Diabetes : Symptoms , Cause , Treatment And Prevention According To Ayurveda


Madhumeha (Diabetes) a most serious disorders of the Metabolism in human beings. The bodies of the these people means diabetic peoples fails to produce or can make proper use the Insulin. It is very necessary hormone in the body that helps in turning the sugar and other food items into energy. Insulin is usually produced in the Pancreas an organ located near the stomach. When the body fails to produce or not able to use produced insulin then it increases the amount of sugar in the patient’s blood. The abnormally high blood sugar levels are known Hyperglycemia.

The great Indian surgeon and teacher, SUSHRUTA identified diabetes & he has classified it as Madhumeha in ancient time only i.e, 6th century BCE. He further researched about the disease & identified it to be associated with obesity & sedentary life style. He also advised people to do exercise to cure diabetes. This disease has been called as Madhumeha (meaning “sweet urine disease”).

What is Madhumeha(diabetes)

A metabolic disorder characterized by excessive urine excretion and persistent thirst often caused by a dysfunction in hormonal regulation

An unrelated and rare disorder similarly in Ayurveda a condition in which a person passes honey like (sweet) urine is called Madhumeha

Ayurvedic reference of madhumeha(diabetes) in Children

वस्तिमाश्रित्यकुरुतेप्रमेहान्दूषितः कफः । दूषयित्वावपुः क्लेदस्वेदमेदोरसामिषम् ।। (A.H.N 10/4)

Ashtanga Hrudaya by Vagbhata, Nidanasthana, Pramehanidana (Chapter 10), Sloka 4

The Sloka explains pathogenesis of Prameha in Ayurveda. It occurs by depending on Vasti area (Urinary bladder). Its initial causative dosha is Kapha which is followed by Pitha and Vata in later stages. Along with the three doshas kleda (moisture), sweda (sweat), medas (fat), rasa and amisha (fleshy part) are also vitiated. Ayurveda explains the major symptoms of Diabetes as

  • increased and turbid urine
  • increased sweating,
  • Fatigue
  • heaviness of body etc

Causes of diabetes as per Ayurveda:

  • Asyasukham – Comfortable seating (luxury, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activities and exercise)
    Svapnasukham – comforts of sleeping, excess sleeping
  • Kapha krut cha sarvam – All foods and lifestyle activities which increase Kapha
  • Sahaja (inherited factor)
  • Chinta (stress)
  • Shoka (grief)
  • Bhaya (fear)
  • Deergha roga (long standing illness)
  • Alasya (sedentary life)
  • Food and drinks that cause diabetes:
  • Dadheeni – Excessive consumption of curds and its preparations
  • Gramya-oudaka-anupa mamsa – flesh or meat soup of animals living in water and marshy regions
  • Payamsi – Excessive consumption of milk, its derivatives and preparations
  • Navaanna panam – Food, drinks and dishes prepared from new grains etc
  • Guda vaikruti – Jaggery, its derivatives and dishes made out of it
    Guda (jaggery)
  • Ikshurasa (sugar cane)
  • Madhura Ahara (sweet substances)
  • Pishta Ahara (carbohydrate rich food)
  • Adyashana (repeated food intake)
  • Adhikashana (excess food intake)
  • Ahitashana (unwholesome diet)
  • Guru ahara (heavy food)
  • Samashana (improper diet)

Clinical symptoms:

  • Prabhootha mutrata (Polyuria).
  • Avila mutra ta (Turbid Urine) and
  • Medo dushti lakshanas are the main symptoms of madhumeha.

Specific ayurvedic symptoms

Malina danta

Tartar in teeth

Hasta pada daha

Burning sensation of hands and feet

Deha chikkanata

Excess glossy/ oily skin


Excessive thirst


Feeling sweetness in mouth

Prabhuta mutrata

Excessive urination

Avila mutrata

Turbid urination

Madhu samana varna

Urine having colour of honey


Excess perspiration

Anga gandha

Bad body odour


Flaccidity of muscles

Shayana asana Swapna sukha

Desire for sedentary life


Desire for cold food & environment

Gala talu shosha

Dryness of palate & throat

Premonitory symptoms:-

” In Ayurveda we can find the described of early symptoms of the disease. They are accumulation of dirt on the teeth (mouth, eyes, nose, and cars), a feeling of burning sensation in the palms and soles, stickiness of the skin all over the body, thirst and a sweet taste in the mouth etc., and moothra madhuryam (sweetness of urine).


