Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people around the world. This condition occurs when the body is unable to produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Lowering blood sugar is not just a short-term goal for people with diabetes. Controlled sugar level helps to prevent or delay diabetes complications, including kidney, eye and nerve diseases.
While there is no cure for diabetes, there are several effective herbal remedies that can be used to lower blood sugar level naturally and manage the symptoms of high blood sugar.
In this article, we will explore Ayurvedic home remedies to reduce your blood sugar levels. We will also discuss the benefits that Ayurvedic herbs offer for diabetic patient and for those at the risk of developing diabetes.
Health risk of High Blood Sugar Levels
High Blood Sugar levels in Diabetes occurs when:
- Insulin secretion and insulin production are affected in the body, a condition that usually happens in type 1 diabetes.
- The body stops responding properly to insulin, a condition termed as reduced insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance. This usually happens in diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes
Over time, high blood sugar level can damage various organs in the body, including the heart, kidneys, and nerves.
Some of the most common challenges associated with diabetes include: high blood pressure, weight gain, increased risk for heart disease, fatigue, high cholesterol levels, frequent urination and increased thirst.
High Blood Sugar Level: Ayurvedic View
Diabetes is referred to as “Madhumeha” in Ayurvedic texts, a word composed of two Sanskrit words – ‘Madhu’ meaning sweet and ‘Meha’ meaning urine.
Increased levels of glucose (sugar) in the urine follows an increased levels of glucose in the bloodstream, which is termed as “Prameha” in Ayurveda. Thus, Prameha can be related to prediabetes or insulin resistance.
In diabetes, Ojas or the very essence of life is lost through the urine (meha), which is why it is also referred to as “Ojomeha”.
Diabetes is caused majorly due to Kapha Dosha imbalance in the body. High levels of Kapha in the body can result in weak Agni or “digestive fire”. This in turn leads to can slow metabolism and high blood glucose level in the body.
Ayurvedic Remedies to Lower Blood Sugar Level Naturally
Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to managing diabetes. In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes, Ayurveda recommends certain herbs and home remedies to help regulate blood sugar levels.
One of the most effective and well-known herbal remedies for blood sugar control is turmeric, a bright yellow spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound known to lower blood glucose levels by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation throughout the body.
For best results, you can take turmeric in pill or tincture form, or use it as a component of your favorite recipes by adding it to soups, stews, smoothies, or stir-fries.
The seeds of fenugreek are a popular home remedy for diabetes. They contain compounds that help to regulate blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion, improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
Regular consumption of fenugreek also helps lower to cholesterol and triglyceride levels, making it a valuable tool for heart health as well. Fenugreek seeds are also rich in fiber, which helps to regulate digestion and prevent spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.
3. Gymnema sylvestre
Gymnema sylvestre is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used to treat diabetes for centuries.
Gymnema helps lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion from the pancreas and by blocking the absorption of sugar in the intestine. Thus, consumption of Gymnema can also support your weight loss goals.
4. Bitter gourd juice
Bitter melon, also known as Karela, contains a compound called charantin that has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels. Karela is also rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants that protect the body against cell damage.
Another molecule called momordin helps to control the way the body uses fatty acids and glucose. This is important for curing diabetes.
5. Amla – Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, or Amla, is a popular Ayurvedic medicine with blood-sugar lowering properties.
Amla is rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants that help to improve insulin sensitivity by acting on the beta cells of the pancreas.
Cinnamon has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity and improving glucose metabolism. Cinnamon is also rich in antioxidants, which protect the body against cell damage.
Adding cinnamon to your meals also helps to beat the intense sugar cravings that often bother a diabetes patient.
7. Tulsi – Holy basil
Holy basil, or tulsi, is an Ayurvedic herb with many medicinal properties.
Holy basil helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion and improving insulin sensitivity.
Garlic is a popular home remedy for many ailments, including diabetes. Garlic contains Allicin, a compound that has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity.
Guggul is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used in the treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders for centuries. Guggul helps to lower blood sugar levels by stimulating the release of insulin from the pancreas and improving glucose uptake in the body.
Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal formula that contains three different herbs: amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki.
Amla is rich in vitamin C, which helps to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Bibhitaki is a bitter herb that helps to stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. Haritaki is an astringent herb that helps to improve glucose metabolism.
Triphala is a popular Ayurvedic remedy for many different conditions, including diabetes. Triphala helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion, improving insulin sensitivity, and improving glucose metabolism.
For best results, it is recommended to take Triphala regularly as part of an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle. This can help lower blood sugar levels.
11. Leaves of Mango
Mango leaves are a popular Ayurvedic remedy for diabetes and high blood sugar levels. They contain a compound called mangiferin, which has been shown to help regulate insulin secretion and improve glucose metabolism.
In addition, mango leaves are rich in antioxidants that protect the body against cell damage caused by high levels of blood sugar. To use this remedy, boil a handful of fresh mango leaves in water for 10 minutes. Then, strain the leaves and drink the water on an empty stomach every morning.
12. Vitamin D
According to some experts, vitamin D deficiency may be linked to diabetes, so it is important for diabetics to get enough vitamin D through regular exposure to sunlight and with diet or supplements.
Getting enough vitamin D can help control blood sugar levels naturally and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications such as kidney damage and heart disease.
Some other Ayurvedic herbal remedies for lowering blood sugar include ginseng (both American and Asian varieties), ginger, and cayenne.
