Ayurveda recommends various treatments for diabetes. This includes ayurvedic herbs, panchakarma, kashayams, Thalapothichil, takradhara, yoga, diet and lifestyles.
Diabetes is a wide spread chronic disease of which 80-90% are Type 2 Diabetes mellitus. Beta Cells of the Pancreas Glands is responsible for Insulin which is essential for proper utilisation of carbohydrates. If insulin is absent, the carbohydrates is not utilised and these appear in the blood in the form of Glucose. Main problem with Diabetes is that it is very difficult to diagnose in the early stages. The main symptoms are: excessive urine formation & frequent urination, burning of palms and soles, increased hunger, excessive thirst, sweet taste to mouth, weight loss, blurry vision, wounds that take time to heal, skin Infections, unexplained extreme fatigue etc. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to
- Heart attacks,
- Nerve damage,
- Impotence ,
- erectile dysfunction , (Read : erectile dysfunction in diabetes)
- low sperm count etc.
Drugs, Insulin injections and all other Medicines available for diabetes can only control the level of sugar in blood stream and may not be effective at all times. And also it should be consumed throughout your life time.
Diabetes in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, diabetes is not just lack of insulin. Its most probable cause is poor maintenance of your body which can be improved through Panchakarma treatments like herbal purge for the liver, pancreas, spleen, colon and the digestive tract and herbal oil massages, modification of diet and exercise, Yoga and breathing exercise.
Ayurvedic Treatments Methods for Diabetes
After the diagnosis, the doctor sets out to treat the patient in a very systematic manner. This would include a set of appropriate Panchakarma treatments and Rasayana therapies .
The Panchakarma Treatments are meant to flush out the toxins, They are classified as pre-purification, main purification and post purification phases and include various types of therapies like oil massages, fermented liquid massages, medicinal enemas, herbal purification methods.
The Rasayana Therapies are meant to nourish the body, to bring the doshas back to balance and to regenerate the body. These comprise diet regulations, daily regimens, intake of oral medicines and ayurveda tonics, yoga and a stress free life. After the treatment the ayurveda doctors will advise you how to lead a healthy life. The benefits and results of the treatment are shown only after the Rasyana Treatment is over and doctor’s advice is strictly followed. The results will manifest itself normally after 3 to 4 weeks as the body takes time to regenerate itself.
Panchakarma for Diabetes
Pre-purification therapies are the first ones applied to loosen the toxins, open up the circulation channels and get the body ready for discarding these wastes. These methods are highly relaxing for the body and mind. The commonly adopted pre-purification therapies for Diabetes are Snehapanam, thalapothichil and thakradhara.
Medicated ghee, eaten in empty stomach, for its first hand therapeutic value, is called Snehapanam. The treatment involves the removal of hard-core toxins and wastes from the body. Snehapanam is one of the excellent preparatory methods before the main Panchakarma. The ghee lubricates all the channels of the body, including the lymph, and forces out the toxins from them, into the digestive tract. It also calms down the mind and reduces mental stress. As a result, the body immunity increases, the effects of the ailments subside and frequent recurrence of the disease is prevented. It also increases the person’s appetite level and accelerates peristaltic movements of the intestine. (Also Read Ayurvedic Home remedies with ghee)
The medicated ghee is prepared by processing herbal paste, herbal juice, milk, ghee etc. The herbal paste and juice are selected, based on the disease being treated, from herbs like amaltas, Sarsaparilla, Jaman, Indian Kino Tree, guggul, ginger, neem, onion, chopchini, triphala, malabar nut, sweet flag, mustard etc. The herb chopchini has powerful anti inflammatory and antibiotic properties and gives the effect of a steroid. Snehapanam, done once a day in empty stomach, is usually continued for 3 to 7 days. The exact duration and type of ghee to be used are decided by the doctors who treat you .
Thalapothichil, In Thalapothichil,
the person’s scalp is completely applied with high value medicinal pastes. This enables the medicines to penetrate faster into the brain cells. The healing properties of the herbs also calm down the nervous system and rejuvenate the person. To start the treatment, the person sits on a chair, well relaxed. Selected medicinal herbs, thoroughly ground and made into fine paste, is then thickly applied on to his scalp. The head is then covered up with leaves, usually banana leaves, to form a perfect mask. This is done to allow the medicines to stay on and function well. The mask remains on the person’s head for almost 40 to 50 minutes giving wonderful relaxation to the mind. The effect of the medicines calms down the nerves, relieves mental tension, increases the person’s memory power and improves his sleep pattern. Herbs and fruits such as Indian gooseberry (amla), henna, asparagus, moringa ,guggul, lotus seeds ( makhana) , sandalwood, nut grass tuber etc. are used in the treatment. They are first moisturized in buttermilk before being grinded to a paste form. The paste thus obtained becomes a rich blend of various cooling agents.
Thakradhara means the profuse pouring of medicine-rich buttermilk on a person’s forehead. The treatment induces coolness to the brain, relaxes the mind, reduces mental stress and increases memory power. Thakradhara is a good treatment for diabetes. Thakradhara starts with a mild, full body oil massage to loosen the nerves and muscles. After this, medicated buttermilk is poured on the person’s forehead relentlessly for almost an hour. Such continuous out pour of buttermilk, directly on the head, gives wonderful relaxation to the mind and soul. A prolonged treatment for 2-3 weeks not only removes diabetes but also recoups the total mental status of the person. Excellent cooling and therapeutic agents are used in this treatment. The buttermilk is made by boiling milk with assorted herbs. It is then cooled, fermented and cream-removed. The left over buttermilk is the medium used for Thakradhara. The assorted herbs used are gooseberry, sida cordifolia (bala) plant, neem, (Read Neem for Diabetes) bark of ficus, nut grass tuber, sandal wood, lotus, etc. Indian Gooseberry or amla and lotus are excellent cooling agents.