  • Ayurveda emphasized that the first and foremost principle of prevention as well as the treatment of any disease is avoidance of causative factors This is called the principle of nidana parivarjanam in Ayurveda
  • Restrict the excessive use of curds, flesh of domestic aquatic animals and of marshy, places, use of milk and milk preparations, water of rivers and tanks during rains and floods, new grains, puddings made of jaggery /sugar and consumption of kapha Dosha exaggerating factors.
  • Restrict heavy diets, fatty foods which increase body weight and lipids/cholesterol
  • Avoid sleep during daytime and laziness.
  • Various preparations of rice which crops within 60 days yava (barley), Godhuma (wheat), Kodrava (grain variety -Paspolum scrobiculatum) Adhaki (red gram-Cajamus cajan), Kulattha (horse gram-Dolichos biflorus) and Mudga (green gram) with bitter and astringent leafy vegetables should be taken.
  • Use the oils of Nikumba (Danti-Baliospermum montanum), Ingudi (Balanitis egyptica), Atasi (Linum usitatisimum), Sarsapa (Mustard-Brassica campestris) is useful. • Use the meats of animals, which are having anti diuretic properties (budha mutrati),forest animals, forest birds are recommended
  • Navapatala (Tricosanthus dioica), raw banana. Tanduleyaka (Amaranthus spinosus), Vastukam (Bathuva-Chenopodium album), Matsyakshi (Alternanthera sessilis), bitter vegetables like Methika (Trigonella foenum-graecum). Karavellaka (Momordica charantia); Bimbi (Coccinia Indica), Marica (Piper nigrum), Saindava lavana (rock salt) should be used.
  • Practice regular exercise/yoga, increase calorie consuming activities (brisk walking, swimming, cycling, etc.)
  • Avoid fruits with high simple sugars like banana, cheeku (sapodilla), grapes, and mango etc. • Use fruits like orange, watermelon, apple, guava, Jambu (Syzigium cumini), Kapitha (Feronia limonia), Amlaki (Phyllanthus emblica) etc


Depending on the physical constitution or body type (prakriti), or the health status of an individual, ayurvedic classics advocate two different types of therapy schedules for diabetics. They are:

Apatarpana – de-nourishment treatment – useful in obese diabetic patients, having Kapha Prakrit body type patients.

Santarpana – Nourishing  treatment – useful in lean diabetic patients, usually in Vata or Pitta body type patients.

  1. Apatarpana it is a (de-nourishment) therapy and Samshodhana (cleansing): This treatment is prescribed if you are obese and heavily built. In this, along with anti-diabetic herbal medicines, importance is given on de-nourishment of fats and elimination of toxins by way of
    1. various exercises,
    2. fasting therapies – such as juice fasting, water fasting etc
    3. Cleansing therapies –called panchakarma (five fold therapies viz. emesis, purgation, oil enema, decoction enema and nasal drops instillation).
  2. Santarpana (replenishment) and Brumhana (body bulk promotion): This is prescribed if you are chronically ill, with low immunity and underweight due to the draining of essential nutrients. This therapy helps in providing the easily acceptable nutrients and micro-nutrients to rebuild body tissues and help strengthen the defence mechanism without increasing circulating blood sugar and fat tissue. This prevents further damage and ensures enhanced healing and repair. This is achieved by
    1. Oil enema therapies (Anuvasana Basti),
    2. nourishing massages such as Navarakizhi,
    3. oil massage

Administring the nourishing Ayurvedic herbs like Ashwagandha, Vidari, Shatavari,Aloevera, pomegranate, etc. Read more about nourishing treatments of Ayurveda

Classical and home remedies

1. Guduchi Kwatha: A decoction or the juice of Tinospora cordifolia mixed with honey can be used

2. Nisha kalka: Paste of Nisha mixed with juice of Amalaki is used.

3. 2 grams of turmeric powder is added to the decoction of Jambu mixed well and taken routinely.

4.Nisha-triphala Yoga: The powders of the below said should be kept in water over night and should be strained through a sterile cloth or sieve in the morning. It should be consumed mixed with honey.

  • Nisha – Curcuma longa
  • Daruharidra – Berberis aristata
  • Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
  • Bibhitaki – Terminalia bellirica
  • Amalaki – Emblica officinalis

Ayurvedic food for diabetes

According to ayurvedic lifestyle, the some of the food which may be taken and has permitted by diabetes patients.  These are all wholesome foods that are bitter gourd, amla, snake gourd, turmeric, drum stick, barley, wheat, green gram, horse gram, pepper, garlic, blueberry, soybean, cucumber, spinach, fenugreek seeds, Jamun, bel, tulsi,

Ayurvedic food not for diabetes

There different types of foods which are prohibited from Ayurveda’s point of view.  The list of such food items are: sugar, sugar cane juice, ghee, oil, cakes, jaggery, sour beverages, alcohol, food rich in carbohydrate, curd, root rhizome, junk foods, butter, cold drinks, and biscuits


Western approach for Diabetes is based on wrong footings. Treating hyperglycemia with hypoglycemic drugs without caring to correct the metabolic impairment is something like applying dye to the grey hair which thought helps to look younger does not reverse the fundamental process of sences. Though it is a yapya (not to tally curable difficult to cure) disease, the prolonged use of the above treatment procedure will not only generate the person free from Diabetes Mellitus but protect to live a long life (deergha jeevanam), healthy (sukhayu) and will be useful to the society (hitayu).

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About author
Deep Thacker is an BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery) Undergraduate in Rajiv Gandhi University of Health sciences. Deep has published many articles on health and aims to provide the public with the information they need to know for their health decisions.
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