In addition to incorporating these herbs into your diet, there are a few other Ayurvedic tips that you can follow to lower blood sugar levels naturally.
Ayurvedic Diet to Control Blood Sugar Levels
A healthy diet is also important for people with diabetes. This means eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks and refined carbohydrates.
Here are the Ayurvedic diet guidelines for Diabetes care and to manage blood sugar level
- Eat wholesome foods such as minimally processed carbohydrates – rolled oats, barley, millets, buckwheat, and whole-grain flour with good amount of chaff in it.
- Lentils, Pulses, and beans should be added as a major portion of the diet. They will provide with required protein, fiber, and also help manage hunger cum energy levels of the body.
- Include herbs and spices such as Cinnamon, Coriander, Basil, Curry Leaves, and Fenugreek in your diet. Herbs and Spices are a storehouse of nutrients and antioxidants that help to bring the balance in your bodily functions.
- Fats should constitute about 20-35% of total calories. Taking monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids is very beneficial and decrease cardiovascular disease and improve glucose metabolism.
- Increase protein intake to 1-1.5 g per Kg per day or constituent 15-20% of total calories through healthy protein sources. Research showed that a 20-30% of dietary protein intake leads to increased satiety.
- Carbohydrates should constitute 44-46% of total calories through complex carbohydrates as stated in food principles.
Foods to Avoid
- Stop eating packaged snacks such as biscuits, shortcakes, and cakes as the majority of them have processed flour.
- Eat timely meals and avoid snacking in between your meals.
- Stop consumption of sugar-laden beverages, artificial juices, sugar-free drinks, zero calories drinks, carbonated beverages, or anything that claims to use unnatural sugar replacements/artificial sweeteners.
- Patients with diabetic nephropathy should limit protein intake to 0.8 g per Kg per day
- Remove and avoid artificial sweeteners or any other unnatural sweet sources.
- Sodium and salt consumption should be limited to less than 2300 mg per day. For diabetic and hypertensive patients, Sodium intake should be below 1500 mg per day.
Ayurvedic Lifestyle to Balance Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
- Be sure to get plenty of exercise every day. It helps to increase insulin sensitivity, which helps the body to better use the insulin it produces. It also helps to burn off excess sugar in the blood, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Also be sure to get enough sleep each night – research has shown that people who don’t get enough sleep struggle with poor mental health and are at a higher risk for developing diabetes.
- Finally, be sure to manage stress levels, as high levels of stress can lead to increased blood sugar levels.
- Do not eat till very late in the night. Take your last meal or dinner at least 2 hours before sleeping. This will allow enough time for food to get started on the digestion process.
- Smoking and Alcohol is prohibited as it leads to hypoglycemia.
1. Can Diabetes lead to Hypoglycemia – Low Blood Sugar Levels?
A high blood sugar level is often a symptom indicating that the body’s functions are not happening properly. Diabetes is termed as a state where your blood sugar levels stay much higher than normal for a prolonged period i.e. over a couple of months.
Chronically high blood sugar levels or hyperglycemia indicate metabolic disorders, which result in high amounts of Glucose in the bloodstream.
Since the body’s function to regulate the glucose level is not working properly; it is quite often that Diabetic patients face low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia as well. Hence, one needs to be watchful of their diet and physical activity.
2. What are the Normal Blood Sugar Levels?
For a healthy adult weighing approximately 70 Kg, around 4g Glucose is present in the bloodstream. Following blood sugar levels are considered normal for individuals who are healthy or suffer from co-existing health conditions as listed below.
- A1C should be less than 7% (53 mmol per mol)
- For patients with hypoglycemia, micro, or macro vascular disorders, the blood sugar levels are less restricted to less 8% (64 mmol per mol).
- For patients with no significant hypoglycemia, no poly pharmacy, or treated with metformin, are more restricted to less than 6.5% (48 mmol per mol).
- Preprandial or fasting blood glucose should be 80 – 130 mg per dL (4.4 -7.2 mmol per L)
- Peak postprandial blood glucose should be less than 180 mg per dL (10.0 mmol per L)
Prediabetes: If your reading is over and above 180 mg/DL on a consistent basis (an interval of 2-3 months), then you will be prone to develop Diabetes. You should manage and lower blood sugar levels to prevent development of diabetes in future.
Dangerous Blood Sugar Levels leading to Diabetes: If your blood glucose reading is in the range of 300 mg/DL or more, then is considered dangerous. Such high blood sugar levels can damage body organs, hence you should get immediate attention of a qualified medical professional.
3. Can Stress cause high blood sugar levels?
While good food habits and physical activity are an important aspect to normalise your blood sugar levels, a stress free mind is even more desirable than the combination of above two.
It has been studied and reported that stress can lead to chronic hyperglycemia by stimulating release of hormones that elevate blood sugar levels and hence worsening the situation for a Diabetic patient.
Therefore, it becomes even more imminent to lower your stress levels by engaging in activities that can help you relax.
Physical activity also can help to lower down stress levels as more often than not, one feels happy about themselves and their body after a workout (besides the hormonal release and other additional positive attributions to body that help us relax after increased physical activity).
- Pursue a hobby or passion that can help you divert your mind towards a creative side.
- Go for walk in natural set-ups or near water bodies.
- Opt for spa or wellness treats to take off the mental load.
- Spend time with family and friends.
- Take time off screen and social media. DISCONNECT TO CONNECT with your inner-self.