Diabetes in Ayurveda
According to ayurveda, diabetes is a metabolic kapha type of disorder in which diminished functioning of agni leads to a tendency toward high blood sugar. (Ayurveda recognizes 24 forms of the disease commonly classified under Prameha - 4 are due to Vata dosha, 6 are due to Pitta dosha, and 10 are caused by Kapha dosha. The main causes of these diseases are fat, urine, and Kapha buildups due to foods, liquids, lifestyle and others.)
Ayurvedic practitioners attack diabetes using a multiprong approach. First, they address diet modification, eliminating sugar and simple carbohydrates, and emphasizing complex carbohydrates. Protein is limited, since excessive intake can damage the kidneys. Fat is also limited because there is often a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, making fat digestion difficult. Since many diabetics have autoantibodies, a cleansing program is instituted. Panchakarma is typically used for this purpose. This begins with herbal massages and an herbal steam sauna, followed by fasting to cleanse the body. This is followed by an herbal purge for the liver, pancreas, and spleen. Colon therapy is next, first to cleanse the digestive tract and then to reconstitute the system.
Ayurvedic practitioners also use several herbal preparations for diabetics. Exercise is another cornerstone of ayurvedic treatment of diabetes. Yoga and breathing exercises are traditionally used.
The most important herbs for all doshas are shilajit, gudmar turmeric, neem, amalaki, guggul, and arjuna. Turmeric with aloe vera gel (1 to 3 gms./.035 to .1 oz) is best used during the early stages of diabetes for regulating pancreas and liver functions.
1. Juice of bitter melon or bitter gourd (Momordica dioica, Roxb., Karela), or Rose apple (Eugenia Jambos, Linn., Jambu) or two tender leaves of Bilva (Aegle Marmelos, Corr., Bael fruit) and Neem (Melia azadirachta, Ravipriya, or Indian Lilac) may be taken on empty stomach daily. Juice of Jambu should be taken in an ounce quantity twice daily, and that of Karela in 1-1/2 ounce dose daily. Shilajit (Swertia Decussata Nimmo.) is another useful medicine (250 mg as a single dose) should be taken, twice daily with juice of stone apple.
2. Use turmeric. Fill some 00-size capsules with turmeric, and take 2 capsules 3 times a day, a few minutes before meals. Continue this program for up to a month, and then reevaluate your condition. Clinical observation suggests that a person who is insulin dependent will experience a markedly diminished requirement for insulin; the diabetes can often be brought under control.
3. Take 1/2 teaspoon of ground bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, mixed in 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel. Take the mixture twice a day before lunch and dinner.
4. The ayurveda preparation Vasanta Kusumakar Ras, is very good but is extremely costly. Take two grains daily with a tsp. of cream or honey. In certain cases, the said medicine brings down sugar lever quite quickly, hence sugar-levels should be carefully monitored. When sugar has touched its normal range, the dose should be tapered in a graduated manner, and added with 500 mg pill of Chandraprabhavati which is called a 'Poor man's remedy.'
5. Mix and grind seeds of Fenugreek (Methi) 100 gm, turmeric 50gm, Dakhni Mirch (white pepper). Take one teaspoon of this powder with a glass of milk twice daily. Alternately, immerse and soak one teaspoon of fenugreek seed in water. Take this in the morning, with water or with milk.
6. Take twice daily, with powder of rose apple stones (powder of Jambu or Jamun-ki-Guthali).
7. Include decoctions of triphala, fenugreek, musta, arjuna, sandalwood, lodhra, ajwan, gokshura, vidanga, guduchi, haritaki, and chitrak. These may be taken with a small amount of ghee. Gudmar and shilajit are excellent.
8. Amalaki Churna (500mg), Haldi Powder (Turmeric Powder) 500mg and Naag Bhasma (125mg) should be taken with honey, twice daily ( A 12-hourly dose ).