Ayurvedic medicine practices date back to pre-Biblical times.
Ayurvedic medicine prioritizes a holistic approach to healing, using plant-derived medicines, many of which have been tested for their clinical potential using modern methods.
Many people with diabetes – as well as other chronic illnesses – use Ayurvedic medicine as a complementary treatment, in conjunction with more typical Western treatments.
To treat diabetes, Ayurvedic practitioners typically use a mixture of herbs along with diet and exercise, with treatments tailored to each individual patient to take into account the balance of the inner body.
Here are some herbs that are commonly used by Ayurvedic practitioners to help patients manage their blood sugar levels and control their diabetes:
1. Gymnema Leaf
Gymnema Sylvestre has been proven to help individuals with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production and allowing the body to convert more sugar into energy(1). It has been tested extensively in animal models and is available as tea or in supplement form at most health food stores.
2. Ceylon Cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon, has been used by Ayuervedic practitioners in the treatment of diabetes for thousands of years. Recent research suggests that this cinnamon may in fact reduce fasting blood sugar levels(2). Cinnamon can be found just about anywhere, but be sure to get the right kind. It can be ground up and used as a spice in cooking and baking.
3. Fenugreek Seed
Fenugreek seeds, which have a slightly bitter taste not unlike that of black licorice, have a positive effect on metabolic health. They can be roasted to enhance their flavor, or sprouted to produce a sweet sprout.
4. Holy Basil Leaf
Also known as tulsi in India, holy basil leaf has a wide range of health effects, including helping with blood sugar imbalances(3). Used in Ayuervedic practices for a number of conditions, holy basil tea, dried leaves and extracts are fairly accessible at more stores today, and can also be used to help meditation and strengthen your overall health.
Incorporating Ayuervedic Medicine Into Your Healthcare Plan
Combining Ayuervedic practices with traditional Western medicine can help significantly when it comes to promoting a more holistic approach to healthcare.
Whether or not you believe in the principles behind Ayurvedic medicine, its thousands of years of history should not be downplayed. If you’re considering looking into Ayurvedic practices, talk to your healthcare practitioner about it – they may be able to refer you to an Ayurvedic specialist.