Turmeric & Other Natural Spices For Managing Diabetes

Turmeric & Other Natural Spices For  Diabetes 
It seems that we as a community, are shifting towards natural remedies for many health concerns. This implies returning back to simplicity by improving our dietary intake and correcting our way of living rather than merely popping pills. Ayurveda is considered to be one of the oldest medical sciences known to mankind and is a science of correct living. Ayurvedic principles aim to provide instructions regarding food and lifestyle so that healthy individuals remain healthy and those with health challenges may improve their health.

Turmeric Herbal Supplements
Turmeric is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind.

Health Benefits Of Turmeric - Dr. Josh Axe 

Some of the main benefits include:
1. Anti-inflammatory which helps relieve pain
2. Helps balance blood sugar levels
3. Anti-microbial properties
4. Supports detoxification
5. Cleans out your arteries
SOURCE - Dr. Josh Axe

"According to Ayurveda, there is no herb or medicine 
equivalent to turmeric in the treatment of Prameha (Diabetes)."

According to the American Diabetes Association, the total number of people with diabetes is projected to rise from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. In other words, this is a very real concern. The science of Ayurveda dates back thousands of years and has explained diabetes as “prameha” which is a collection of symptoms due to various underlying imbalances rather than just a single disease. For example, prameha which means ‘profuse urination’ is categorized into twenty different types according to Ayurveda. It’s interesting to note that the ancient scholars also described diabetes mellitus [“madhumeha”] many thousands of years ago. Madhumeha is made up of two words, madhu and meha - which implies sweet urine. Similarly, the ancient Greeks called this condition diabetes mellitus due to the passing of sweet urine; i.e. glycosuria.

The ancient Ayurvedic scholars have grouped Madhumeda (Diabetes Mellitus) under one among the 20 pramehas. For simplicity, prameha can be grossly divided into three main types:

1. kaphaja prameha [10 types]
2. pittaja prameha [6 types]
3. vataja prameha [4 types]

Note:
Prameha is obviously a vast topic and this post is simply to introduce basic ideas on how to address diabetes from a natural and holistic approach.

The Root Cause ...
Kaphaja prameha reflects, often, the initial and underlying cause of diabetes. In this category there are 10 types. According to the classic Ayurvedic texts,  diabetes [“prameha”] begins with the derangement of kapha which spreads throughout the body and mixes with fat [“meda”] creating a mixture of properties similar to kapha; i.e. mucous. When kapha is mixed with fat and passes into the urinary system, it soon interferes with the elimination of urine which eventually effects the quality of urine. One of the underlying causes of disease, according to Ayurveda, is the clogging of channels and the accumulation of waste. Hence, therefore, kaphaja prameha commonly reflects the initial and underlying cause of diabetes.

Causes of Diabetes
The causes of diabetes have been long explained by the ancient teachings of Ayurveda. The causes include:
- lack of physical exercise [“asyasukham”]
- sedentary lifestyle [“alasya”]
- excess sleeping [“svapnasukham”]
- food & lifestyle which increase kapha [“kapha krut cha sarvam”]
- inherited/genetics [“sahaja”]
- stress [“chinta”]
- grief [“shoka”]
- fear [“bhaya”]

Traditionally, the management of diabetes is carried out with lifestyle modifiers along with appropriate herbal therapies. Herbs are selected based upon properties such as:
- tastes [“rasa”]
- properties [“gunas”]
- potency [“virya”]
- postdigestive effects [“vipaka”]
- unique action [“prabhava”]

Turmeric - The Spice Of Life
Turmeric is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind. Turmeric is bitter, astringent and pungent in taste, and has a heating quality. Likewise, turmeric has drying and light properties which effectively helps to eliminate kapha - the primary culprit for the manifestation of “prameha” [diabetes mellitus]. What’s of great importance is that, by taking control of the initial stage [“kaphaja prameha”] the disease process is likely to come to a halt and help to prevent the manifestation of complications with are often incurable.

