According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014, more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes and one in four people with diabetes doesn’t know he or she has it. Ann Albright, Ph.D., R.D., Director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, warns, “These new numbers are alarming and underscore the need for an increased focus on reducing the burden of diabetes in our country.”
Though western medicine has made a lot of progress in diabetes management, if this chronic condition has to be curbed, the most effective solution is to convince people to change their lifestyle. This is where an Ayurvedic approach to diabetes makes complete sense. In Ayurveda, Diabetes mellitus is known as Madhumeha (Madhu means ‘honey’ and Meha means ‘urine’) and is categorized as Vataj.
1. Ayurveda And Diabetes
Madhumeha is categorized as Vataj Meha (a problem caused by aggravation of Vata or Air). Vata in Ayurveda symbolizes wind and dryness. Deterioration of the body is a characteristic that indicates a dysfunction 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.
According to Ayurveda, the other main cause of Diabetes mellitus is impaired digestion. It leads to accumulation of specific digestive impurities which accumulate in the pancreatic cells and impair the production of insulin.
2. Why Diabetes Is Not Just Another Disease
Ayurveda does not regard diabetes as a disease that can be treated by just medicine or by a controlling your diet. Diabetes is classified as a Maha Rog (major disease) because, if not treated in time, it can lead to several complications in the body, including eye problems, joint pains, impotence, kidney failure, sexual and urological problems.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder and it cannot be merely treated by controlling sugar levels. Unlike modern medicine, the treatment recommended by Ayurveda is targeted at rejuvenating the body to not only balance sugar levels but also to prevent further complications.
3. Ayurvedic Treatment For Diabetes
The Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes is based on changing the entire lifestyle of the patient. Along with medication and diet, the patient is also advised to lead a healthy lifestyle and live an active life. In the Ayurvedic approach, it is believed that dietary and lifestyle changes rejuvenate the body’s cells and tissues, allowing them to produce insulin properly.
Therefore the idea is to remove the problem from the root rather than just medicate. Ayurveda also stresses upon the mental aspects of the disease and medicines are administered to also keep the brain function at optimum levels.
4. Diet & Lifestyle Changes
1. 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.
2. Include whole grains in the diet, such as wheat bread/pasta and brown rice.
3. Avoid sweet fruits like pineapple, grapes, mangoes, etc.
4. Cheese and yogurt prepared with skimmed (nonfat) milk may be taken.
5. 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.
6. Avoid sleeping in the daytime as it increases mucous secretion in the body.
7. Use garlic, onion, bitter gourd, spinach, raw banana, and black plum.
8. 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.
5. Home Remedies To Control Blood Sugar
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, please do not stop taking prescription medication. And if you’re keen to opt for an Ayurvedic treatment, consult a registered Ayurvedic practitioner. These home remedies are a natural way to supplement your treatment and not treatments by themselves.
Dry the leaves of mango tree and grind to a powder. Mix 1 teaspoon dry powder in a glass of water and drink it daily to reduce high blood sugar levels.
Take 2 teaspoons of bitter gourd juice once a day. One can also increase its use as a cooked vegetable.
Take 1 teaspoon of Indian gooseberry (amla) juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of bitter gourd juice twice a day.
Boil 3-4 tbsp of cinnamon powder in one liter of water for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and made it cool. Drink it every day.
Soak 4 tbsp of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight. Crush them in the morning and strain the mixture. Drink it daily for 3 months.