Ayurveda for diabetes: 12 herbs to manage blood sugar levels naturally

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that affects millions of people. Ayurveda can help you keep your blood sugar levels in check. Here's how you can use Ayurveda for diabetes.
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Manage diabetes with Ayurveda. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Dr Amit Verma Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 05:16 pm IST
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Diabetes is a metabolic illness that affects millions of people around the world. A balanced diet, frequent exercise, and medication are all critical for managing diabetes. Ayurveda, the ancient medical system from India, offers a number of herbs with possible advantages for managing diabetes in addition to mainstream therapies. If you’re wondering how Ayurveda for diabetes works, here’s everything you need to know.

Ayurveda for diabetes

Let us find some Ayurvedic herbs that can help regulate blood sugar levels and their respective benefits:

1. Karela (Momordica Charantia)

Karela, or bitter melon, is a well-known Ayurvedic remedy for diabetes. It contains charantin, which has blood sugar-lowering effects.

Benefits

  • Regulates blood glucose levels: Karela contains charantin, which helps regulate blood glucose levels.
  • Increases insulin sensitivity: It improves insulin sensitivity, making cells more responsive to insulin.
  • Assists in weight management: By controlling blood sugar and promoting a sense of fullness, it supports weight loss efforts.
Karela for diabetes
Try karela to manage blood sugar levels. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Daruharidra (Berberis Aristata)

Daruharidra, or Indian Barberry, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat various ailments, including diabetes. It contains berberine, a compound known for its potential to improve insulin sensitivity.

Benefits

  • Enhances insulin sensitivity: Daruharidra contains berberine, which improves insulin sensitivity, helping cells respond better to insulin.
  • Aids in weight loss: Better insulin sensitivity can lead to improved metabolism and weight loss.
  • Reduces inflammation: It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that may mitigate the inflammatory response often associated with diabetes.

Also Read: Diabetics can’t enjoy fruits? No, go for these 5 low sugar fruits!

3. Vijaysara (Pterocarpus Marsupium)

Vijaysara, also called the Indian Kino Tree, is another valuable herb for diabetes management. It contains pterostilbene, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and improve pancreatic function.

Benefits

  • Lowers blood glucose levels: Vijaysara helps regulate blood glucose levels and supports healthy insulin production.
  • Reduces the risk of complications: By maintaining stable blood sugar levels, it can control the risk of long-term complications associated with diabetes.

4. Meshashringi (Gymnema Sylvestre)

Meshashringi, also known as “Ram’s horn”, is closely related to Gudmar and offers similar benefits. It helps control sugar cravings and supports overall blood sugar management.

Benefits

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  • Reduces sugar absorption: Similar to Gudmar, Meshashringi helps block sugar absorption in the intestines.
  • Alleviates symptoms of diabetes: It can alleviate common diabetes symptoms such as frequent urination and excessive thirst.
  • Promotes weight loss: By controlling sugar intake and symptoms, it contributes to weight management.

5. Gokshura (Tribulus Terrestris)

Gokshura, or Tribulus Terrestris, has anti-diabetic properties and can help manage diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing blood sugar levels.

Benefits

  • Enhances insulin function: Gokshura improves insulin function, making it more effective in regulating blood sugar levels.
  • Supports kidney health: It is known for its renal benefits, which is especially crucial as kidney complications are common in diabetes.
  • Boosts energy levels: Improved blood sugar control can lead to more stable energy levels.

6. Punarnava (Boerhavia Diffusa)

Punarnava is a potent Ayurvedic herb known for its diuretic properties. It can aid in managing diabetes by reducing excess fluid and swelling in the body, often associated with diabetes complications.

Benefits

  • Helps control fluid retention: Punarnava can alleviate fluid retention and swelling, which can be a complication of diabetes.
  • Supports kidney function: It aids in maintaining kidney health, which is vital for those with diabetes.
  • Reduces blood pressure: By addressing fluid retention and kidney health, it can contribute to better blood pressure control.

Also Read: 7 diet mistakes you should avoid to keep diabetes at bay!

7. Gudmar (Gymnema Sylvestre)

Gudmar, also known as the “sugar destroyer”, is a key Ayurvedic herb for managing diabetes. It lowers blood sugar levels by blocking the sugar absorption in the intestines and improving insulin function.