It’s important to note that in Ayurveda, disease often has one or two predominant doshas that need to be balanced according to one’s constitution. Therefore, one therapy many not be applicable to all patients even though individuals share the same disease. Because of this, we highly recommend to always first seek the guidance of a qualified professional and to always first discuss management options with your primary care physician.

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    Health is not simply the absence of disease, but is a state of balance that provides for wellbeing, clarity, and joy. Ayurveda – “The Science Of Life” is considered to be the longest continuously practiced system of traditional medicine and emphasizes on creating balance in all areas of life. Not only does Ayurveda examine the body but inquires further about daily diet, lifestyle, relationships, stress, and overall sense of well-being.

Recommended Ayurvedic Practitioners

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Some of the many health benefits of Turmeric are:

1. Common Allergies:
A pinch of turmeric in hot water can be used as an effective steaming method to assist in coughs and colds. Add a pinch of turmeric and salt to warm water and use this for gargling twice a day for alleviating sore throats.

Aller-Defense
Turmeric, lebbek tree & holy basil balance the body’s immune system.

2. Asthma & Bronchitis:
As Turmeric has an affinity with the lungs, it can be used with a holy basil decoction to obtain relief from asthma and bronchitis.

Ayurvedic Products – Respiratory Health
Breathe easier all season along.

3. Anti-Inflammatory:
Consuming 500mg of turmeric daily has been found to have an anti-inflammatory effect on joints and has proved more effective than ibuprofen!

Amrit Kalash 
Immunity = Power Up!

4. Anti-Cancerous:
Due to its antioxidant properties, Turmeric has been found to be effective in inhibiting the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Recent research in rodents suggests that ‘Curcumin’, a factor extracted from Turmeric, is able to inhibit colon cancer growth and spread.

5. General Malaise:
Can’t get out of your bed in the morning? Feeling tired after a walk? A simple yet delicious tip- Take a pinch of turmeric with hot milk twice daily. Increased energy levels and overall fatigue may diminish.

Ayurvedic Detox Program
For people who want a whole-body cleanse.

6. Beauty:
Turmeric is widely used in many beauty products due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Apply turmeric along with honey for lightening of acne spots and for improving complexion. Using flour, turmeric and water, make a paste and apply directly to the skin and/or pimples for a healing effect. It has been found very effective in hair and skin health.

Youthful Skin Line 
Potent ayurvedic formulas to help neutralize oxidants before they damage your skin; provides nourishment for natural, healthy skin cell growth; and helps stimulate collagen synthesis.

7. Dyspepsia:
The use of Turmeric has been found to be successful in cases of dyspepsia. Add a small amount of turmeric to vegetables when cooking.

Ayurvedic Digestive Products
Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion.

8. Alzheimer’s Disease:
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living, as well as behavioral changes. The many various effects of curcumin, such as its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help improve overall memory in Alzheimer’s patients.

Other Dietary Considerations For Diabetics

1. Bitter Gourd (Bitter Melon)
To help reduce blood sugar levels, consider extracting the juice from 4-5 karelas and drink this juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Both the fruit and seeds of bitter melon contain charantin which helps to actively lower blood sugar concentrations.

2. Fenugreek
Fenugreek has numerous studies revealing its ability to help relieve symptoms of diabetes.

3. Neem
By consuming the juice of neem leaves it helps to lower blood sugar levels.

Click To Learn More About Neem

Plus ... 
Consider adding certain pungent and astringent tasting foods such as asparagus, spinach, black pepper, and ginger which are all encouraged for a healthy diet in order to help reduce kapha and help lower blood sugar levels.

Gurmar – The Sugar Destroyer
Gurmar is one of the most prevalent ayurvedic herbs for diabetes. Also known as Shardunika the name Gurmar translates to ‘destroyer of sugar’ and thereby suggestive of its properties as being an effective herb for balancing blood sugar levels.

How To Avoid Sugar Cravings!!! 
One moment, you’re innocently going about your day – the next moment, you discover yourself in the clutches of desire. Despite having a healthy salad for lunch it is now 2:30 pm and you somehow find yourself lost in desire with an overwhelming losing battle for a chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing. Click To Learn More About How To Avoid Sugar Cravings

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.


