Herbal Medicine for Diabetes: Today, on the occasion of World Diabetes Day, let us look at the role of Ayurveda in the treatment of diabetes. This is an ancient traditional Indian medicine system that believes that the human body is made up of the five elements — earth, water, fire, air and space energies. It also says that each living being has 3 types of energies in them — Vata, pitta, and Kapha. Any disturbances in these energies may cause diseases. According to this holistic method of healing, diabetes is the result of imbalance in Kapha energy. Kapha contains the earth and water elements. Ayurveda says that diabetes occurs because of a decrease in the digestive fire. It prevents the body from metabolising energy and eliminating toxins.
According to a study at the University of California — San Diego School of Medicine, Ayurveda can be used to manage diabetes successfully. Researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial where participants had to undergo a six-day Ayurvedic-based wellness programme. This programme included a vegetarian diet, meditation, yoga and massages. All participants reported ‘measurable decreases in a set of blood-based metabolites associated with inflammation, cardiovascular disease risk and cholesterol regulation’. This study is published in Scientific Reports.
Researchers say that just ‘one-week of the Ayurvedic Panchakarma programme can significantly alter the metabolic profile of the person undergoing it’. Panchakarma is basically a kind of Herbal Medicine for Diabetes detoxification and rejuvenation process that consists of massage, herbal therapy and a few other procedures.
For the purpose of the study, researchers looked at 119 healthy participants between the ages of 30 to 80 years. All participants were from the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. A little more than half of the study participants were enrolled in the Panchakarma programme. The rest formed the control group.
Researchers analysed the blood plasma of all participants before and after the six-day programme. They say that participants in the Panchakarma group exhibited a ‘measurable decrease in 12 specific cell-membrane chemicals (phosphatidylcholines) correlating with serum cholesterol and inversely related to Ayurvedic Medicine for Type 2 diabetes risk’. They presume that, since the study was based on a very short period of time, it is possible that the serum profile changes were due to the vegetarian diet. All agree that further research is needed to fully understand the processes and mechanisms involved.
In Ayurveda, diabetes is called “madhumeha”. If you decide to follow this holistic healing procedure, you will have to avoid sweets, carbohydrates, red meat, seafood and also dairy products. According to Ayurveda, these foods cause an imbalance in the Kapha energy. The ideal diabetic diet, according to this alternative therapy, must include foods like barley, rice, rye, oats, corn and lots of fresh and seasonal vegetables. Indegrents in herbal medicine for diabetes like ginger, Triphala, musta, cardamom, coriander and fenugreek, among others, also help. Instead of fried food, you may opt for baking, broiling and grilling your food. If you have a sweet tooth, have honey instead of processed sugar.
Other than this, Ayurveda also stresses the importance of regular exercise and a stress-free life. You can try yoga and meditation to achieve this.