Coping with diabetes is not easy. Successful diabetes management necessitates awareness of conditions that affect your blood sugar level and solutions that can help manage them. Details from the most recent National Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy Survey report highlight how roughly 11.8 percent of Indians suffer from diabetic conditions and the daily challenge they have to deal with every day. Fortunately, the way to its successful management lies with Ayurveda (meaning life knowledge) and its natural medicines and solutions.
Ayurveda that deals with knowledge of life unveils the path to ultimate wellbeing by identifying individual health characteristics and patterns and underscores ways to restore balance to your life. Treatment through Ayurveda involves adjusting your diet as per your body requirements by adding certain ingredients to recipes while ignoring the rest, energizing the body and mind through yoga followed by meditation for positive thinking. Read on to find out how you can tap into the power of Ayurveda and effectively keep diabetes in check.
With roughly 77 million Indians suffering from diabetes, it makes sense to pay heed to some of its common signs and symptoms that may include – blurry vision, rapid weight loss, excessive hunger pangs, increased thirst, frequent urination, skin infections, extreme fatigue, etc.
The global prevalence of diabetes has been increasing and is slated to affect nearly 10.3 percent of the world’s population by 2030. Counted among the most common diseases that people around the world suffer from. The cause of diabetes can be hereditary, though it may also result from unhealthy stress levels and habits synonymous with modern lifestyle.
Vata dosha is responsible for all the small and big movements in the body, Pitta dosha regulates the body’s digestion and metabolism while Kapha dosha is accountable for strength and growth. The imbalance of these Doshas is what makes the body prone to illnesses.
Diabetes is caused majorly due to the imbalance in Kapha Dosha. The imbalance when compounded with a weak Agni or digestive fire can slow down the metabolism, which can lead to problems with the sugar levels in the body. It doesn’t mean that people who have a predominant Kapha nature will get diabetes. Diabetes can manifest in an individual when Kapha dominance is not counterbalanced by following healthy habits and a balanced diet. Therefore, Kapha dominant individuals should be careful about including enough air and fire elements in their food and habits.
Diabetes is referred to as Madhumeha in Ayurvedic texts, a word composed of two Sanskrit words – ‘Madhu’ meaning sweet and ‘Meha’ meaning urine. The name comes from the observation that increased levels of sugar in the bloodstream get reflected in the urine as well. In diabetes, Ojas or the very essence of life is lost through the urine (meha), which is why it is also referred to as “Ojomeha”.
Although managing diabetes can be difficult, it’s not impossible. Ayurveda describes several ways in which one can stabilize their sugar levels with herbs and natural Ayurvedic remedies for diabetes that can be easily prepared at home. They are as follows:
Commonly called the Indian gooseberry, this fruit because of its medicinal properties is deemed as one of the most natural medicines in Ayurveda. Health experts since ancient times have advised the inclusion of this fruit in our regular diet due to its antioxidant properties. Besides, the fruit’s Vitamin C content enables insulin resistance and balances the blood sugar level. This makes it quite effective in the treatment and management of diabetes.
The added nutrients like tannins and polyphenols help flush out the toxins from the body while their healing properties enable cellular metabolism. The polyphenols protect the body from oxidative stress due to high blood sugar. Ayurveda experts identify Amla as one of the best Ayurvedic medicines to control diabetes owing to its chromium content, a compound known to help the body to better respond to insulin and keep the blood sugar levels in check.
An important property of this fruit is that it stimulates microcirculation within the body which is ideal for building Ojas in the body. It counteracts the loss of Ojas through the urine and nourishes the tissues of the body, leading to vitality and health.
Available in fresh, dried and powdered form, herbal experts advise diabetes patients to drink fresh amla juice every morning to benefit from all the goodness in the fruit.
Also called ‘Karela’ in common Indian parlance, this bitter-tasting fruit is an excellent choice for diabetic patients owing to its inherent ability to inhibit glucose absorption. This fruit contains three active substances, including charanti, vicine, and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p that either act in solo or together to lower blood glucose levels naturally.
Diabetics are mostly advised to start their day with a glass of Karela juice that helps to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. To reduce the bitter taste of the drink, you may add half a teaspoon of salt and squeeze half a lemon juice into the drink. You may also add a pinch of black pepper powder to lower the tartness of the juice before drinking it.
The therapeutic effects of adding a pinch of Triphala powder in one’s regular diet have long been studied. Various studies have revealed how consuming five grams of the fruit’s powder for more than a month reduces blood sugar levels.
