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A Holistic Approach to Diabetes

B Positive Content Team



Naturopathy advises a high fibre, complex carbohydrate diet, regular exercise and yoga therapy for the management of diabetes. A low calorie diet is advised for obese diabetics.


The following herbs are used for treating diabetes:

  • Bitter gourd/karela fresh vegetable juice – 50 ml 1 to 3 times per day, before meals
  • Fenugreek seeds powder – 15 gm 3 times per day, 30 minutes before meals
  • Gingko biloba (maidenhair tree) extract – 4 mg 3 times per day
  • Green tea – 2 cups every day
  • Jambul fruit seeds and fruits
  • Neem and Bael – 2 tender leaves of each, taken on an empty stomach in the morning

Exercise therapy
Exercise plays an important role in controlling diabetes because it lowers blood sugar and helps insulin to work more efficiently in the body. Exercise also enhances cardiovascular fitness by improving blood flow and increasing the heart’s pumping power. It also promotes weight loss and lowers blood pressure.

People with diabetes who exercise are less likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than diabetics who do not exercise regularly. Exercise should be done regularly at least three to four sessions per week for 30 to 60 minutes per session. People with type 2 diabetes who exercise regularly have been shown to lose weight and gain better control over their blood pressure, thereby reducing their risk for cardiovascular disease (a major complication of diabetes). Studies have also shown that people with type 1 diabetes who regularly exercise reduce their need for insulin injections.

Choose an enjoyable physical activity that is appropriate for your current fitness level. Exercise every day, and at the same time of day, if possible. Monitor blood glucose levels before and after exercise. Carry food that contains a fast-acting carbohydrate in case you become hypoglycemic during or after exercise. Carry a diabetes identification card and a mobile phone or change for a payphone in case of emergency. Drink extra fluids that do not contain sugar before, during, and after exercise. Changes in exercise intensity or duration may require changes in diet or medication dose to keep blood sugar levels from going too high or low.

Yoga therapy
Studies done on Yoga have shown that regular practice of yoga can prevent Type 2 diabetes in susceptible individuals, and reduce blood sugar in both Type 1 and 2 diabetes.


Yoga asanas

  • Surya namaskar – 10 rounds
  • Forward bend postures like Shashankasana, Paschimottanasana, Baddha Konasana, Halasana
  • Backward bend postures like Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, Dhanurasana, Chakrasana, Matsyasana, Setubandha sarvangasana, Vipareeta Dandasana, Ustrasana
  • Inverted postures like Sarvangasana, Sirsasana, Sarvangasana with the help of chair, or wall, Viparita karani
  • Relaxative asanas like Shavasana, and Makarasana
  • Bandha: Uddiyana bandha, Mula bandha, Jalandhara bandha
  • Pranayamas such as Nadi shuddhi, Surya bheda, Ujjayi, Sheetkari, Sheetali, Bhastrika, and Bhramari
  • Meditation, Yoga nidra

Stressful life events can worsen diabetes in several ways. Stress stimulates the nervous and endocrine systems in ways that increase blood glucose levels and disrupts healthful behaviors (increasing the chances that an individual may consume a high level of calories and limit his or her physical activity—a pattern that leads to elevated blood glucose).

Studies have shown that diabetics who participate in biofeedback sessions are more likely to reach target blood glucose levels than diabetics who do not receive biofeedback. Biofeedback, Tai chi, Yoga, and other forms of relaxation may help motivate people with diabetes to change their habits in order to manage their condition.

Maintaining an ideal body weight and an active lifestyle may prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. 

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