10 Perfect Natural Ways for Diabetes Management
by Dr. Surya Bhagwati on Sep 23, 2019
Diabetes has emerged as one of the leading public health threats for Indians, now believed to affect over 80 million Indians. While allopathic diabetes medications can be valuable, long term use of such drugs poses a high risk of side effects. This has forced health care experts to reevaluate conventional approaches, emphasizing the need for more natural alternatives. The use of natural medicines to control blood sugar levels can help to manage the condition and lower dependence on drugs, greatly improving outcomes. Natural interventions can include dietary changes, exercise, massage therapy, herbal remedies, and Ayurvedic medications for diabetes.
10 Natural Methods for Diabetes Management
1. Diet Therapy
Nutrition is the cornerstone of any diabetes management plan, as this single aspect of life has the biggest influence on the progression or reversal of diabetes. While sweet foods are recognized as a threat, there’s more to a diabetes diet than avoiding sugar. Your diet should mainly include low glycemic foods, focusing more on whole foods rather than processed foods, as recommended in Ayurved. Although carb control is important, it’s the quality of carbs that matters. Complex carbs from fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains are less likely to cause blood sugar spikes as compared to simple carbs from biscuits, pastries, and processed foods. The high fiber content of such foods also helps regulate blood sugar levels and satiety, lowering the risk of food cravings and weight gain.
One of the main Ayurvedic medicine for regulating sugar levels is panchakarma, which is a detoxification and purification treatment protocol. It includes different therapeutic techniques, such as vamana (emetic therapy) and virechana (purgation therapy). Although researchers don’t understand the precise mechanisms of action, studies show that the Ayurvedic therapy can be helpful in managing diabetes. Ayurvedic physicians believe that diabetes is associated with a buildup of toxins or ama and the kapha dosha. Panchakarma is said to help by pacifying the aggravated dosha and encouraging the elimination of ama.
Guduchi is an important Ayurvedic herb, commonly used as a nerve tonic. It has also been the subject of several studies because of interest in therapeutic plant compounds that can be used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. These findings highlight the benefits of guduchi for diabetes, showing that guduchi extracts can help to regulate glucose levels and improve sensitivity to grow. In addition, the herb may also mitigate the risk of diabetes complications like diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage. Guduchi can be consumed in supplements, but can also be found as an ingredient in some of the most effective Ayurvedic medications for diabetes.
Methi is widely used in Indian cuisine as a leafy green veggie, but its bitter taste makes it unpalatable to many. If you don’t mind the taste, it would be a good idea to consume more of the food as it has several benefits to offer when it comes to diabetes management. If you’re still averse to eating the leafy herb, the good news is that you can get these benefits just from consuming the seeds. Studies have shown that natural chemicals and dietary fiber in the seeds may help prevent or delay the onset of type-2 diabetes.
Tulsi, known to much of the world as Holy Basil, is an important herb in traditional medical systems, most notably in Ayurved. The herb is ascribed with both spiritual significance and therapeutic potential, described as a rasayana or rejuvenant. Generally included as an ingredient in Ayurvedic medications for immune support, the herb may also have a role to play in the management of diabetes. Research suggests that tulsi has a hypoglycemic effect, which can be helpful in dealing with diabetes.
Unfortunately, the best food cures for diabetes are also among the most unpalatable. Like methi, karela is one of the bitterest fruits, which is why it is also known as bitter gourd or bitter melon. Karela and the fruit’s juice are often used in traditional remedies to treat a variety of ailments, including parasitic infections and conditions like diabetes. The food is now gaining popularity as a herbal remedy for diabetes, with research showing that regular intake of karela, the juice, or extract can have a hypoglycemic effect, lowering the need for conventional diabetes medications.
Despite ashwagandha’s association with immunity, muscle growth and performance, Ashwagandha has many other applications. The Ayurvedic herb is known to be an adaptogen, loweing stress levels, which can benefit diabetics. Studies show that the herb can also have a more direct effect, controlling blood sugar levels, as well as lipid levels.
It’s a fruit that many Indians grew up eating as cheap snack, but it has lost some of its sheen with a new generation that has been raised on instant foods. However, it’s time for the fruit to make a comeback, not simply because it’s a healthier alternative to candy, but because it can dramatically lower the risk of diabetes and help manage it. We know from research that jambuls can be helpful when it comes to the regulation of blood sugar levels, but these studies point to additional benefits such as reduced blood urea and better cholesterol control
9. Stay Active
.It’s a fruit that many Indians grew up eating as cheap snack, but it has lost some of its sheen with a new generation that has been raised on instant foods. However, it’s time for the fruit to make a comeback, not simply because it’s a healthier alternative to candy, but because it can dramatically lower the risk of diabetes and help manage it. We know from research that jambuls can be helpful when it comes to the regulation of blood sugar levels, but these studies point to additional benefits such as reduced blood urea and better cholesterol control.
Meditation is widely accepted as one of the most effective techniques for stress reduction, making it a useful tool for dealing with diabetes. As meditation is an integral part of yoga, it’s one more reason to take up the practice. In addition to the direct effect of lowering stress hormone levels, studies show that the practice of yoga and meditation also benefits psychoneuro-endocrine and immune functions.
- “IDF SEA Members.” International Diabetes Federation, 2018, www.idf.org/our-network/regions-members/south-east-asia/members/94-india.html.
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- Sangeetha, M.k., et al. “Anti-Diabetic Property of Tinospora Cordifolia and Its Active Compound Is Mediated through the Expression of Glut-4 in L6 Myotubes.” Phytomedicine, vol. 20, no. 3-4, 2013, pp. 246–248., doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2012.11.006.
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- Udayakumar, Rajangam et al. “Hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic effects of Withania somnifera root and leaf extracts on alloxan-induced diabetic rats.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 10,5 2367-82. 20 May. 2009, doi:10.3390/ijms10052367
- Ravi, K., et al. “Anti-Diabetic Activity of Eugenia Jambolana Seed Kernels on Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats.” Journal of Medicinal Food, vol. 7, no. 2, 2004, pp. 187–191., doi:10.1089/1096620041224067
- Innes, Kim E, and Terry Kit Selfe. “Yoga for Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review of Controlled Trials.” Journal of diabetes research vol. 2016 (2016): 6979370. doi:10.1155/2016/6979370
- Raveendran, Arkiath Veettil et al. “Therapeutic Role of Yoga in Type 2 Diabetes.” Endocrinology and metabolism (Seoul, Korea) vol. 33,3 (2018): 307-317. doi:10.3803/EnM.2018.33.3.307
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