Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder in which there is inadequate metabolism of glucose in the blood because of a reduced production of insulin. This results in excessive glucose in the blood which has an adverse effect on the entire body. Diabetes mellitus results in complications which affect the heart, kidneys, eyes, gums, nerves, skin, extremities, gastrointestinal system and the brain. This article deals with the Ayurvedic treatment of different complications resulting from diabetes.
Diabetes carries an increased risk of heart attack and stroke because of an increased tendency for atherosclerosis. Medicines use to treat this condition are: Triphala-Guggulu, Medohar-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Arogya-Vardhini, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Behada (Terminalia bellerica), Sunthi (Zinziber officinalis), Marich (Piper nigrum), Pippali (Piper longum), Lashuna (Allium sativum), Psyllium (Plantago ovata), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa) and Guggulu (Commiphora mukul). These medicines need to be given on a long term basis and are very useful in reducing cholesterol, lipids and atherosclerosis.
Diabetes can cause inflammation and damage to the kidneys, resulting in nephropathy and kidney failure in the long run. In order to prevent renal damage and failure, medicines like Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Chandraprabha-Vati, Gomutra-Haritaki, Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Bhrungraj (Eclipta Alba), Shilajit (Purified bitumen), Apamarga (Achyranthus aspera), Deodar (Cedrus deodara) and Patol (Tricosanthe dioica) are used.
Diabetic retinopathy can lead to early blindness. In order to prevent or reduce this risk, medicines like Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Saptamrut-Loh, Triphala-Ghrut, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Haridra (Curcuma longa), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Saariva and Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) are used.
Diabetes affects the central nervous system by disturbing the blood supply to the nerves, thereby causing inflammation and damage to the nerves. This can be prevented or treated using medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Dashmoolarishta, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Yashtimadhuk, Kuchla (Strychnos nuxvomica) and Nirgundi (Vitex negundo). This pathology also affects the gastrointestinal system, manifesting as alternating diarrhea and constipation or abdominal distention. Medicines used to treat these symptoms are: Kutaj-Parpati, Panchamrut-Parpati and Suvarna-Parpati.
People with diabetes are more prone to skin diseases and injury to the extremities, specially the feet. This can be prevented using medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Gandhak-Rasayan and Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu. Adequate hygiene needs to be maintained and wounds need to be treated properly till they heal completely. Chronic depression is another common problem related to diabetes which can be treated using medicines like Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Shrung-Bhasma, Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) and Vacha (Acorus calamus). Maintenance of oral hygiene is important and medicines like Bakul (Aconitum ferox), Kattha (Acacia catechu), Lavang (Carophyllus aromaticus), Supari (Areca catechu) and Elaichi (Elettaria cardamomum) are used to keep the gums clean and reduce inflammation and infection.
Needless to say, all the above mentioned medicines can have maximum therapeutic effect only if there is an adequate control of diabetes mellitus. Medicines like Haridra, Amalaki, Mamejva (Enicostemma littorale), Gudmar (Gymnema Sylvester) and Vijaysaar (Pterocarpus marsupium) can be used for this purpose.