proper use of glucose, resulting in the condition of
hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Excess glucose in the blood
ultimately results in high levels of glucose being
present in the urine (glycosuria). This increases the urine output, which leads
to dehydration and increased thirst. Glucose comes from the food we eat and is also
made in liver and muscles. The blood carries glucose to all the cells in our
Insulin, a chemical (or hormone) produced in the
pancreas, is responsible for the uptake of glucose
into cells for energy. Decreased levels of insulin
affects this mechanism leading to increased glucose
in the blood stream.
Excessive intake of foods that are difficult to digest,
such as fried foods, creams, etc.
Lack of exercise Mental stress and strain
Overeating and consequent obesity
Excessive intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates
Overloading of proteins and fats
A diabetic person passes urine in large quantities and
urinates frequently during day and night; thirst
levels are increased; and there may be weight loss or
weight gain, fatigue, urinary tract infections, and
blurred vision. Wound healing is delayed. If left
untreated, Diabetescan lead to blindness, loss of
limbs (particularly feet or legs), heart disease, and
In Ayurveda, Diabetes Mellitus is known as Madhumeha
(Madhu means ‘honey’ and Meha means
‘urine’). Medhumeha is categorized as VatajMeha (a
problem caused by aggravation of Vata or Air).
Vata is an Ayurvedic humor symbolizing wind and dryness.
Deterioration of the body is a
characteristic that indicates impairment of Vata. Maximum
deterioration of dhatus (body tissues)
occurs in this type of disease and this is the reason why
all vital organs are affected by Diabetes. The
other prime cause of Diabetes Mellitus is impaired
digestion. Impaired digestion leads to
accumulation of specific digestive impurities which accumulate
in the pancreatic cells and impair the production of insulin.
Ayurveda does not regard Diabetes as a disease that can
be treated by mere medicine or by a dietary regimen. Madhumeha is classified as
a MahaRog (Major Disease) because, if not treated in time, it
can lead to several complications in the body, including
eye problems, joint pains, impotency, kidney
failure, sexual and urologic problems, and more. Diabetes
is a metabolic disorder and it cannot be
merely treated by controlling sugar levels. The treatment
recommended in Ayurveda – as against
modern medicine – is aimed at rejuvenating the body to
not only balance sugar levels, but also
ensuring that no further complication is caused.
The Ayurvedic treatment for this disease is based on an
entire change in the lifestyle of the person.
Along with medication and diet, the patient is also
advised to lead a healthy lifestyle and live an active
life. Dietary and lifestyle changes rejuvenate the body’s
cells and tissues, allowing them to produce
insulin properly. Even mental aspects of the disease are
stressed upon in Ayurveda. The medicines
that are administered are therefore meant to keep the
brain in its right manner of functioning.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice
Include whole grains in the diet, such as wheat
bread/pasta and brown rice.
Cheese and yogurt prepared with skimmed (nonfat) milk may
Use garlic, onion, bitter gourd, spinach, raw banana, and
Make a flour mixture of 1 part barley, 1 part black
chickpeas, and 4 parts whole-wheat flour and
use this to form pancakes and bread.
Avoid sweet, sour, and salty foods, potatoes, sweet
potatoes, colocasia (taro), yams, fresh grains
and pulses (legumes), whole yogurt (high in fat), and
heavy, oily and spicy foods.
Avoid sweet fruits like pineapple, grapes, mangoes, etc.
Start doing some light exercise, such as brisk walking.
Build up to a brisk walk of 30-40
minutes in the morning and again in the evening.
Avoid sleeping in the daytime as it increases
Some Home Remedies
Take 2 teaspoons of bitter gourd (karela) juice once a
day. One can also increase its use as a
Take 1 teaspoon of the powder of fenugreek seeds twice a
day with water.
Take 1 teaspoon of Indian gooseberry (amla) juice mixed
with 1 teaspoon of bitter gourd juice twice a day.