Emotional Eating - An Ayurvedic Perspective + Tips To Cheat Your Cravings

Emotional Eating - An Ayurvedic Perspective

 “Food nourishes the body; love nourishes the Soul.”
- Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician

 

"Emotional Eating"...
Overeating may occur occasionally and often due to various reasons. However, overeating often takes place because of emotional factors. From an Ayurvedic perspective, when there is undue stress or other emotional factors this can increase the uncoordinated movement of ‘prana vata’ within the mind. This increased movement of prana can then stimulate the gastric fire [Agni] - which produces the “experience of hunger”. However, this experience of hunger may not actually be real but rather an emotional craving for nourishment [i.e. love].

 

What Am I Hungry For?
In a recent book, ‘What Are You Hungry For?’, Dr. Deepak Chopra creates a vision of weight loss based on a deeper understanding of why people overeat. Dr. Chopra explains the underlying reason for overeating often is - “because they are trying to find satisfaction and wind up using food as a substitute for real fulfillment.”

Dr. Deepak Chopra - How To Break Free Of Emotional Eating

Practicing Body Awareness. "Every time you're about to put food into your body, ask yourself - 'Am I hungry right now? How hungry am I? What am I hungry for?' Just by doing that, you break the reflex." - Dr. Deepak Chopra

 

Real Hunger vs. False [Emotional] Hunger 
Before we can break free from the cycle of emotional eating, we first need to learn how to distinguish between emotional and true physical hunger. Ideally, when the digestive fire is stimulated with an empty stomach, a message is sent by prana to the appetite center in the hypothalamus within the brain - this stimulates the sense of “true hunger”. However, factors such as stress, fear and anxiety may create uncoordinated movements of prana within the mind which can create a false sense of hunger - thereby, using food as a substitue for real fulfillment.

Signs Of Real Hunger:

  • appears when the previous meal is fully digested
  • comes at a regular time each day
  • lightness in the stomach
  • tongue is clean
  • appetite so strong that any food tastes good
  • appetite increases after going for a walk

Source - Dr. Vasant Lad, Textbook Of Ayurveda

 

Tips To Overcome Emotional Eating

  1. Light walk. The next time you have an emotional craving for food, simply go for a light walk. A brisk walk for 20 minutes while breathing in fresh air often provides just what’s needed to tame wild food cravings.
  2. Express your feelings. While allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable emotions can be scary - it is important to release any blocked energy in the solar plexus [i.e. Manipura chakra]. Manipura chakra is located around the navel in the area of the solar plexus and is a source of personal power and governs self-esteem, and the power of transformation. The Manipura chakra also controls metabolism and digestion. Therefore, allow your life to become more fulfilled by opening yourself up emotionally.
  3. Yoga and meditation.  Another way to help balance and alleviate any obstructions in your chakras is simply to consider yoga and meditation. At the heart of both yoga and meditation is balance. Although you’ve tried to resist emotional cravings in the past and may have failed believing that your willpower just isn’t enough. The truth is, that you have more power over your cravings than you think. Take time to sit quietly and witness the power of being still and balanced.

 

CHEATING YOUR CRAVINGS
“Eating 1 ripe banana, chopped up with 1 teaspoon ghee and a pinch of cardamom, is effective for pacifying emotional, obsessive eating habits.” - Dr. Vasant Lad
‘ The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’

Want More?
Gurmar – The Sugar Destroyer
Gurmar is one of the most prevalent ayurvedic herbs for diabetes. Also known as Shardunika the name Gurmar translates to ‘destroyer of sugar’ and thereby suggestive of its properties as being an effective herb for balancing blood sugar levels.
CLICK HERE - To Learn More About Gurmar

Got Sugar Cravings?

