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The Ayurvedic mode of management of Diabetes

Since thousands of years the ancient physicians of this great nation have been successfully treating Prameha with the Ayurvedic measures and drugs. Many drugs have already been screened for the their anti-diabetic property/blood sugar lowering property. The importance of diet and exercise is also stressed in Ayurveda. The Ayurvedic diet regimens and the recipes may serve as a good replacement for the Diabetic patient. Though many of the diabetic drugs that are used today have a good sugar lowering (Hypoglycemic property they essentially act at the basic pathology. This helps in controlling the diabetes and not only the blood sugar. The management modalities can be categorized as:

  • Vyaayam (Exercise),

  • Pathya (dietary regulation),

  • Panchakarma (Bio-purification procedures) and

  • The use of therapeutic measures (Medicines).

The herbal drugs used in the management of Prameha are bitter, astringent and pungent in taste.

Individual herbs that are extensively used in the management of diabetes:

1. Eugenia jambolana:(Jamun beej churna) Dry seed powder of Jamun fruits have to be used in a dose of one-teaspoon twice/thrice daily with lukewarm water.

2. Gymnema sylvestre: (Gudmar patra churna) Dry leaves of this plant have to be used one teaspoon daily with lukewarm water. The leaves when chewed render the mouth tasteless to sweet for 45 min to one hour. 

3. Pterocarpus marsupium (Vijaysar kashtha churna) Bark of this plant is available in the form of powder. Cubicals or Vijaysaar glasses are also very popular.  The piece of Vijaysaar is kept in water overnight or water is kept in the glass is consumed early morning on empty stomach. One should discard these cubicals or glasses once there is no colour change observed in water.

4.Ficus bengalensis (Nyagrodha twaka churna) This is banyan tree bark. A decoction of bark is to be prepared and consumed twice daily in a dose of 40 to 80ml. The decoction is prepared by taking around 25-50gms of bark to which 4 cups of water are to be added. It is heated to make one cup, which has to be consumed.

5. Shilajeet Popularly known as Rock salt, various reputed companies have Granular or powdered form of Shilajeet available. Though not very useful in reducing the blood sugar it is an excellent remedy to for loss of libido in males and in case of generalized weakness.

6. C. Tamal (Tejpatra) This is very commonly used as a spice in preparing food products. A diabetic patient may make a point to add the leaves of this plant in his food. Also the powder of leaves may be consumed.

7. Fenugreek seeds (Methi churna) Seeds of Methi have to be soaked in warm water overnight and chewed early in the morning with warm water. One may take powder of these seeds with warm water twice daily.  Methi powder may be added to the wheat flour to prepare chapattis.              

8. Momordica chirantia Karvellaka (Karella) Juice of Karela should be taken early in the morning in a quantity of 20 ml.  The dried whole fruit powder can also be consumed in the dose of ½ to 1 teaspoon twice daily.

9. Embelica officinalis (Amala) When fresh Amla are available one may take Amla juice 20 ml daily or otherwise powder of Amla fruits may be taken twice daily.

10. Curcuma longa (Haridra) Haldi powder along with Amla juice is a very good combination in patients of Diabetes. It is especially useful in prevention as well as treatment of patients of Diabetic eye disease. Haldi can be put in milk as well.

11. Kirat tikata (Chirayata) A decoction of this plant is to be taken daily early morning. It is a very popular remedy used in all parts of the country for various skin disorders and hence forms a perfect remedy for skin infections in Diabetics .

                 An ayurvedic physician may advice some good Ayurvedic drugs even in patients who do not respond to the oral hypoglycemic drugs or even insulin. These are then termed as adjuvant ayurvedic drugs. Not only do these help in lowering the blood sugar but also prevent the long-term complications of diabetes. We shall name some of these combinations/preparations:

  • Chandraprabha vati: In a dose of 500 mg twice or thrice daily. This is specially used in patients having Diabetes with Urinary tract infection or in females having leucorrhoea. This can be used along with Gorshuradi guggul in the same dose.

  • Trivang Bhasma: This is a combination of three bhasmas namely Naga, Vanga and Yashaha Bhasma. It is to be taken in a dose of 125mg twice daily available in the form of powder. It is very useful in conditions where there is excessive urination, Male sexual problems as well as to treat generalized weakness.

  • Dhatri Nisha: A combination of Haldi powder and Amla Rasa and has to be taken early morning and is especially useful in Diabetic eye condition.

  • Vasant kusumakar rasa: A very useful tonic for diabetics especially useful in the stage of complications it has to be consumed in a dose of 125 mg twice daily. Along with having a general tonic effect it also helps in Diabetic eye condition and in preventing various conditions developing due to Nerve weakness.

Many of the well-known pharmaceutical companies have also come up with good Anti diabetic herbal combinations. These preparations have been extensively clinically and scientifically studied at various centers and have proven their efficacy. They are easy to administer and their dose may be well regulated. These preparations have to be preferably consumed as per the advice of the physician. The well-known combinations available today include :

  • Hyponidd (Charak Pharma)
  • Diabecon (Himalaya Drugs Co)
  • Asanad (Arka Shala)
  • Cogent Db
  • Glucomap (Map)
  • Karnim (Universal Medikit)
  • Debix (Sandu Brothers)
  • Ilogen Excel (Pankaj Kasturi)
                                                             
Other associated conditions with diabetes and its management:

Diabetes is a long lasting and a chronic disease. A patient of diabetic may suffer from some very distressing symptoms so much so that he even forgets of his diabetic in agony of this complain. A physician has to look for the safe management of these symptoms that shall not affect the diabetic status as well as not have a long-term complication.

We shall discuss some of these complaints and try to see how they can be managed.

1)       Diabetes with Arthritis: Yograj guggul, freshly prepared decoction of Dasamoola, Rasna saptak, a paste of sunthi or Dasang lepa may be applied on the affected joint.

2)       Diabetes with constipation: Powders like Gandharva haritaki, Isabgool, Panchaskar, Hingvastak can be used to relieve constipation.

3)       Diabetes with burning sensation in the soles and palms: this can be well managed with Mangista Ghana vati, chandrakala rasa, Chandraprabha vati, pravaal pisti, Guduchi satva etc

4)       Diabetes with cough: Diabetic patient suffering of chronic cough may given powders of Yasti madhu, Kantakari, Vasa, Shati etc. Ayurvedic cough syrups available in the market are not safe to be taken by a diabetic patients

5)       Diabetes with excessive thirst: Excessive thirst may be managed with the use of cold infusions (heema) of Dahayanak, usheera, Chandan etc. Praval, Guduchi, may also be used

6)       Diabetes with excessive urination: excessive urination can be treated with the use of Trivang bhasma, jasad bhasma, etc

7)       Generalised weakness and fatigue are the usual symptoms that can be treated with the use of herbs like shatavari, Ashvagandha, Bala Yastimadhu. Complications like tapyadi loha, Vasant kusumakar rasa are also very effective

8)    Impotency is a very distressing symptom of a diabetic patient. By assessing the age of the patient they may be advised Ashwagandha, Kaucha beeja, musali etc.