Diabetic neuropathy is an aggravation of diabetes mellitus. The nerves in the body are damaged due to prolonged exposure to high blood sugar resulting from diabetes. This disorder occurs due to micro vascular injury to small blood vessels supplying blood to the nerve endings.
The nerves become slow and are unable to carry messages to and from the brain efficiently. It has been found out that more than half of the people suffering from diabetes slowly progress to diabetic neuropathy.
The symptoms however develop slowly over a long period of time and vary according to the nerves that are affected. There are four types of neuropathy depending upon the type of nerves that are affected. The most common being the peripheral neuropathy in which the legs get affected first, followed by hands and arms, it results in loss of sensation in the legs and feet.
The loss of sensation is not immediate but slowly starts with numbness, pain or a tingling sensation in the feet or the lower legs. The loss of sensation in feet makes them vulnerable to foot injuries. Therefore, it’s very important for the patients whose blood sugar levels are not under control to examine their feet very minutely for any cuts or injuries.
Symptoms of Peripheral Peuropathy
This is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy and the symptoms tend to get worse at night. Following are the main symptoms:
Ayurveda, the ancient healing science from India is well-equipped to treat this disorder. According to Ayurveda the three doshas- Vata, Pita and Kapha should be in perfect balance for a disease free state. An imbalance of Vata and Kapha doshas results in diabetic neuropathy.
The natural treatment for diabetic neuropathy revolves around restoring the dosha balance, managing the symptoms and preventing them from getting worse by keeping the blood sugar levels under check. Besides this, massage with herbal oils and topical herbal medicines are also administered to treat this disorder.
All these methodologies help treat the illness and promote wellness. Ayurvedic practitioners also expect the patients to participate actively in their treatment as the treatment requires many lifestyle and dietary changes. On the other hand the conventional medicines only provide temporary relief from the symptoms and of course they come with their share of side effects.
Ayurveda is an ancient and time tested healing science that is effective in treating various symptoms of diabetic neuropathy through the use of various herbs. The herbs used for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy are:
Haridra (Turmeric) - It’s a wonder herb that finds uses in the ayurvedic treatment of many diseases. Turmeric destroys the contaminated Kapha and as a result the further progression of the disease stops. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help in reducing the neuropathic pain naturally. It detoxifies the cells naturally, removes the blocks and cleanses the system too.
A research paper presented by Bidhan Mahajon mentions about the traditional herbal remedies useful in the treatment of complications arising from diabetes. Haridra (turmeric) is one such herb that finds wide usage across Ayurveda for various treatments. 20 ml of amla juice taken if taken with haridra powder and honey daily can provide relief from diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy and cardiovascular complications.
Guduchi (Giloy) – It’s a very useful herb in reducing blood sugar levels. The patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy can use guduchi oil to massage their hands and feet in the morning and evening. It also boosts immunity.
Dr Sadhna Prithviraj Chavan et al, in a research on the effectiveness of guduchi in the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy mentions about its anti-diabetic, analgesic, antioxidant and immunomodulatory activities. The effect of guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) on diabetic peripheral neuropathy is scientifically validated in various animal models.
The anti-diabetic activities of Tinospora Cordifolia are attributed because of alkaloids (Magnoflorine, Palmetine, Jatrorrhizine), tannins, cardiac glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, etc. It acts as anti-diabetic drug through explanatory oxidative stress, promoting insulin secretion by inhibiting gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis.
Fenugreek- It slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and thus reduces the blood sugar.
Triphala- It is a very beneficial drug for diabetes. It stimulates the beta cells present in the pancreas to produce insulin and regulate blood sugar levels. It also aids internal cleansing of the body.
Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia)- Diabetic foot is a complication of diabetes which results in the development of non-healing foot ulcers which if not treated properly can result in amputation. Manjistha is very useful in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.
Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata)- It is a very effective herb for peripheral neuropathy in which nerve damage occurs due to prolonged exposure of the nerves to sugar. It helps in providing relief from diabetic nerve pain.
The above mentioned herbs are effective in the cure of neuropathy in feet. However they must be used only after consultation with an ayurvedic practitioner.
Besides the above mentioned herbs the following natural remedies for peripheral neuropathy are worth considering:
Ayurveda believes that people, their health and the universe are all linked and a disease occurs when the equilibrium is disturbed. The science of Ayurveda believes in restoring the balance of energies (vata, pita and kapha) in our body. One such place where you can get authentic ayurvedic treatment is Pure Herbal Ayurveda Clinic in Melbourne.
The ayurvedic doctors at this clinic have a firm belief in the tenets of Ayurveda and try to restore health of the people by managing nutrition, exercise and emotional well-being. Before starting the treatment of a patient a series of questions are asked to determine the dosha imbalance and the natural forces at work so that a custom made treatment can be devised.
Thereafter, herbal preparations, yoga and breathing exercises are suggested. Panchakarma, the detox therapy is also performed on the patients to eliminate all the toxins from the body. They take great pride in their team of dedicated ayurvedic doctors in Melbourne.
Dr. Gurnam Saini
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery
MD Alternative Medicine
Panchkarma Detox Expert
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