The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in India is estimated to be 1-5%. India is better known as Diabetic market of the world. The World Health Organization has estimated that a low income Indian family with a diabetic patient devotes 25% of the income to the care of that patient.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disorder, is characterised by these two features:
- Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar)
- Glycosuria (loss of excessive sugar in the urine)
Diabetes mellitus is of two types:
- Insulin-dependent, which has juvenile onset and called type 1 diabetes
- Non-insulin dependent, which has onset in adulthood and is called type 2 diabetes
Signs and symptoms:
A patient of diabetes mellitus may present with excessive thirst, appetite, or frequency in urination, unusual weight gain or weight loss, and non-healing ulcers.
Although, insulin and oral hypoglycaemic agents are the mainstay of treatment of diabetes, they have prominent side effects and fail to alter the course of diabetic complications. The high cost of some agents and potential for adverse effects have led several investigators to focus their attention on the traditional medicines.
- Gumar-booti powder(Gymnema sylvestre) 1 teaspoonful (5g), twice a day,
- Bitter gourd juice(Momordica charantia) 6 teaspoonfuls (30 ml)
- Kino (Pterocarpus marsupium) 1 teaspoonful (5 g) twice a day after meals
- Fenugreek (Trogonella foneum graceum 1 capsule thrice a day for obese patients.
- Purified copper ash
- Tamra bhasma, 125 mg twice a day after meals. Kidney patients should avoid this formulation.. For others, this should be taken only under medical supervision.
- Garlic (Allium sativum)
- Shilajeet – 1 capsule for supportive therapy
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) alone or along with other herbs.
- Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), dried leaf 2.5 g daily for Type 2 Diabetes
- The fresh leaves of Bilwa ( marmelos)
Some Tips to Control Diabetes
- Include soybean, wheat, old green gram and rice, cow’s milk, bhindi, white gram, coriander, cucumber, and banana.
- Restrict carbohydrates.
- Don’t miss medicines or blood tests.
- Healthy Diet Plan.
- Moderate physical activity.
- Stop smoking and alcohol intake.
- Avoid sleeping during the day.
- Avoid curd, pickles, sugarcane, jaggery and sucrose.
- Avoid oil.
- Kapoor, L.D. (1990). CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
- Mathew, P. T. and Augusti, K. T., (1973). Studies on the effect of allicin (diallyl disulfide-oxide) on alloxan diabetes. Hypoglycemic action and enhancement of serum insulin effect and glycogen synthesis. Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 10: 209 – 212.
- Mhasker, K. S. and Caius, J. F. (1930). A study of Indian medicinal plants. II. Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. Indian J Med Res Memoirs. 16:72–75.
- K.M., Nadkarni, A.K. (1976). Indian Materia Medica. Bombay, Popular Prakashan.
- Ryan, E. A., Pick, M. E. and Marceau, C. (2001). Use of alternative medicines in diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Medicine. 18: 242 –245.
- WHO (1980). Expert committee on Diabetes Mellitus Second report. Technical report series 646. World Health Organization Geneva.1980: 61-68.
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