Triphala is an ayurvedic mixture composed of three potent herbs that include Haritaki, Amalaki, and Bibhitaki. The combination of the three strengthens your immune system, aids in digestion, and maintains a healthy heart and stable respiratory functions. The use of Triphala has also been mentioned in the ancient texts of Sushrut Samhita as one of the best Ayurvedic medicines for diabetes and a miracle mixture to improve metabolism and maintain healthy skin and hair.
Fenugreek seeds also called ‘methi dana’ in colloquial language have remedial properties that reduce blood sugar levels to a great extent, thus, reducing the risk of suffering from diabetes. The seeds contain fibers and compounds that help to slow down the digestion process as well as the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates in the body. Certain pieces of evidence from researches have also shown that fenugreek seeds soaked in warm water taken daily may be the ultimate panacea to treat type 2 diabetes. The fenugreek water has a controlling effect on blood sugar absorption levels, thus, delaying or preventing the onset of diabetes.
Diabetic patients can take fenugreek seeds:
This black tar-like mineral substance found in and around the Himalayan regions during summers has always been prescribed by herbalists as an effective ayurvedic treatment for diabetes. Sold in both pills and powdered form at diabetes control ayurvedic centers, shilajit when used as a herbal supplement boosts overall growth and development.
Rich in fulvic acid, shilajit acts to protect pancreatic beta cells that are needed to produce insulin. Shilajit helps by repairing the damaged pancreas that helps to release insulin and flush out toxins from the human body.
Research has proved that prolonged use of shilajit causes no harm and is effective for the treatment of people suffering from high blood pressure problems. Those diagnosed with heart problems must, however, consult a doctor before intaking this mineral in their diet as its long-term use can lower blood pressure.
This fruit and its medicinal effects are unknown to many. Extract of the leaves of this particular fruit when crushed is an effective remedy for the control and treatment of diabetes. The juice extracted from the leaves is mostly consumed with a pinch of black pepper.
Besides, researches have proved the effectiveness of this fruit in treating diabetes. Health experts advise their patients to have a glass of bael fruit juice every morning as the laxatives in it help to control the blood sugar in the body. Also called the ‘Wood Apple’ by city people, experts recommend regular consumption of this fruit as an effective diabetes control ayurvedic measure.
A small, yet powerful fruit that is a favorite among most Indian families and referred to as ‘Jamun’ in daily conversations. Known for its rich deep blue or purple color and rich taste, many Indian families include this fruit to make delicious desserts not only for its taste but also for its medicinal properties.
Diabetes patients can eat the seed of this fruit in powdered form. While explaining possible ayurvedic cures for diabetes, researchers often explain how jamuns help manage and maintain sugar levels due to their antioxidant properties.
There is no hard and fast treatment for diabetes, be it type-1 diabetes or type-2 diabetes. Ayurveda experts recommend lifestyle changes and alteration in dietary habits to control this disease and prevent it from spiraling out of control. Simple natural remedies prescribed to keep diabetes in check are:
These natural medicinal concoctions though may not treat diabetes completely, but certainly, provide relief against aggravated symptoms and deteriorating health problems stemming from diabetes. Necessary changes in diet and lifestyle patterns also help to check the disease. Besides, diabetic patients must avoid sugar intake and avoid eating fruits, grains, vegetables with high sugar content.
However, it is important to consult a medical professional before trying out any of the aforementioned Ayurvedic home remedies to treat diabetes. Talk to your doctor to know about the appropriate usage of the natural remedies that won’t affect your ongoing medications.
The patient suffering from diabetes mellitus should avoid living a sedentary lifestyle, or take a nap after lunch. Moreover, diabetic patients must prefer eating freshly harvested grains and avoid all food items containing sugar. Refrain from eating seafood. Smoking and drinking habits aggravate the symptoms of the disease. Never resist the urge to go to the toilet.
Exercising regularly helps to control your weight and blood sugar levels. Besides, a daily dose of light exercise can prevent the development of diabetes in people afflicted with prediabetes conditions. Doctors recommend the following kinds of exercise to control both type-1 and type-2 diabetes.
Regular exercise has benefits for both diabetic and non-diabetic patients. However, for patients diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, regular exercise is a must to control blood sugar levels and promote overall health.
The idea is to follow a holistic and natural lifestyle that controls blood glucose levels, thus, preventing and treating diabetes. Embracing Ayurveda's holistic lifestyle approach is the first step to combating the pervasiveness of diabetes and related health problems.