Ayurvedic Management of Diabetes Mellitus

Ayurveda, the science of life, is the oldest System of medicine existing in this universe. It gives information about almost all the diseases which are existing and its only aim is to prevent the onset of the diseases and treatment for manifested diseases by various treatment modalities.

Among the list of major diseases, Diabetes mellitus comes in the first line.  A detailed explanation of this disease i.e. Diabetes mellitus is available in ayurvedic textbooks in the name of the disease MADHUMEHA.

The prevalence of the disease Diabetes mellitus is increasing all over the world. India one of the main countries with having more percentage of Diabetes mellitus patients. The global prevalence of Diabetes mellitus has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014 and it is the major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation. WHO projects that Diabetes mellitus will be the 7th leading cause of death in the year 2030.  

It is the right time to get the proper awareness about the disease so that one can either prevent the onset of disease or can maintain the disease with normal blood sugar level and can lead a normal healthy life. 

The word madhumeha indicates the clinical condition where there is an increased passing of sweet urine along with an increase in blood glucose level.

There are two types of madhumeha patients, in the first type, the patient will be very lean, emaciated, very weak, irritable, usually the cause is hereditary.  

The second type is due to an altered lifestyle, for example not following the daily regimens as said in Ayurveda, like not at all indulging in physical activity,  reduced physical activities,  indulging in altered activities, no mental exertion, not having an interest in any work, a sort of lazy mind,  excessive anger,  having overstressed or overanxiety, not taking food which includes all tastes in it like sweet, sour, salt, pungent, astringent and bitter in equal proportion, taking excess food, taking only the food which is rich in fat especially animal fat, more intake of curds, sleeping in the day time,  avoid sleep in the night times,  suppressing the natural urges like urination, defecation, etc.  In general, all types of altered habits in all aspects like food, physical activity, and mental activity, by leaving all principals of health, habituating their routine according to their convenience or their will and wish. By these types of altered lifestyles which are opposite to health rules will be gradually leading to altered digestive activity, later leading to an alteration in metabolism resulting in the onset of diabetes mellitus.

Previously the onset of the disease was noted at the age of 40 years and above, but now due to utter negligence in health rules, plenty of diabetes mellitus cases are being noticed at the early age group itself. 

Here the patient looks obese with increased body weight, with a tendency to excessive eating, avoiding minimum physical activity, always prefer to sleep, with the complaints like excessive urination, excessive thirst, easy tiredness, etc. 

Many times, the above said symptoms are hardly noticed in patients. So, in the present situation, it is better to make all people of age group between 25-30 years to undergo BLOOD INVESTIGATIONS for both sugar level as well as lipid level along with routine urine examination.

The present available Diabetes mellitus patients can be assessed  in three stages and can be treated in three different ways as follows:

  • PRE-DIABETIC-STAGE- Here patients will be having a high risk of getting the disease. It is said in the Ayurvedic books, that treatment should be started at this time only. Here the treatment measures include a correction in lifestyles followed by regular light exercise, a minimum of 6 Surya Namaskar every day, regular intake of food which is very light, easily digestible with limited quantity, so that patient should feel the lightness of the body. Along with these lifestyle corrections, one should undergo DETOXIFICATION methods of Ayurveda like VAMANA and VIRECHANA so that they can prevent the onset of disease.


  • EARLY-DIABETIC-STAGE- Here patient may come with some complaints of the disease. All treatment measures should be started. One should undergo detoxification methods like Vamana and Virechana and then oral AYURVEDIC ANTIDIABETIC DRUGS should be started. 

The kind of medication, its dosage, etc. is to be decided by the Ayurveda physicians. In many patients, the medicine may not be essential after detoxification treatment and it can be managed only with food regulation and regular light exercises like Surya Namaskar or with some YOGASANAS like paschimottanasana, ardamathsyendrasana, bhujangasana, etc.


  • IN-LATE-DIABETIC-STAGE- Here patient may come with either controlled or uncontrolled blood sugar level or the patient may come with some general complaints. According to individual patient complaints, treatment should be planned. The general ayurvedic method of treatment includes mild detoxification methods, oral antidiabetic medicines, a mild form of asanas along with administration of RASAYANA OUSHADHIS  of Ayurveda. Proper planning of all these treatment modalities by considering the requirements of each patient and also the tolerance power of each patient, their well-being can be achieved.

The chronic disease, Diabetes mellitus gradually involves all cells of the body and shows its adverse effects even in the nerve cells, leading to various complications and also reduces the life span.  So the patients of the pre-diabetic and early diabetic stage should undergo the detoxification treatment along with the regulation of food habits and practice of asanas mentioned above so that they can lead a healthy happy life. 



Dr. Aparna S Desai,

Vice Principal, HOD Dept of Roga

Sri college of Ayurvedic science and Research Hospital, Bengaluru.