The incidence of diabetes mellitus is increasing day by day around the globe. This condition is also called the Silent killer due to the recent evidence of both its insulin resistance and the side effects from conventional chemical drug treatments. As the oldest medicine, Ayurveda provides information of almost all diseases. This includes diabetes, which is also called Maharoga (Major Disease) since almost all parts of the body and every cell of human physiology are affected by it. There is a separate chapter in Ayurveda text about diabetes under Sanskrit name MADHUMEHA. The approach of Ayurveda towards diabetes mellitus is that it is caused due to doshic imbalances.
Ayurveda includes diabetes mellitus in the prameha category. Pramehas are a list of urinary disorders, especially characterized by profuse urination with several abnormal qualities. There are twenty kinds of pramehas in Ayurveda:
- Kapha type (10 types)
- Pitta type (6 types)
- Vata type (4 types)
Diabetes mellitus is termed as madhumeha, and is one of the four vataja pramehas.
The word madhumeha indicates the clinical condition where there is an increase passing of sweet urine along with the increase in the blood sugar level. More specifically, Ayurveda has classified diabetes into 21 types.
Let’s discuss the cause and symptoms before the Ayurvedic management.
What cause Diabetes?
Physical and mental causes:
- Luxury and sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of physical activities and exercise
- Excessive sleeping and resting
- Kapha increasing lifestyle
- Stress, grief, fear and worry
Food and drinks that cause diabetes:
- Excessive consumption of milk products and its preparations
- Excess of flesh or meat soup of animals living in water and marshy regions
- Food, drinks and dishes prepared from new grains etc.
- Jaggery, its derivatives and dishes made out of it
- Sweet products
- Foods that are rich in carbohydrates
- Unwholesome, improper or heavy diet
Highest risk group are those who:
- Are above 45 years
- Are obese / overweight
- Have a Family history of T2DM
- Have pre-diabetes
- Do not exercise
- Have low HDL or high triglycerides
- Have high BP
- Have had Gestational Diabetes
- Have a high fat and carbohydrate diet
- Have a high alcohol intake
- Are women having PCOS
Clinical symptoms of diabetes mellitus:
- Excessive urination and urine similar to a honey-sweetish astringent
- Turbid urine
- Pallor and dryness of the body
- General debility and weakness
- Bad body odour
- Emaciation and weak sexual interest
Ayurvedic Management of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus comes under the category of Maharoga, that is, a disease difficult to cure. Ayurveda does not promise to cure diabetes completely but offers to help control it with an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle. If symptoms are acute, Ayurveda can also treat the disease condition.
Ayurvedic management depends upon the mind-body constitution of an individual or overall strength of a person. There are two lines of management:
- De-nourishment and Detox.
If an individual is obese, the following approach can be used alongside anti-diabetic herbal supplements with the aim of de-nourishment of fats and elimination of cellular toxins.
- Various exercise and physical activities
- Fasting therapy – juice, water, mono diet fasting, etc., depending on the person
- Panchakarma therapy – five folds of cellular cleansing therapy (such as emesis, puirgation, enema and nasal cleansing) is administered under a supervision of an Ayurveda specialist
- Replenishment, Body building and Detox treatment
This treatment is if an individual is chronically ill, has low immunity and low body weight. The approach is to build body tissue with nutrients and micronutrients and strengthen the immune system in order to prevent further damage and repair the system.
- Panchakmara detox including oil enemas therapies
- Nourishing and detoxing massage like Abhyanga (Ayurvedic oil massage) or Shastikashali pinda swedana (rice bolus massage)
Ayurvedic herbal management:
- Jambhul (Eugenia jambolana)
- Bitter Gourd/bitter melon (Momordica charantia)
- Bel (Aegle marmelos)
- Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum)
- Turmeric (Curcuma long)
- Neem (Azadirachta Indica)
- Meshashringi – Gymnema sylvestre Br.
- Shilajatu – Asphaltum punjabinum
- Guggulu – Commiphora mukul(Hook. Ex. Stocks.) Engl.
Common Ayurvedic formulations:
- Varanadi Kashaya
- Triphala Guggulu
Diabetes is counted as a lifestyle disease. Lifestyle management includes Yoga, exercise and physical activities incorporated with herbal medicine, diet and detox which helps control and treat diabetes mellitus.
Note: This article is composed for the public’s general awareness. Please do not use this information for your own diagnosis and treatment. Prior consultation with an Ayurveda doctor is recommended for the right diagnosis and treatment.