Main ayurvedic purification Therapies for Diabetes
This is the phase of elimination of toxins that were loosened at the pre-purification treatment stage. These therapies are highly potential methods and are usually overseen by doctors. The three commonly adopted Panchakarma treatments for Diabetes are Vamanam, Virechanam and Vasti .
Induced vomiting, using herbal medicine is called Vamanam. This treatment is effective for diabetes. It is one among the renowned Panchakarma treatments. Through vamanam, the toxins and acids of the upper parts of the body are completely eradicated. As the channels are freed from harmful toxins, the body tissues get recharged. The person’s memory power also increases, the sense organs get better clarity and his digestive fire increases. In total, the person gets a powerful revitalized feeling. Vamanam, in addition to treating many diseases, also rejuvenates the person’s body and mind. These methods loosen the impurities of the body channels and prepare the body for the main treatment. The person is made to drink sweetened milk stomach full, followed by a single dose of medicinal decoction. In 2 or 3 minutes he vomits, throwing out all the excessive acids, and toxic substances of the body. The medicinal decoction used is made of black Pepper, beetle killer root,Tamarind and Liquorice. Salt and honey are also added to it when consumed.
It is the intake of oral medicines leading to the elimination of toxins through the anal route. It eliminates excess bile toxins from the mid zone of the body. Virechanam constitutes one of the treatments of Panchakarma. When the digestive tract is clean and toxic-free, it benefits the entire body system. As a result, the person’s appetite increases, body strength enhances and the person becomes active and buoyant. Thus virechanam also functions as an excellent rejuvenative procedure. Herbal powder, medicated castor oil, or herbal paste is commonly used as the purgative medicine. Avipathychoornam is the herbal powder generally used for the treatment. It is a mixture of herbs like turpith, embellia fruits, dry ginger, lotus, cardamom, long pepper, konch, sweet flag, cinnamon, etc. The treatment usually begins early in the morning. The person consumes the appropriate herbal medicine in empty stomach. The medicine does a good cleansing of the entire digestive system. And within 1 to 2 hours he empties his bowels, expelling along with it, all the accumulated toxins. The dose of medicines, diet patterns etc. are to be strictly followed as per the doctor’s recommendation. Virechanam, using strong medicines, is mostly done only once in a month under the supervision of doctors.
Vasthi or basthi is an enema therapy and is considered the ace colon cleaning panchakarma treatment. In this form of treatment special medicines are introduced through the anal route for the evacuation of accumulated toxins and metabolic wastes. It washes out all the toxins in the metabolic system through the digestive tract. It is highly recommended in the treatment of diabetes. As an effective rejuvenating health therapy, vasthi imparts high immunity and longevity, reduces degeneration of tissues, and prevents aging. Dill seeds, bael, honey, rock salt, herbal pastes, oils and decoctions are the main ingredients used in vasthi.
Rasayana Therapies for Diabetes
These are body nourishing therapies to rejuvenate the body and mind after the Panchakarma treatments. They keep the enzymes in the tissue cells in their normal functioning condition, restore and balance the body functions and maintain the overall health and well being of an individual for much longer periods after the Panchakarma course. Rasayana includes oral medicines and diet regulation.
Oral medicines for Diabetes
Oral medicines used for treating diabetes will be extracts of pure medicinal herbs, leaves, spices etc. These are prepared specifically to restore the lost balance and to provide the needed inputs to cure Diabetes. Kashayam and Arishtam – herbal decoctions and fermentations Lehyams – semi solid formulation are commonly prescribed. Some of the herbs and spices used in the preparation of kashayams and lehyams for treating Diabetes include neem ( Also read Neem a boon for diabetics) , gurmar leaves, karela or bitter gourd and vinca rosea etc.
Diet regulations for Diabetes
Diet regulation will be suggested for patients suffering from Diabetes during and after the treatment. They should strictly avoid sugar in any form. Apart from this consumption of rice, bananas, potatoes, and sweet fruits should also be avoided. They can however consume a low calorie, low fat and alkaline diet. Seeds of bitter gourd, and fenugreek, Vegetables such as bitter gourd, cucumber, onion, garlic, Fruits such as Indian gooseberry and grape fruits, Grains such as Bengal gram and black gram, Dairy products such as home made cottage cheese, curd, butter milk etc can all be consumed. Besides, consumption of raw vegetables are always advisable. You can find out your type of prakruthi and decide a diet for yourself
Yoga and Life style for Diabetes
Yoga and meditation are always beneficial and have always played a vital part in curing every type of disease. Yoga exercises done every day replenish and re balance the physical and emotional systems that are depleted by the everyday stresses that lie so heavy on our lives. Yoga makes it possible to rest on a strong base of confidence and strength within oneself. Light yoga postures, meditations and breathing exercises are advised. Yoga exercises such as Bhujang Asana,( cobra pose), Shalabah Asana( Locust pose) and Dhanur Asana( Bow pose ) are highly beneficial.
Life Style for Diabetes Patients:
Patients suffering from Diabetes are advised to take at least one or two weeks of rest after the Panchakarma experience. At this time the body is weak after the purification process and needs time to get back to normalcy. Diabetes patients are advised to avoid sleep during the day. It should be remembered that they should avoid all sorts of injuries as any injury, especially that of the foot may take long time to heal . Proper care must be given to the upkeep of the eyes as the disease in an advanced stage can cause major problems for the eyes. Exercises such as Walking, cycling, swimming and jogging are recommended.
Author : Mahesh Sathyan
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