Herbs, Yoga Asanas

What is diabetes?

It is known as Madhumeha in Ayurveda. It is a metabolic disorder, arising either due to:
1) Relative or absolute deficiency of a digestive hormone called insulin; 2) inability or resistance of body cells to use the available insulin.

Types of diabetes:

There are two types of diabetes – Type 1 and type 2.

Complications of diabetes:

Diabetic coma (unconsciousness).
Boils and carbuncles.
Acute gangrene.
Diabetic neuropathy – loss of touch and pain sensation.
Renal failure.
Diabetic Retinopathy.
Cardiovascular diseases — atherosclerosis.
Frequent respiratory tract infections.
Frequent fungal and bacterial infections of skin.
Xanthoma diabeticorum.
Pruritis valvae.

Sound mind, happy heart and healthy body are interdependent. The founders of Ayurveda had well understood and incorporated this fact in this ancient Indian science of medicine. Today, the luxurious lifestyle, stressful jobs, environmental pollution, and varieties of complications in the familial and social system have increased the psychosomatic disorders at an alarming rate. The clinical studies and surveys across the globe show hypertension, diabetes, cardiac diseases and spinal problems, muscular spasm and body-pains as common health hazards of this category. Imbalanced, stressful routine, excessively ambitious and cutthroat competition, comfort-driven attitude, smoking, high-calorie lavish food are identified as the major causes of these disease/disorders.

In view of the limitations of modern medicines in curing and controlling the psychosomatic disorders and diseases, the relevance and importance of herbal/plant medicines as effective alternative and complementary therapies has been recognized by the routine scientists over the few decades. Extensive research is now going on in several reputed laboratories in these areas. However, the modern, especially the Western experimental methods revolve around identification, extraction and large-scale production of active chemical compounds from plants and herbs prescribed in Ayurveda and Chinese Scriptures of Medicines. This approach ignores the radical component of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines, viz. synergistic effects of whole herb/plant, the vital energy of its fresh natural form processed without chemical etc.

(1) Tablets to fight against Diabetes:

Ingredients: Turmeric 100gm. Nirmali Beeja 100gm, Kalamegha 100gm,
Saptrangi 100gm, Giloya 100gm, Khas 100gm, Lajavanti Beeja 100gm, Punarnava 100gm, Silajita 100gm, Bilva 100gm, Bitter Kutha 100gm, Kutaj 100 gm, Methi (Fenugreek) 100gm, Atisa 50gm, Powdered stones of Mango and Black Plum (Jamun) 50 gm each, Daru Haldi 100gm, dried Kaitha Pulp 50gm, Kutaki 100gm, Vijaya 50gm, Khusarani Ajavain 25gm, Brahmi 100gm, Sankhpuspi 100gm, Satavara 100gm, Gorakha Mundi 100gm, Sweet Bacha 100gm.

The above ingredients should be mixed and grinded well using a Kharal (a kind of stone-made hand grinder). Once the powder becomes fine enough it should be further filtered using a clean, thin cloth-piece. Tiny tablets (of the size of one grain of black gram) should be made from its dough prepared by mixing appropriate amounts of Ghrutkumari in it.

Diabetic patients should take one tablet each with water every day in the morning and evening. They should also observe the diet restrictions as advised by their doctors. These tables alleviate the disorder of glucose homeostatic system and also stimulate the pancreas to regulate the in-vivo production of insulin and thus provide good remedial effect.

Asanas recommended for diabetics are:

Tadasana, Tiryaka Tadasana, Kati Chakrasana, Tiryaka Bhjangasana, Udar Karsanasana.

Tests that have to be done every 6 months by all diabetics:

1) HbA1c: This blood test will show your control over blood sugar in the last 3 months.
2) Fasting and Post-prandial blood sugar test.
3) Electrocardiogram: Also known as E.C.G.
4) Liver function test: Also known as L.F.T.
5) Renal function test: Also known as R.F.T. This is done to especially know the serum creatinine levels. In diabetics, renal function is impaired first followed by the eye.
6) Lipid profile to know the status of cholesterol and triglycerides which leads to complications in diabetes.
7) To give tetanus toxoid injection: There are 2 doses at one month gap each, which has to be repeated every 6 months.

DO’s for diabetics:

1) Check whole body (back can be observed in mirror) for even the smallest injury. As blood and sugar are the best medium for micro-organisms to grow, leading to slow healing and more complications. If you see any injury, consult your doctor.
2) To wear soft sole footwear.
3) If patient is getting early morning headaches then night doses are required to be adjusted.
4) Always carry sugar candies or chocolates in case the patient feels giddy and needs to consume them.
5) Have half a glass of milk, say about 80 to 100 ml of warm milk, just before sleep to avoid early morning hypoglycemic episodes (low sugar levels leading to unconscious state, which is very common in diabetics).

DONT’S for diabetics:

1) Avoid fasting.
2) Do not skip medicines even if fasting.
3) Do not overstress physically/mentally or else medicinal doses will be increased.

Some useful dietary tips:

1) Avoid pickles/ papads /market preparations of sweet. Use artificial sweeteners / jaggery for sweet preparation.
2) Avoid rice and its varied preparations.
3) Eat green leafy vegetables, like salads. It has more fiber.
4) Eat green moong (Split green gram). Their proteins help in carbohydrate digestion.
5) Avoid non-vegetarian diet.
6) Use Saffola Gold or Rice Brand Oil only.

(2) Dry Powders and Tablets against High Blood Pressure:

Ingredients: Brahmi 200gm, Sankhpuspi 100gm, Jatamansi 200gm, Vijaya
200gm, Kalijiri (bitter) 100gm, Ajamoda 50gm, Sarpgandha 400gm, Rock Salt 25gm, Ajavain 50gm, Mukta Pisti 10gm, Prabala Pisti 20gm, Silver Bhasm 10gm, Sankha Bhasm 50gm, Nausadar 10gm, Arjuna Chhala 100gm, Punarnava 100gm, Asajji Khara 10gm, Sweet Soda 15gm.

