Tackling diabetes with Ayurveda

nyavarakizhiDiabetes, referred to as a lifestyle disease, cannot be cured. But, with ayurvedic treatments and herbs, it can be controlled to a great extent. In fact, Ayurvedic texts explain about various types of diabetes. The Type 1 diabetes mellitus is usually due to autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. However, the Type 2 diabetes is caused due to bad lifestyle habits and hereditary factors. Majority of the diabetics are Type 2 diabetic patients. With proper lifestyle modification, exercises and treatment, the Type 2 diabetes can be easily controlled.

Ayurveda believes that the primary cause of diabetes is due to imbalances in the Tridoshas, namely, vata, pitta and kapha. Apart from this, bad and lethargic lifestyle habits, lack of exercise and bad eating habits are the reasons for onset of diabetes.

In the early stages of diabetes onset, diet control and regular exercises such as brisk walking can help in controlling the disease to a great extent. Once diabetes has been diagnosed in an individual, the first step ahead, is to avoid excess intake of sweet, salty and spicy food, avoid foods high in fat content, and quit smoking and drinking. Include plenty of green leaves and vegetables in your day-to-day diet.

In the ayurvedic line of treatment, the first line of treatment suggested is the Shodhana Chikitsa. This is done to remove the toxins accumulated in the body. It has been found that Dhara chikitsa, done with some special herbs also helps in controlling the symptoms of diabetes such as tiredness, excess thirst, etc.

Each individual responds differently to different kind of treatment methods. For some, treatment methods such as nyavarakizhi and pizhichil are helpful. To reduce kapha and toxins in the body, there are specific herbs, which are given in the form of medicines, and also special medicated oils that are used for body massages.

As diabetes mostly affects eyes, nervous system, and causes dry skin, Ayurveda recommends Abhyanga snana (medicated bath after massaging body with special herbal formula).

Ayurveda strongly suggests turmeric and amla (Indian gooseberry) as being highly effective in treating diabetes. Mix a pinch of turmeric in amla juice and drink every day. Also, there are medicines made of amla, turmeric, nyaval, venga, etc., which are highly effective in treating diabetes.

Another very effective remedy in controlling diabetes is bitter gourd juice and methi (fenugreek). In fact, it has been proven through researches that these have the ability to reduce glucose levels in blood. Make it a habit to drink a glass of bitter gourd juice daily (preferably on an empty stomach), and try to make porridge by adding powdered fenugreek, and have this once a day. When taken on long-term basis, this helps prevent long-term impacts of diabetes such as diabetic retinopathy, kidney and eye diseases, and liver disorders.

For people with long-term diabetes, there are possibilities of eye sight problems such as double vision, eye pain, reduced vision, all of which may even lead to vision loss. Ayurveda recommends regular use of elaneer kuzhambu (eyedrops available in all ayurvedic pharmacies) which can help in keeping eyes healthy.

Finally, choose an exercise that is best suited for your age and environment. For diabetic patients, to remove kapha from the body, the best method could be early morning brisk walks. If possible, try to include yoga too, as part of your daily routine. These recommendations, when regularly followed, can go a long way in bringing high sugar levels to normalcy.