By Dr. Pradnya Aptikar, Ayurveda
Diabetes refers to the chronic medical condition when your body fails to produce enough insulin, as a result of which the blood glucose or blood sugar levels increase over a prolonged period. In due course of time, diabetes has reached epidemic proportions not only among adults but also among children.
Symptoms to watch out for-
People who are affected by any one of the two types of diabetes- Type 1 or Type 2- usually encounter the following symptoms-
- Feeling hungry all the time
- Unexplained weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Lack of energy
- Dark patches on the skin
- Dry mouth
Role of Ayurveda in treating diabetes-
Most of the people suffering from the disease usually rely on medication and drugs for treatment. But certain medications come with a number of side effects. To steer away from further complications, doctors suggest an alternative mode of treatment- Ayurveda!
Ayurveda is a traditional medicinal therapy that uses natural remedies, herbal extracts and essential oils to cure the condition. It not only deals with ingredients but also explains the correct approach to embracing healthy lifestyle changes.
The symptoms of diabetes can very well be managed by incorporating nutritious food into your diet. In Ayurveda, this particular approach is known as ‘Ahaar Vidhi Visheshayatana’. According to Ahaar Vidhi Visheshayatana, there are 8 basic principles that one must follow-
- Prakrit (nature of food)- Ayurveda suggests the intake of lighter, easily digestible food items like rice, vegetables. Instead of foods that are rich in proteins and fats (such as dairy products, meat), switch to green veggies, fruits and juices that help keep your blood sugar in check.
- Karana (processing)- Modern cooking techniques (microwave cooking, cooking on electricity or gas) destroy the Prana in your food. As a result, you don’t get sufficient nutrients from the food you eat. Foods cooked on coal fire or natural wood taste better, and also provide you with complete nutritional benefits.
- Samyoga (combining all ingredients)- You must mix all the ingredients properly while preparing the food.
- Rashi (quantity)- While eating your food, you must take into consideration the individual quantity of the ingredient (Parigraha) and the total quantity of food to be consumed (Sarvagraha). Make sure you eat your food in small portions. It helps in easy digestion.
- Desha (place)- You should always eat your food in a clean surrounding. A clean, sattvic surrounding helps your body to absorb the food better.
- Kala (time period)- One should consume food only after the previous meal has been completely digested. According to Ayurveda, the ideal time for having the main meal is somewhere between 10 am to 2 pm. This period is known as ‘pitta time’.
- Upayoga Samastha (rules for consuming your meal)- Food must be consumed while it’s hot. This increases the rate of metabolism and helps in quick digestion. One should eat his/her meal in a relaxed, cheerful surrounding. The pace of eating should neither be too fast nor too slow. It’s important that you eat your food at regular intervals. Chew your food properly before swallowing it. Also, drinking glassful of water during or immediately after having your meal is not advisable.
- Upabhokta (person eating the food)- You must be aware of your own anatomy- how fast you can digest the food, what quantity of food you can consume at once etc. Don’t force yourself to have a meal if you don’t feel like eating at the moment.
Dietary and lifestyle changes one should adopt-
- Incorporate fruits such as Jamun (Java Plum) and Indian Bael in your diet. Herbs like Fenugreek and Gurmar are very effective in curing diabetes.
- People with heavy body weight are prone to diabetes. Try to incorporate mild physical activities into your daily routine. Yoga and Pranayama like Nadi Shodhan or nostril breathing help a great deal in managing symptoms of diabetes.
These Ayurvedic remedies can help cure diabetes or at least reduce the risk of getting affected by the disease.