  1. Ask yourself: Am I stressed out?
    As discussed above – when you’re under pressure, your body releases the hormone cortisol, which signals your brain to seek out rewards.
  2. Ask yourself: Have I been eating less than usual?
    If you’re eating fewer than 1,000 calories a day or restricting an entire food group (like carbs), you’re putting your body in prime craving mode.
  3. Ask yourself: Am I getting enough sleep?
    In a University of Chicago study, a few sleepless nights were enough to drop levels of the hormone leptin (which signals satiety) by 18% and boost levels of ghrelin, an appetite trigger, by about 30%. Those two changes alone caused appetite to kick into overdrive, and cravings for starchy foods like cookies and bread jumped 45%.

CLICK HERE - To Help Reduce Sugar Cravings

 


How To Reduce Sugar Cravings - An Ayurvedic Perspective

 

Sugar Cravings
One moment, you’re innocently going about your day - the next moment, you discover yourself in the clutches of desire. Despite having a healthy salad for lunch it is now 2:30 pm and you somehow find yourself lost in desire with an overwhelming losing battle for a chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing.

 

"The Afternoon Dip"
Do you ever notice that in the mid-afternoon you feel that dip in your energy? In a study from Tufts University, 91% of women said they experienced strong food cravings. And willpower isn't the answer. The solution to this daily conundrum may actually be more simple than we anticipate assuming we discover the root cause of this craving.

 

The Brain’s [Demanding] Energetics
By eating fewer calories a day or restricting an entire food group [like carbs], you're putting your body in prime craving mode. The brain is a remarkable organ with immense sophistication. Despite its eloquent sophistication, the brain is quite demanding. In fact, the brain uses up to 80% of the body’s blood sugar and if these demands are not met - the stress response kicks into overdrive.

THE STRESS RESPONSE:
When the nervous system is activated with low blood sugar it alarms the “stress response” and initiates the fight-or-flight changes within the body. The end result of all this is your overwhelming ‘food craving’. This craving is often a losing battle because the body looks upon sugar [ i.e. delicious yummy cupcake] as a quick source of life-saving energy. What makes it worse is the conditioned response we often get with the feel-good taste of that delicious cupcake. In fact, these urges are fueled by feel-good brain chemicals such as dopamine, released when you eat these types of foods, which creates a rush of euphoria that your brain seeks over and over.

A Moment On The Lips - An Innocent Kiss Of Death 
The answer to this daily conundrum from an Ayurvedic perspective is ghee [clarified butter]. Yes, ghee. However, before we explain the benefits of ghee upon the body, more specifically the brain - let us first discuss the inflammatory stress response upon the body. The ultimate goal of the stress response is to ensure that the ‘commander in chief’ [i.e. the brain] receives fuel. Unfortunately this entails stimulating the adrenal glands to release stress-fighting hormones which stimulate the liver to break down glycogen into glucose thereby raising blood sugar levels. That’s not all. The hormones involved with the stress response are also involved with the production of inflammatory free radicals. In fact, these damaging free radicals are now considered to be the leading cause of aging, disease, and death. Suddenly, that innocent craving of a cupcake is no longer seeming so innocent.

"How To Reduce Sugar Cravings" - Dr. Josh Axe

This videos shares with you ways to reduce sugar cravings. The number one way people fall off a diet is when someone has a craving. Here are top four ways to reduce sugar cravings:

1. Consume more fiber
2. Consume more protein
3. Consume more healthy fats
4. Consume sour foods

 

An Ayurvedic Perspective
The ancient science of Ayurveda described certain aspects of human physiology by metaphorical terms namely “vata-pitta-kapha”.  Although not exacting but enough to convey the point - we can think of the above inflammatory stress response as ‘pitta’. Ayurveda explained thousands of years ago the nature of pitta as being hot, sharp and penetrating while being represented by the element of fire. It is to no surprise that when the FLAME of pitta is increased that this fire element will then lead to inflammation [in -FLAME-ation].

