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An Integrated Ayurvedic Approach for Managing Diabetes: Nurturing the Body and Mind

An Integrated Ayurvedic Approach for Managing Diabetes: Nurturing the Body and Mind

What is Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most typical health conditions faced by mankind today, which has only been perpetuated by the current generation’s propensity towards processed junk food and laziness. As science struggles to find a permanent solution to this life threatening disorder, there is hope in Ayurveda pertaining to methods that control and even prevent the symptoms of diabetes in people suffering from it. 

Understanding Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, and Types of this Chronic Health Condition

Diabetes is a condition that hinders with your body’s ability to respond to insulin. This eventually results in spiked blood sugar levels and compromised metabolism of carbohydrates in the body. The number of people living with diabetes is staggering, with over 422 million people suffering from the condition globally. This number is only increasing gradually as the years pass by.

Needless to say, the rise of diabetes is a health crisis that needs our collective attention to be decimated entirely. Although modern science is hell-bent on finding a cure to the issue, it seldom focuses on the underlying issue that causes it in the first place.

Ayurveda, on the other hand, takes an alternative approach to fighting the condition. In its bid to imbue the human mind and body with holistic care, it also prescribes a variety of practices that if followed diligently can not only prove effective against diabetes, but also tackle a slew of other chronic and benign disorders.

What is Prameha: Ayurvedic Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes

Ayurveda primarily describes a section of diseases that are collectively defined as prameha. Prameha when translated to English literally means ‘obstinate urinary disease’. The section comprises of all health conditions that are related to the urinary system, which of course also include diabetes.

The Prameha’s can be further categorized on the basis of an individual’s dosha type

What are the types of Prameha

  • Pitta Prameha
  • Kapha Prameha
  • Vata Prameha.

Diabetes falls under the kapha prameha category of diseases and is often caused by the smothering of agni. This eventually results in spiked blood sugar levels and compromised metabolism of the body. Diabetes in Ayurveda is denoted by the term Madhumeha, in which madhu means sweet and meha means urination.

According to Ayurveda, Diabetes can occur because of any of the following two reasons:

1 – Avarana: Understanding the Ayurvedic Concept of Blockage and Its Impact on Health

Increase of the kapha dosha in the body or the increase of fat content in the body can result in the blockage of paths. The result can be maturity onset diabetes.

2 – Dhatukshaya: Understanding the Ayurvedic Concept of Tissue Depletion and Its Causes

Dhatukshaya occurs in the body when the body experiences depletion in tissue levels. This can eventually result in juvenile diabetes.

There are multiple causes for diabetes; most are known while others are not. The most typical are as follows:

  • Laziness
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Excessive indulgence in sweet sugary food and drinks
  • Excessive use of yoghurt
  • All other kapha promoting factors.

As Ayurveda delves deep into the science of holistic wellbeing, it also prescribes solutions towards both managing the condition of diabetes and effectively alleviating the symptoms that come with it. In this article, we will go through some of the most popular Ayurvedic practices that you can adopt in your life to manage diabetes efficiently.

An Insight into Ayurvedic Treatment Approaches for Managing Diabetes Mellitus

1 – Yoga as an Integrative Approach for Managing Diabetes in Ayurveda

Yoga has been an integral part of Ayurveda’s school of thought ever since its inception. The asanas of Yoga have already been touted behind a variety of health benefits that improve the overall quality of life. As such, yoga can be a very crucial part of your fight against diabetes. Ayurveda typically recommends kapha pacifying yoga positions to tackle diabetes.

Yoga can cause contraction and relaxation of internal organs, which can eventually improve the blood circulation within our system. Many researches have shown positive effects of Yoga on excess sugar levels. Yoga positions like Mayurasana, leg lifts, surya namaskar and locust position are all great asanas to help in the fight against diabetes. 

2 – Ayurvedic Perspectives on Healthy Diet for Managing Diabetes: Nutritional Strategies and Guidelines

A Healthy diet is crucial to overcoming the symptoms associated with diabetes. Ayurveda recommends food that is bitter, astringent and pungent against diabetes. Lowering the intake of fat, cholesterol and sugar while simultaneously increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables can go a long way in fighting diabetes.

Foods such as avocado, leafy green vegetables, healthy coconut oil and pomegranate can help control sugar levels in the body. An appropriate protein to carbohydrate ratio can promote promising glucose load as protein breaks down more easily than carbohydrates.

Ayurveda also recommends eating 4-5 small meals every day, spread out evenly across the day. The food should have balanced amount of protein and carbs for best results.

5 Diabetes-Controlling Foods and Herbs

1 – Turmeric

As of now, turmeric can be considered as the cure-all herb due to the promise it exhibits against a variety of health conditions. Diabetes is no exception. The curcumin content in turmeric can effectively bring down blood sugar levels and boost metabolism in the body.

2 – Giloy

Giloy is extremely beneficial against type-2 diabetes, because it works as a hyperglycemic agent. As such, it can effectively lower blood sugar levels and produce insulin.  Giloy can also help burn excess glucose which also results in lowering blood sugar levels.

3 – Gurmar

Gurmar literally translates to ‘destroyer of sugar’, and it lives by the name. Gurmar is saliently anti-diabetic and contains gymnemic acid that helps curb sugar cravings. The chemical structure of gurmar is similar to sugar, which helps in producing insulin while keeping sugar levels in control.

4  – Jamuns

Jamuns contain of 80% water, and have a hyperglycemic effect on the body, which helps in reducing sugar levels in the urine. The jamboline content in Jamuns helps in averting the transformation of starch into sugar. It also contains high levels of alkaloids which help in controlling blood sugar levels.

5 – Tulsi

Tulsi leaves contain eugenol, methyl eugenol, and caryophelenne, which are all beneficial antioxidants responsible for helping pancreatic cells become more sensitive to insulin. Having tulsi regularly can drastically reduce blood sugar levels and postprandial in the body.

Other foods like methi, neem, and bitter melon can also be extremely beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of Diabetes.

3 – Follow a Healthy Lifestyle

Diet is only one aspect of the fight against diabetes, the other is following a healthy lifestyle. Refrain from excess sleeping, and follow a daily routine. Have a fixed schedule to eat, exercise and sleep. Refrain from indulging in smoking and alcohol. 

The Bottom Line

Diabetes affects millions of lives around the world and has been multiplying in cases as the decades pass us by. As such, it is a health crisis that needs our attention like any other condition affecting mankind today.

Ayurveda, through its evidence based text can be the ally we need to put a lid on this disease for good, thus improving many lives in the process. To get the best results out of Ayurveda against diabetes, we recommend you consult an expert Ayurvedic practitioner today. 

Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.

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