Mix the above combinations and grind the mixture into a fine powder. Filter it through a thin clean cloth. Then either make small pills of 0.5gm each and dry them well, or put 0.5gm each of this dry power in capsules. Keep the pills or capsules in airtight bottles, protected from heat and moisture. For making pills a paste of the filtered powder is made by adding appropriate amounts of water or Ghrutkumari (Ghee Kunvar) in it. One-one tablet each, with plain water, in the morning and evening is prescribed for adult patients of high blood pressure.

(3) Digestive Tablets:

Ingredients: Laghu Haritika (small Harada) 125gm, Hinga (asafetida)
2gm, Black Pepper 10gm, Cumin seed 20gm, Rock Salt 40gm, Sendha Namaka 20gm, Edible Soda 10gm, Amchura 100gm, Tartaric Acid 5gm, Sugar 150gm, Mulahathi 25gm, Camphor essence 2gm, Saunf 20gm, Anaradana 75gm. If Anara Dana (dry seeds of Pomegranate) is not available, then 75gm of Harad’s should be used.

Mix the above ingredients and grind them finely to make a smooth powder. Further filter it using a thin, clean cloth. Make a hard-dough of this powder using water. Tablets of 0.5gm each should be made and dried in dry air.

Capsules could also be prepared as in the case of kwatha no. (1) as above. In case of acidity of gastric complaint or problems in digestion, take one or two of these tasty sour-sweet tablets/capsules with 200gms of lukewarm water. It gives instant relief and helps set the digestive system right.

(4) Pain Relieving Oils:

Patients of Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and varieties of bone and vertebral column related problems and also the aging people suffer from joints-pain, backache, leg pain, knee pain, etc. Such complaints have become quite common these days. Instead of taking chemically synthesized modern pain killing medicines and spoiling the natural harmony of the physiological system, the Ayurvedic decoction of fresh herbal/plant medicines should be tried out with appropriate yoga exercises. Massaging with natural herbal oils provides excellent support in relieving or substantially allaying the pain in most cases. Below we present the method of preparation of herbal oil:

Ingredients: 1: Mustard Oil 100gm, 2: Methi Beeja (Fenugreek seeds) 10gm, 3: Dhatura seed 10gm 4: Yellow Kanera root 10gm, 5: Kuchala seeds 10gm 6: Juice of Aak root or leaves 10gm, 7: Bhanga leafs 4gm, 8: Garlic 4gm, 9: Atisa 3gm, 10: Red Chilly seeds 2gm, 11: Ajavain 3gm, 12: Bhilava 5gm, 13: Root of Kantakari (Bhatkataiya) 10gm, 14: Kalihari roots 3gm, 15: Priyangu seeds 3gm, 16: Tobacco 2gm, 17: Sankhiya (to be used only if necessary) 2gm, 18: Bacha 5gm, 19: Turmeric 5gm, 20: Nagaphani 10gm, 21: Peppermint essence 5gm, 22: Ajavain (Ajova seed) essence 2gm, 23: Camphor (Bhimseni Kapoor) esence 10gm, 24: Methyl Salicylate 20ml, 25: Terpentine oil 3ml, 26: Eucalyptus oil 3ml.

Method of Preparation and Use: Chop or crush the plant medicines/herbs from No. (2:) to (20:) into small pieces of the size of a wheat grain. (Note: Sankhiya should be used only in case of acute pain). Then cook them in the mustard oil in mild heat. Stir it for 2-3 minutes with the help of cooking spoon so that nothing burns or sticks on the casserole. The mix is ready. Its heating should be put off when it becomes blackish and the mustard oil begins to give a burning smell. Let it get lukewarm. Then filter it using a clean cloth-piece. The mix on the cloth should be pressed and shaken properly with the help of a spoon so that all the oil and essence of the herbs is squeezed out.

Keep the items listed at (21)-(23) in a steel or glass utensil and stir thoroughly to make a uniform solution. Mix this liquid in the filtered herbal oil (prepared by the above-described method). Then successively dissolve the constituents listed at (24)-(26) in this preparation. The oil is now ready for use. Keep it in a glass bottle with an airtight lid.

For stronger remedial and therapeutic effect, about 50 to 100gm of condensed fresh cow urine and about 50gm liquid extracted from fresh cow dung are also used. These are first boiled in 125gm of mustard oil; the layers deposited on the oil during this process are to be removed with the help of a spoon. Stop heating when the cow-urine and cow-dung water evaporates completely. Now there will be about 100gm of refined mustard oil. Let it cool and mix the ingredients listed above at (2)-(20) and repeat the method described above.

The oil is only for external use. As it has some toxicity, it should not be applied in any part above the neck. It should be kept away from the reach of children. As a precaution, it should not be used by pregnant women.

As per Ayurvedic diagnostics, often bodily pains, especially joints, back or sciatica types occur due to the ailments of Vata. It is recommended in such cases to drink one spoon of castor oil. It should be continued for 1 or 2 days only. It clears the stomach of the undigested, rotten accumulations that give rise to Vata. The taking of castor oil with plain water is not effective; two spoons of this oil should be drunk with a glass of lukewarm milk. In rare cases, even after taking two spoons of the oil, the patient does not get loose motions, the amount may be increased as per the recommendations of Ayurvedic doctors. This remedy should be repeated after a week. Taking the decoctions of Dashmula and Maharasna renders healthy support in this treatment.

-Dr.Hiren Parekh.