diabetes ayurveda

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition characterized by high levels of sugar or glucose in the blood. This occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it produces.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), about 422 million people from around the world suffer from diabetes. And the numbers are gradually increasing with time.

Diabetes can lead to serious complications if not properly managed, including heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, nerve damage, vision loss and problems with the feet and skin. However, with proper treatment and management, many people with diabetes can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

There are mainly two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that requires the use of insulin to manage blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a result of poor lifestyle practices that often occurs during adulthood.

While Ayurveda has no treatment for Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes can be reversed through dietary and lifestyle corrections, Ayurvedic herbs and even medications.  


Diabetes as per Ayurveda


According to Ayurveda, diabetes is a metabolic condition brought on by an imbalance in the body’s Doshas. This is made worse by lifestyle choices like eating poorly and not exercising. Diabetes, often known as “Madhumeha,” is characterized by high blood sugar and poor insulin activity. 

Ayurvedic principles state that diabetes is a  result of an imbalance of Doshas caused by an overabundance of sweet, sour and heavy meals. Increased thirst, frequent urination, exhaustion and sluggish wound healing are the symptoms. 

Through Ayurveda, the imbalance of Doshas can be corrected by altering food and lifestyle choices and using certain herbs to control blood sugar levels and enhance general health.


Dietary Recommendations for Diabetes


Diet is an important factor in managing Type 2 diabetes with Ayurveda. If you have been following me, you might know how food is a major part of my treatment method. 

Even in my treatment for diabetes, food plays an important role. Though the dietary recommendations vary with each patient, depending on their Prakriti, Dosha imbalances, health conditions and more, some of the recommendations remain common for all. 


Focus on Whole Foods


Unprocessed, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes etc. are high in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They support general health and blood sugar regulation. 


Balanced macronutrients


A balanced diet with enough protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats should be your goal. To avoid blood sugar spikes, concentrate on eating complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, like whole grains, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables. Also, incorporate healthy fats like ghee,almonds, etc. and also, protein sources like chicken, fish, tofu  and beans. 


Watch Portion proportions


To prevent overindulging and maintain stable blood sugar levels, be mindful of portion proportions. To manage portion sizes, use smaller bowls, plates and utensils. You may also adopt a mindful eating style to recognise your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. 


Avoid refined carbohydrates and added sugars


Avoid consuming foods and drinks heavy in unhealthy fats, processed carbohydrates and added sugars. Such foods can raise blood sugar levels and lead to insulin resistance. 


Eat Foods with Bitter, Astringent and Pungent Tastes


According to Ayurveda, foods with these tastes help with digestion and blood sugar regulation. Include foods with these flavours, such as cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, fenugreek, turmeric, cinnamon, and bitter melon in your diet.


Keep Yourself Hydrated


Dehydration can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. So always make sure that you remain hydrated. Water is the best option. 


Be consistent


To avoid blood sugar swings, be regular with your meal timings. It is best to have a light, digestible dinner, preferably early (between 6:00 pm and 6:30 pm).


People with Type 2 diabetes can increase insulin sensitivity, control their blood sugar levels, and improve their general health and well-being by adhering to these dietary guidelines. 

Consult a qualified Ayurvedic doctor for guidance regarding a customised meal plan that meets your needs, preferences, and health objectives. To maintain ideal blood sugar management, you should also routinely check your blood sugar levels.


Ayurvedic Herbs for Diabetes Management


Apart from diet and exercise, there are many herbs that help manage your diabetes in Ayurveda. 


Gymnema Sylvestre (Gurmar)


Also referred to as the “sugar destroyer,” Gymnema Sylvestre aids in blood sugar regulation by preventing the intestines from absorbing sugar and encouraging the pancreas to produce insulin. It helps control weight because it lessens cravings for sweets.  Overconsumption of Gurmar can lead to hypoglycemia. So, make sure that you consult with an Ayurvedic doctor before using the herb. 


Bitter Melon (Karela)


Bitter Melon lowers blood sugar levels by acting as an insulin substitute. It is useful in managing diabetes because it enhances insulin sensitivity and glucose consumption in cells. 


Fenugreek (Methi)


The soluble fiber and saponins found in fenugreek seeds aid in slowing down the bloodstream’s absorption of sugars and carbs. Insulin resistance is decreased, and blood sugar regulation is enhanced.


