The oldest and still practiced healing system is undoubtedly Ayurveda. It heads the alternative medicine department and is still widely practiced in India. Ayurveda is made of two words – ‘ayu’ meaning life and ‘Veda’ meaning knowledge. So, Ayurveda means the science of life.
Diabetes has become one of the most common diseases in the world. It is also the most debilitating and spreading disease. It gives rise to various other diseases like heart attack, stroke and kidney related diseases. Unfortunately, Diabetes can not be cured. It can only be managed. The goal of diabetes management is to keep the blood glucose level to a optimum range and prevent further damages.
Diabetes is of two types. Type 1 and type 2. It is a relatively new disease as far as modern disease is concerned. But Ayurveda has described the disease in length a long time ago. In Ayurveda, Diabetes is known as Prameha. Prameha means excessive urination. It is also called Madhumeha (Madhu means honey) as it was thought that, sugar flows out of our body when the disease affects us.
Diabetes is classified in various ways in Ayurveda. The major types include Apathyanimittaja Prameha (which is caused due to excess eating and poor habits) and Sahaja Prameha (which is hereditary in nature). When it comes to the treatment of Diabetes, Ayurvedic treatment is remarkably similar to modern approach. Before initiating the treatment, doctor will take in to consideration the risk factors of the patient, namingly his or her family history. Other significant aspects that ayurveda takes in to consideration includes – sex, age, stage of the disease, diet plan, body constitution and many more. Ayurveda takes each individual in to consideration and the diet and treatment plan is set accordingly.
The treatment plan also resembles the modern medicine. If there are any modifiable factors like exercise, diet, smoking or other such habits, then the first step is to modify them. The administration of medicine (in this case herbs) will be initiated only when the disease is at an advanced stage or the factors are non-modifiable. When the stage of the disease is very advanced, then along with herbs and life style modification, the Panchakarma or the five actions of detoxification is called for.
So in short, the treatment approach of ayurveda against Diabetes consists of four basic modalities. The first one is reduction which is done with the help of regular exercise. The second is Detoxification by various means. The third is nourishing and tonification which is achieved by implementing a healthy diet plan and finally balancing all three of the above. Herbs and food is used as medicine in this method as well as exercise.
There are many herbs that are used in Diabetes. One such herb is Pterocarpus Marsupium or Indian Kina. It improves insulins action as well as simulated beta cell regeneration. Other herbs that are used include – Indian Genera Sylvestre, cinnamon, Fenugreek, Vaccinium myrtillus or Blue berry etc.