The Answer - GHEE
Once again, the answer to this daily conundrum from an Ayurvedic perspective is ghee. Ghee is considered the best food to help pacify pitta - pitta being the metaphor of the entire inflammatory cascade as explained above. Even modern science demonstrates the benefit of ghee upon reducing the oxidative and inflammatory process. Therefore, by introducing increased amount of good quality fat [i.e. ghee] the body will less likely experience the roller coaster-like effects of blood sugar highs and lows. The reason for supporting increased amount of healthy fat intake in our daily diet is because fat burned within the body is done so in a more stable and even fashion. This evenly-fashioned chemistry of the body will help prevent the peaks and troughs of blood sugar levels and help prevent those not-so-innocent cravings. Prevention is better than the cure. Therefore, in order to prevent the overwhelming losing battle of the mid-day sweet cravings simply consider adding more healthy fat to your lunch. This will allow you to coast through the afternoon avoiding the inflammatory alarm bells of low sugar levels. Lastly, the avoidance of mid-day snacks will perfectly time your appetite for a healthy dinner by early evening.

CLICK HERE - For More Benefits Of Ghee

 

Still tempted? Ask Yourself 3 Questions: 

  1. Ask yourself: Am I stressed out?
    As discussed above - when you're under pressure, your body releases the hormone cortisol, which signals your brain to seek out rewards.
  2. Ask yourself: Have I been eating less than usual?
    If you're eating fewer than 1,000 calories a day or restricting an entire food group (like carbs), you're putting your body in prime craving mode.
  3. Ask yourself: Am I getting enough sleep?
    In a University of Chicago study, a few sleepless nights were enough to drop levels of the hormone leptin (which signals satiety) by 18% and boost levels of ghrelin, an appetite trigger, by about 30%. Those two changes alone caused appetite to kick into overdrive, and cravings for starchy foods like cookies and bread jumped 45%.

 

Want More?
Gurmar is one of the most prevalent ayurvedic herbs for diabetes. Also known as Shardunika the name Gurmar translates to ‘destroyer of sugar’ and thereby suggestive of its properties as being an effective herb for balancing blood sugar levels.

CLICK HERE - To Learn More About Gurmar - The Sugar Destroyer


Gurmar - The Sugar Destroyer

Gurmar - The Sugar Destroyer
Gurmar is one of the most prevalent ayurvedic herbs for diabetes. Also known as Shardunika the name Gurmar translates to ‘destroyer of sugar’ and thereby suggestive of its properties as being an effective herb for balancing blood sugar levels. It can increase the light, air and space qualities in the body and so its use must be carefully monitored, particularly in cases of hypoglycemia and heart conditions, as it can also stimulate the heart. Despite having strong diuretic, antidiabetic and hypocholesterolemic properties it is a rejuvenative herb which is effective in reducing the hot, sharp, liquid and heavy qualities in the body.

Properties:
Gurmar is a light, dry herb and has a bitter and astringent taste with a cooling effect in the body. Its post digestive effect is pungent and it works efficiently on the digestive, circulatory and urinary systems.

Some indications, amongst others, include:
·        Diabetes (Type 1 and 2)
·        Weak metabolism
·        Weight gain
·        High cholesterol
·        Amenorrhea
·        General debility
·        Glandular swelling
·        Splenic enlargement
·        Hepatitis

Word Of Caution: 
It is important to be aware of the contraindications of gurmar. As it works as a hypoglycemic herb, patients that are on diabetic medication should use gurmar under the guidance of a medical doctor and practitioner. Patients with heart conditions should also practice caution as Gurmar stimulates the heart. Always seek the advice of your primary care physician before considering any new regimen.

Usage:
There are some combination compounds that involve Gurmar to enhance its effectiveness. Some being:
·        Gurmar , kutki and gokshura for balancing blood sugar levels and clearing excess water in the body
·        Gurmar, turmeric, fenugreek, bitter gourd and black pepper also for regulation of blood sugar levels
·        Gurmar and shilajit for building energy in diabetic cases

References:
·        Lad, V. (1999). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies.
·        Sharma, H. (2011). Ayurvedic Healing. Singing Dragon
·        Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda.
·        Lad, V., & Frawley, D. (1986). The yoga of herbs
·        Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice
·        Green, J. (2000). The herbal medicine-makers' handbook a home manual
·        Lad, V. (2012). Ayurvedic perspectives on selected pathologies