Amla/Indian Gooseberry


Rich in antioxidants, Amla helps shield pancreatic beta cells from oxidative stress-related damage. It helps treat diabetes since it also increases insulin secretion and glucose metabolism. 


Turmeric (Curcumin)


Curcumin – a molecule having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities is found in turmeric. It lowers blood sugar, improves pancreatic function, and lessens insulin resistance. 


Cinnamon (Dalchini)

Cinnamon improves cell absorption of glucose and increases insulin sensitivity, both of which reduce blood sugar levels. Also, it slows down the digestive tract’s processing of carbs, which improves blood sugar regulation.


Ayurvedic Remedies and Formulations


Ayurvedic doctors also tend to recommend remedies and formulations to patients to naturally manage diabetes.


Chandraprabha Vati


This traditional Ayurvedic compound can treat various reproductive and urinary conditions, including diabetes. It has herbs like Vacha, Shilajit and Guggulu that strengthen the pancreas, enhance digestion, and help control blood sugar levels. Additionally having diuretic qualities, Chandraprabha Vati helps the body rid itself of pollutants. 




Triphala is a concoction of three fruits: Bibhitaki, Haritaki, and Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry). This strong herbal remedy is well-known for its revitalizing and cleansing qualities. Triphala aids with blood sugar regulation, bowel movement regulation, and improved digestion. Encouraging cellular renewal and cleansing, it also enhances general health and energy.


Gudmar Churna

Known by many as “the sugar destroyer,” Gudmar is a potent plant with anti-diabetic qualities utilised in Ayurveda. The dried leaves of the Gudmar plant are used to make Gudmar Churna, which is frequently used to decrease blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, and lessen cravings for sweets. Additionally, it promotes good weight control by facilitating the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. 

Even if these remedies are useful, overconsuming the formulations can have side effects. So, make sure that you do not buy them over the counter. Instead, consult an Ayurvedic doctor to identify the right dose and treatment plan based on your requirements. For complete diabetic treatment, these medicines work best when paired with dietary adjustments, lifestyle modifications and other Ayurvedic therapies.


Ayurvedic Treatment Protocols


Accumulation of toxins (Ama) in the body can cause imbalance of Doshas that eventually leads to diabetes and other health conditions. Therefore, doctors sometimes recommend rejuvenating therapies like Panchkarma that help flush out toxins from the body along with other treatment methods.

Here are the different treatment methods to manage diabetes the Ayurvedic way.


Herbal supplements recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners


Ayurvedic practitioners may provide certain herbal supplements to help control diabetes. These supplements frequently have herbs with anti-inflammatory, insulin-regulating, and blood sugar-lowering effects. Herbal supplements in pills, capsules, powders, and liquid extracts can treat diabetes. 


Panchakarma Therapy


Purifying and revitalising, this Ayurvedic treatment seeks to enhance general health, balance restoration and purify the body. Numerous therapeutic techniques are used, including massage, herbal steam treatment, herbal enemas, inhalation of herbal oils and dietary adjustments. By treating fundamental imbalances in the body, Panchakarma treatment helps in removing toxins, enhances metabolic function, improves digestion, and supports diabetes control.


Yoga and Pranayama


Ayurvedic therapy procedures for diabetes include yoga and pranayama, or controlling one’s breath. Asanas (yoga poses) and pranayama (breathing techniques) can lower blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, improve circulation and lessen stress. Regular yoga and pranayama practice enhances mental clarity, relaxation and physical and mental balance, which improves diabetes control and general wellness.

Together with dietary adjustments, way-of-life adjustments, and other holistic methods, these Ayurvedic therapy procedures provide all-encompassing natural diabetes management. Furthermore, monitoring and follow-up consultations are necessary to assess outcomes, modify treatment plans and sustain ideal blood sugar control over time.


Monitoring Progress and Long-Term Maintenance


Keeping an eye on development and ensuring long-term care are essential components of diabetes management with Ayurveda. Regular blood sugar monitoring can track the efficacy of Ayurvedic therapies and dietary alterations. Ideally, this may be done by self-monitoring at home or periodic lab testing. 

Also, many Ayurvedic doctors offer health programs that help reverse Type 2 diabetes. You can join the program to reverse your diabetes under the guidance of a qualified doctor, who will be able to help you with your diet plan, lifestyle corrections and more.


Even after you have your blood sugars in control, it is important to continue leading a healthy and balanced life. This is not only important to prevent your diabetes from relapsing, but also for your overall health.

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Consult with Dr. Rekha Radhamony