Easy herbal route to tackle diabetes - The New Indian Express

Easy herbal route to tackle diabetes

Published: 09th December 2012 12:00 AM

Last Updated: 07th December 2012 02:27 PM

Diabetes is a scourge that has our nation well in its grip. While the Allopathy  system of medicine has an arsenal of drugs, Ayurveda and Siddha too have theirs. Ayurveda has a detailed classification of the disease; and depending on the type, the vaidyars claim they can either cure or control it. Ayurvedic vaidyars often prescribe the nisa amlaki, both as a prevention and as a treatment for diabetes. I have already written in detail about the nisa amlaki which is a combination of powdered turmeric and amla.

The other combination of herbs prescribed by the Siddha vaidyars is the one that has been in use in the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical College for some 15 years and is known as Madhumegha Chooranam.

Since diabetes is a complicated disease, readers must consult a vaidyar and take blood tests periodically to check their sugar levels. It is imperative to keep an eye on the Glycosylated Haemoglobin (HbA1AC) level in the blood. The HbA1AC should be between five to six per cent normally; those with diabetes should strive for six per cent, and never allow it beyond seven per cent. The closer this is to six or five per cent, the less the disease can harm the vital organs.

I will now give the exact recipe for Madhumegha Chooranam that has been used in the government Siddha medical hospitals. This herbal mixture can easily be made at home by sourcing the ingredients from a Nattu Marunthu Kadai (country drug store).

Of the six ingredients that are used, the first four would be familiar to most people.

1. Fresh turmeric  powder (Curcuma longa or Manjal in Tamil and Malayalam), 50 gm.

2. Amla   powder (Phyllanthus emblica or Nellikkai in Tamil and Malayalam), 100 gm.

3. Fenugreek powder (Trigonella foenum-graecum, or Venthayam in Tamil and Uluva in Malayalam),

100 gm.

4. Curry leaves powder (Murraya Koenigii or Kariveppilai in Tamil and in Malayalam), 100 gm.

5. Keezhanelli powder (Phyllanthus neruri, or Keezhanelli in Tamil and in Malayalam), 100 gm.

6. Kadugurohini powder (Picrorhiza kurroa, or Kadugurohini in Tamil and in Malayalam), 25 gm.

Try to source fresh organic turmeric. This is because the curcumin level in the rhizome goes down as it ages. Powder the rhizome in a mixer-grinder. Before that though you have to smash the turmeric with a hammer. Dried amla without the seed kernel is also to be similarly powdered. Fenugreek is easy to powder. Source organic curry leaf, if possible. It should be shade-dried and powdered. Curry leaves available in the market are heavily sprayed with pesticides. So, if you must use it, wash it well, pat dry and shade-dry the leaves before powdering. Keezhanelli is a household name in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and is extensively used in the treatment of jaundice. Known for its hepato-protective properties, it is useful in the treatment of diabetes also. The whole plant along with its roots are washed, dried and then powdered. Kadugurohini is easy to powder. Just put it in a mixer-grinder and powder.

All the powdered ingredients must be mixed and sieved. Recommended dose is two gm, mixed with hot water, administered thrice a day just before food. If you cannot make it at home, bank on Tampcol, the Tamil Nadu government-owned unit which manufactures the Madhumegha Chooranam in tablet form.  The chooranam is easy to make at home and once you have identified a good source, it is not a major undertaking. Since diabetes is a life-long disease, it is worth taking the trouble. Those taking Allopathic drugs along with this mixture should keep a close watch on the blood sugar, so that it does not drop too low. Please do not take any Allopathic anti-diabetic drugs without keeping a close watch on your fasting and postprandial sugar levels.

The writer was earlier Health Secretary, Tamil Nadu,  and is currently Additional Chief Secretary, and  Chairman and MD, Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation. She can be reached at Sheelarani.arogyamantra@gmail.com.Earlier articles can be accessed at


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