Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diabetes with Ayurveda

Let’s take Control of Diabetes with Ayurveda
       Diabetes is a life-threatening condition that causes 3 million deaths per year worldwide. People with diabetes lead a life that is dependent on a daily dose of insulin. They are also imposed a blanket ban on taking sugar and sugar-products.
        However, the ancient science of Ayurveda believes that you do not need to constrict your lifestyle just because you are a Diabetic. Ayurveda offers an entire range of treatment, medicines as well as diet and lifestyle recommendations – that can help you lead a life that is not marred by Diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
       Diabetes, or Diabetes Mellitus, is a chronic metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to make proper use of glucose, resulting in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Excess glucose in the blood ultimately results in high levels of glucose being present in the urine (glycosuria). This increases the urine output, which leads to dehydration and increased thirst. Other symptoms include extreme tiredness, weight loss, blurred vision, itchy skin and repeated minor infections such as thrush and boils.
       Glucose comes from the food we eat and is also made in liver and muscles. The blood carries glucose to all the cells in our body. Insulin, a chemical (a hormone) produced in pancreas, is responsible for the uptake of glucose into cells for energy. Decreased levels of insulin affects this mechanism leading to increased glucose in the blood stream.
Diabetes in Ayurveda
       In Ayurveda, Diabetes Mellitus is known as Madhumeha; Madhu means ‘honey’ and Meha means ‘urine’, i.e., urine that has sugar in it. Ayurveda talks about Madhumeha under a broad term called Prameha (pra means excessive and meha means urine). All factors, whether it is genetic, environmental, or body constituency, are taken into account. It can be related to: Kaphaj (caused by aggravation of Water element), Pittaj (caused by aggravation of Fire element) or Vataj (caused by aggravation of Air element).
Medhumeha comes in the third category – Vataj Meha. Vata is an Ayurvedic humour, which symbolizes wind and dryness. Deterioration is a feature of aggravated Vata. Maximum deterioration of dhatus (body tissues) occurs in this type of Prameha due to aggravation of Vata. This is the reason why all vital organs are affected by Diabetes.
       The other prime cause of diabetes mellitus is impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to accumulation of specific digestive impurities which accumulate in the pancreatic cells and impair the production of insulin.

Treatment of Diabetes
       Ayurveda does not regard Diabetes as a disease that can be treated by mere medicine or by a dietary regimen. Madhumeha is classified as a Maha Rog (Major Disease) because, if not treated in time, it can lead to several complications in the body, including eye problems, joint pains, impotency, kidney failure, sexual and urologic problems, and more.
       Diabetes is a metabolic disorder; it cannot be merely treated by controlling sugar levels. The treatment recommended in Ayurveda – as against modern medicine – is aimed at rejuvenating the entire body to not only balance sugar levels, but also ensure that no further complication is caused.
       The Ayurvedic treatment for this disease is based on an entire change in the lifestyle of the person. Along with medication and diet, the patient is also advised to lead a healthy lifestyle and live an active life. Dietary and lifestyle changes rejuvenate the body’s cells and tissues, allowing them to produce insulin properly. Even mental aspects of the disease are stressed upon in Ayurveda. Most Vataja disorders originate in the brain, and since Madhumeha is classified as Vataja, it is highly important to keep the brain in its right manner of functioning.
       Ayurveda is closely knit with Yoga for the treatment and control of Diabetes. For example, the Paschimottanasana is highly recommended for patients of Madhumeha. Panchakarma, the Ayurvedic treatment procedures, is also extremely beneficial for Diabetic patients, as it helps in rejuvenating the body and giving strength to weakened body muscles.
       In essence, Ayurveda does not restrict its treatment to controlling sugar levels in a Diabetic patient. It works on the root cause of the disease; strengthening the patient’s immunity, enhancing digestion and helping him lead an overall healthy life.
Home Remedies

Take 1 teaspoon of Indian gooseberry (amla) juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of bitter gourd juice twice a day.
Chew 10-12 curry (curry neem) leaves on an empty stomach in the morning.
Soak 10-12 mango leaves in water overnight and drink the water in the morning. One can also dry the leaves and then grind them to make a powder.
Take 2 teaspoons of bitter gourd (karela) juice once a day. One can also increase its use as a cooked vegetable.
Mix equal parts of powdered turmeric, white pepper, and fenugreek. Take 1 teaspoon twice a day with skimmed milk.
Take a powdered mixture of 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of Indian gooseberry twice a day with lukewarm water.


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