In Ayurveda, diabetes is referred to as madhumeha, a Sanskrit term that directly translates as “sweet urine” disease. Indeed, when our blood sugar levels rise above a certain threshold, it spills over into the urine and can be detected. The ancient description of this disease includes an appreciation for the fact that derangements in body tissues take place due to imbalances in metabolism. The term for this in Sanskrit is dhatupaka janya vikruti.
The cause, symptoms, prognosis, and management of diabetes were also described in detail in the Vedic texts thousands of years ago. Ayurveda recognizes the multifactorial nature of diabetes, making reference to tendencies inherited at birth as well as accumulated imbalances of potentially all three doshas or mind-body constitutions (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha).
Since Ayurveda considers diabetes mainly an excess of Kapha dosha, it recommends a Kapha-pacifying diet to keep diabetes under control. The guidelines include eating more foods that are bitter, astringent, or pungent in taste – and decreasing consumption of foods that are categorized as sweet, sour, or salty.
Here are some more recommendations for balancing Kapha. Keep in mind that an Ayurvedic dietary prescription takes many factors into account, such as age, body constitution, season, and other environmental and social factors, so a consultation with a trained practitioner is necessary to make specific individual recommendations.