Benefits

  • Regulates blood sugar levels: Gudmar is known to reduce blood sugar levels by inhibiting sugar absorption in the intestines and promoting healthy insulin function.
  • Reduces sugar cravings: It can help curb sugar cravings, making it comfortable for individuals to stick to a diabetic-friendly diet.
  • Supports weight management: By assisting in sugar control and reducing cravings, Gudmar can contribute to weight loss efforts, which is important for managing diabetes.

8. Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna)

Arjuna is a heart-healthy herb that can benefit diabetes management by improving cardiovascular health. Diabetes often comes with an increased risk of heart disease.

Benefits

  • Supports cardiovascular health: Arjuna helps strengthen the heart muscle and improve overall heart function. This is vital for individuals with diabetes, as they carry an elevated risk of heart-related issues.
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels: Arjuna has lipid-lowering properties, which can help reduce high cholesterol levels often associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of heart complications: By promoting cardiovascular health and lowering cholesterol, Arjuna can mitigate the risk of heart complications, a significant concern for individuals with diabetes.

9. Neem (Azadirachta Indica)

Neem has various health benefits, including its potential to help manage diabetes. It contains compounds that improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.

Benefits

  • Regulates blood glucose: Neem contains active compounds that lower blood glucose levels by refining insulin sensitivity.
  • Supports immune system health: A robust immune system is vital for health, especially for those with diabetes who may be more susceptible to infections.
  • Acts as a natural detoxifier: Neem is known for its detoxifying properties, which can help eliminate toxins from the body and promote better metabolic function.
herbs for diabetes
Including neem in your diet can help manage diabetes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

10. Jamun (Syzygium Cumini)

Jamun, also known as Indian blackberry or jambul, is a popular Ayurvedic remedy for diabetes. It contains jamboline, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Benefits

  • Lowers blood glucose levels: Jamun contains jamboline, a compound that helps regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin action.
  • Aids in digestion: Proper digestion is essential for nutrient absorption and overall well-being, and Jamun can contribute to digestive health.
  • Supports Overall Health: Jamun’s antioxidant-rich nature can have positive effects on overall health and help reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

11. Mamejava (Enicostemma Littorale)

Mamejava is a lesser-known Ayurvedic herb that has shown promise in managing diabetes. It can improve insulin sensitivity and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Benefits

  • Enhances insulin function: Mamejava can improve insulin sensitivity, enabling better control of blood sugar levels.
  • Reduces blood sugar fluctuations: By stabilizing blood sugar levels, it helps prevent sharp spikes and crashes.
  • Supports liver health: A healthy liver is crucial for glucose metabolism, making liver support beneficial for individuals with diabetes.

12. Shilajit

Shilajit is a resin-like substance found in the Himalayan mountains. It is known for its numerous health benefits. It can help manage diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing oxidative stress.

Benefits

  • Enhances insulin function: Shilajit may improve insulin sensitivity, making it easier for cells to respond to insulin and regulate blood sugar.
  • Reduces inflammation: Chronic inflammation is often related to diabetes, and Shilajit’s anti-inflammatory properties can be beneficial.
  • Supports overall well-being: Shilajit’s wide-ranging health benefits can contribute to better overall health and vitality, which is important for those managing diabetes.

A natural and comprehensive approach to managing diabetes is provided by Ayurvedic herbs. Although these herbs may be helpful, you should always seek the advice of a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before including them in your diabetes control strategy. A tailored strategy that incorporates these herbs with a balanced diet, way of life, and frequent blood sugar monitoring can help manage diabetes better and promote better overall health. Always keep in mind that Ayurveda should be used in conjunction with contemporary medical care, not as a substitute.

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About the Author

Born and brought up in Hansi, Haryana, Dr Amit Verma has vast experience in the field of Ayurveda medicine and Panchakarma. He started his career as a medical practitioner in JIVA Ayurveda as a Senior Consultant. Through his efficient and effective methods of treatment and in-depth knowledge of Ayurvedic science, he wants to spread the benefits of the Ayurvedic system of medicine to the people and constantly work towards a healthier and happier society. He has completed his Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from Rohtak, Haryana. He has an M.D. and M.Sc. from Karnataka. ...Read More

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