Managing Diabetes Mellitus in Ayurveda

Author: Rajkumar Neelappa

Diabetes Mellitus is called Madhumeha in Ayurveda. Madhu means honey; Meha means urine. Madhumeha patients will be passing urine, which tastes sweet as honey or sugar.

Prof. Dr. H.T. Sreenivas talks about Ayurvedic practice to manage the medical condition.

What does Ayurveda suggest about a specific diet or practice for any ailments?

I will take Diabetes Mellitus as an example. Among all the restrictions of diet for Diabetic patients, you should cook delicious food for them. The suggested food should be cooked at home with equal amounts of rice and horse gram.

Talking generally about Diabetes, there are two types of diabetic patients. Sometimes, even a new-born baby can have diabetes, which is called type 1. The Islets of Langerhans will be absent in them.

Among type 2 diabetes patients, we can find both hefty and lean patients. The treatment is standard irrespective of the patient is bulky or skinny and weak. However, the overweight patient should be prepared to receive the treatment. He/she has to undergo Shodhana Karma, especially Virechana Karma. We should do the Shodhana Karma when the patient is ready or regularly during rainy seasons. As per my experience, the ideal temperature should be around 35 degrees Celcius to perform this procedure.

Shodhana Karma

Shodhana Karma is a form of detoxification in Ayurveda. We can divide this procedure into three phases.

Phase 1

To assess the patient’s digestive capacity, we give them ghee or clarified butter. Avara, Madhyama, and Pravara are three types of assessments.

Pravara is enough ghee consumed that the patient will not feel hungry for twenty-four hours. Similarly, in Madhyama, the patient does not feel hungry for twelve hours, and in Avara, it will be six hours.

This procedure eliminates the hunger, and the patient develops enormous thirst. We only give the patient hot water. As per my observations, the patient passes significantly less urine, and the body absorbs most of the water. I have seen that 100 gms ghee requires the patient to drink about one liter of hot water. This procedure increases blood circulation.

Phase 2

The next day, he flushes out everything through Virechana Karma. After this, we take the patient for the Diabetes Treatment, which is called the Pradhana Karma.

Phase 3

In the final stages, we kindle the patient’s digestion by giving different foods, like boiled rice water, fruits, goat-meat soup, dal soup, etc. It will take some time for the patient to regain standard digestion power.

Water Intake

In this entire procedure, we give the patient only hot water mixed with Triphala. Triphala is a powerful herbal remedy that consists of Haritaki, Bhibhitaki, and Amla. We administer this Triphala water only when the patient is thirsty. Triphala is vital for diabetic patients. We do add little honey to this water.


Diabetes is a result of a physically inactive lifestyle and improper diet. Exercise is essential for managing the disease. Healthy lifestyle, appropriate diet and seasonal detoxification (Shodhana Karma) can help manage this disease.

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