Ayurveda tips for treating diabetes


  • Whole grains of barley, wheat, red rice, finger millet, pearl millet and foxtail millet are very beneficial in diabetes.
  • Consume cooked or uncooked vegetables with little or no dressing. Opt for fat-free or low-fat dressings.
  • Fenugreek, pointed gourd (Trisanthus dioica), bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), Amaranthus spinosus, Moringa oleifera, Momordica dioica, garlic, raw banana, raw jack fruit, raw banana flower, green raw papaya, Luffa acutangula, Solanum melongena, Lagenaria vulgaris, Vigna catiang, Cucurbita pepo, Benincasa hispida, bitter astringent leaves, and radish are highly recommended.
  • Chick peas, pigeon peas, mung beans, horse gram, black gram and red lentils are beneficial.
  • Use a flour mixture of one part barley, one part chick peas, and four parts whole-wheat flour to make pancakes and bread.
  • A vegan diet improves insulin resistance.
  • Condiments and spices like pepper, asafetida, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, basil, rock salt, turmeric, cinnamon, mustard, garlic, onion, ginger and coriander possess potential anti-diabetic and hypoglycemic activities.
  • Avoid fruits with high-glycemic such as banana, sapota, grapes, and mango.
  • Drink a glass of bitter gourd juice with half teaspoon of turmeric powder, daily in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Soak four tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in 300 ml water overnight. Crush them in the morning and strain the mixture. Drink it daily for three months.
  • Try to avoid fruit juices; instead opt for whole fruits, as they contain more fiber and are more filling.
  • Honey supplementation alone or in combination with anti-diabetic drugs has been found to reduce hyperglycemia in rodents and humans with diabetes mellitus.
  • Doing regular yoga poses like Uttanapadasana, Pavanmuktasan, Naukasana Puschimotanasa, Vajransan, Mayurasana, and exercises such as walking is beneficial.
  • Use less of root-rhizome like potatoes, sugar cane products, oil, fermented drinks and sour beverages, carbohydrate-rich food, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Activities that are harmful are daytime naps, sedentary lifestyle, suppressing urination for long time, and smoking.

Aparna K. BAMS, MD, PhD

Aparna is one of the few specialists worldwide with a PhD in Ayurveda. Born into an Ayurvedic family which operates a traditional Ayurvedic Panchakarma hospital in Kerala, India, she grew up observing her father, the renowned Dr Padmanabhan.

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