Diabetes or Madhumeha is a chronic lifestyle disorder that affects blood sugar levels in the body. In this condition, the body either does not produce enough insulin, or it becomes unresponsive to the insulin and cannot use it properly, leading to high levels of blood glucose (1).
Some of the main factors that cause diabetes include stress, obesity, leading a sedentary lifestyle and having a family history of diabetes (2).
While diabetes is a progressive disease, you can still manage it by eating a healthy diet and following a physically active lifestyle. Ayurveda suggests many herbs and herbal remedies to aid in the management of diabetes.
Here are some of these ancient Ayurvedic remedies.
8 Ayurvedic Herbs to Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
According to Ayurveda, Amla is one of the best herbs to manage diabetes. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, it helps reduce oxidative stress and improve glucose metabolism in people with type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, it also helps prevent the development of several diabetes complications like diabetic neuropathy, heart problems, etc. (7).
The best way to use Amla is in the form of juice. Mix 2 teaspoons of freshly extracted Amla juice with a glass of water and consume it daily in the morning on an empty stomach.
Tulsi is blessed with antioxidants and essential oils that increase insulin secretion and improve insulin sensitivity in the body, thereby regulating blood sugar levels. In addition, it also helps alleviate stress, fight free radical damage and reduce the levels of total cholesterol and triglyceride in the body (6).
One of the best ways to use Tulsi is by drinking 2 tablespoons of Tulsi juice on an empty stomach every morning.
Cinnamon or Dalchini is a natural bioactive spice that helps to lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity in the body (12) (13). In addition, it also lowers the levels of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in diabetes patients (14).
To add cinnamon to your diet, you can start drinking cinnamon tea. For this, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to 1 ½ cups of hot water and continue boiling it for 5-10 minutes. Then, strain the tea and sip on it slowly.
Bitter gourd or Karela is a well-known home remedy for diabetes. Drinking Karela juice on an empty stomach in the morning has been proven beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin functions. However, you must consult your doctor before taking Karela juice. Together with your insulin and diabetes medication, bitter gourd might increase the risk of hypoglycemia (11).
Triphala is an Ayurvedic formulation of three herbs, namely Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. It is easily available in the market in the form of powder or tablets and is well-known for boosting digestion. However, Triphala has many more benefits.
It is highly effective in inhibiting digestive enzymes and reducing the absorption of glucose while also lowering both fasting and postprandial blood glucose in the body. Furthermore, Triphala also reduces the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, thereby lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases associated with diabetes (15).
Giloy, also known as Guduchi, is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. Rich in antioxidants, it helps mitigate oxidative stress and fight free radicals while also promoting insulin secretion in the body (3). Furthermore, Giloy also helps alleviate stress, which is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes (4).
Giloy is easily available in the form of powder. You can use it by infusing it with water and drinking it early in the morning.
Scientifically termed Pterocarpus Marsupium, Vijaysar is an ancient Ayurvedic herb known for regulating blood sugar levels and controlling diabetes. It is an excellent remedy for boosting digestion and reducing total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein and serum triglyceride levels in the body (5). However, you must consult your doctor before using Vijaysar.
Yoga to Keep Blood Sugar in Control
Yoga not only helps to make you physically active but also aids in alleviating stress and anxiety. In addition, the mind-body connection that stems from practising Yoga helps increase self-awareness and motivates to change dietary and lifestyle habits. Practising Yoga Asanas, Pranayamas, meditation and Sudarshan Kriya on a daily basis is considered highly beneficial for diabetes patients (16).
Some of the best Yoga Asanas and Pranayamas for diabetes include Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose), Halasana (Plough Pose), Vajrasana (Diamond Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Naukasana (Boat Pose), Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing), Chandranadi (Left Nostril Breathing), Sitkari (Cooling Breaths) and Bhramari (Humming Bee Breath) (16).
The Final Takeaway
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that can be managed easily with the help of Ayurvedic herbs and herbal remedies. Some of the best Ayurvedic remedies to lower blood sugar levels and control diabetes include Giloy, Tulsi, Amla, Methi and Triphala.
However, you must always consult your doctor before using any of these herbal remedies, especially if you are taking medications or insulin to manage your diabetes.