Diabetes: Information in Indian System of Medicine



Ayurvedic Name: Madhumeha

Diabetes (Madhumeha) is a metabolic syndrome that interferes with the body’s ability to process carbohydrates and sugar into fuel. It is characterized by high blood glucose levels.


Hereditary proneness (Beeja Dosha)

Excessive intake of freshly harvested food articles

Sleeping for long time specially during day time

Environmental toxins, autoimmune disorders

Intake of freshly prepared alcoholic drinks

Excessive intake of sweet/starch

Indulging in extra luxuries, laziness

Sedentary occupation

Lack of exercise

All Kapha aggravating factors

Manas Hetu : Strain, stress, worries, grief, anger, anxiety, fear, depression

Preventive Measures

Don’ts (Apathyas) – Excess use of following should be avoided:

Alcohol, milk, oil, ghee, flour, syrups, curd

Amla, madhura, lavana rasa pradhana dravyas

Naveena Anna (Freshly harvested grains)

Ikshu rasa (Sugarcane juice)

Guda (Jaggery)

Meat of animal which are living in water

Sedentary life style

Divaswapan (Day sleep)

Supression of urine


Riding & walking for long time (Exertion)

Health Promoting Tips

Do’s (Pathyas)

Diet to be promoted:

Take low fat diet

Barley wheat

Fruit and leaf of patola, shigru, karavellaka

Lifestyle to be adopted:

Morning walk

light exercise

Yoga – Shavasan, Pranayam


Curative Herbs

Methi (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.)

Bimbi (Coccinia indica Wight. & Arn.)

Gudamar (Gymnema sylvestre (Retz.) R.Br. ex Schult.)

Jambu (Syzygium cumini L.)

Karavellaka (Momordica charantia L.)

Udumbara (Ficus glomerata Roxb.)

Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Hook.f. & Thoms. )

Triphala (Myrobalans)




Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia).

Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin – dependent or childhood onset diabetes) is characterized by a lack of insulin production.

Type 2 diabetes (previously known as non – insulin dependent or adult onset diabetes) is caused by the body’s ineffective use of insulin.

Gestational diabetes is hyperglycemia that is first recognized during pregnancy.


Primary Diabetes Mellitus (Type 1 or Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM))

– Juvenile onset.

– Associated with autoimmune disorders

– Resulting in destruction of pancreatic islet cells by anti – islet cell antibodies.

– Association with HLA-DR3 and HLA- DR4 (Human Leucocytic antigen)

Type 2 or Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM):

– Exact cause is not known.

– Predisposing causes like obesity, sedentary life style

– Familial predisposition

– Ageing i.e. Maturity onset diabetes of young (MODY)

– High calorie diet

– Pregnancy

– Physical and mental stress

Associated with endocrine disorders, Acromegaly, Cushing’s syndrome, Thyrotoxicosis, Phaeochromocytoma, Chronic pancreatitis etc.


Pancreatic destruction due to excessive iron accumulation.

Iatrogenic – Steroids, Contraceptive pills, Thiazide diuretics etc.

Preventive Measures

Sugar levels to be checked every six months, or as advised by the consulting physician.

Avoid fried, sweets and fast foods.

Avoid mental stress. It is a known aggravating factor for diabetes.

Rather than taking 3 large meals, try eating small meals frequently.

Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes. (If you are a heart patient, you must ask your doctor for the exercises you should or you should not).

Health Promoting Tips

Relaxation techniques to avoid undue stress.

Regular exercise regimen and balanced diet which is low in carbohydrates and contain vitamins and minerals

Routine medical check ups to avoid complications



Ziabetus (diabetes) is a condition characterized by “Abnormal increase appetite and collapse of sexual function in association with Atash-e-Mufrit (polydypsia), Kasrat-e- Baul (polyuria) and weakness in body.


Soo-e-Mizaj (deranged temperament) of certain organs. This may be Soo-e-Mizaj Saadah or Maaddi due to this Soo-e-Mizaj (deranged temperament), functions of certain organs like Kabid (Liver), Me’da (stomach), Masaareeqa (Mesenteries), Baanqaraas (Pancreas) and Kuliyah (Kidney) are affected.



Excessive use of alcohol.

Infaalat-e Nafsania (psychological functions) e.g. stress, worries & emotion.

Negative emotions and fear.

Preventive Measures

Follow measures of Asbab-e-Sitta Zarooriya (six essentials factors) of healthy  lifestyle should be practiced accordingly.

Maintain regular aerobic exercise for required period.

Should follow diabetic diet chart for specific calories.

Quit smoking as it increases the risk.

Avoid consumption of alcohol.

Avoid stress and strain.

Avoid sedentary lifestyle.

Health Promoting Tips

Take meals at short intervals instead of three large meals a day.

Perform vigorous exercise once a week.

Avoid stress and fear.

Sleep 7-8 hours at night.

Special attention should be given to the hygiene of feet.

Maintain your weight according to age, sex and height.

Lifestyle modifications and health education can minimize the risk of diabetes.

Curative Herbs

Kernel of Jamun Jambolan plum (Syzygium cuminii Linn.)

Kernel of Binola Levant cotton (Gossypium herbaceum Linn.)

Falsa Phalsa (Grewia asiatica Linn.)

Bark of Karela Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia Linn.)

Tender shoot of Neem Margo (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.)

Leaves of Belgiri Bengal quince (Aegle marmelos Correa ex Roxb.

Hulba Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum)

Kalonji Black cumin (Nigella sativa Linn.)



Neerizhivu (Diabetes mellitus) is defined as disease of metabolism (metabolic disorder), in which sugar is present in large amount in the blood and is excreted often in the urine. Due to derangement of Pitham Bio combustion is challenged leading to Neerizhuvu. Types of diabetes are as follows:

1) Insulin dependent (IDDM)

2) Non dependant (NIDDM)

3) Gestational



Sedentary life style

Genetic factor

Over eating

Intake of heavy sweets and carbohydrates

Lack of exercise

Day time sleep

Mental stress

Lack of seriousness

Repeated infections

Preventive Measures


Siddha advocates specific dietary and life style changes for Neerizhvu (Diabetes


Diet must be moderate with regular intervals.

Fiber rich food is advised and hence lot of vegetables such as brinjal, cu-cumber,

lady’s finger, green tomatoes, plantain flower, drumsticks, cabbage, spinach and

green leafy vegetables can be taken.

Milk products can also be taken in moderation to maintain the normal health of the


When there is diarrhea, athippinju (tender fruit of Ficus racemosa), mam-paruppu

(seed of Mangifera indica) and sundaikkai (Solanum torvum) to be given.

Don’t’s & Avoid

Over eating

Sweet, cold, unctuous food, milk products etc.

Fried food.

Preserved and canned food.

Alcohol should be avoided.

Yoga should be practiced (Yoga mudra,Vakrasanam,Patchi mothan asanam)

Curative Herbs

Avarai (Cassia curiculata)

Konraiver (Root of Cassia fistula)

Naval (Syzygium cuminni)

Kadal azhhlinjal (Salacia oblonga)

Sirukurinjan (Gymnema sylvestre)

Maruthampattai (Bark of Terminalia arjuna)

Kadukkai (Terminalia chebula)

Vilaver (Root of Aegle marmalos)

Seenthil (Tinospora cordifolia)

Santhanum (Santalum album)

Thamarai mottu (Bud of Nelumbo nu-cifera)

Korai kizhangu (Cyperes rotundus)


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