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Diabetes is of two types, viz., diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. In the former type, the blood sugar level goes up and sugar appears in the urine. This condition is commonly called diabetes. Because of the impairment of sugar metabolism, the tissue cells do not get enough material for the production of energy, and this results in weakness of the patients. Higher blood sugar level leads to many other complications like coma and carbuncles.

This disease is known as madhumeha in Ayurveda. This is called a "rich man's disease" because people who are over nourished usually get afflicted by it. It is characterised by excessive hunger, thirst, urination and weakness. It may cause a burning sensation on the soles of the feet. This type of diabetes which occurs in small children is called juvenile diabetes. It is difficult to cure. In diabetes insipidus, there is excessive urination but the urine is free from sugar. This condition is not so difficult to cure.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Diabetes: While treating such cases, efforts are made to reduce the body fat of the patient, and regulate the function of the gland called pancreas with a view to promoting sugar metabolism. Karela (bitter gourd) is effectively used in this condition. This is a vegetable, and the juice of the leaves and fruits of the plant is used in a dose of 30 ml. twice daily, preferably on an empty stomach.

Shilajatu or mineral pitch is another medicine which is highly recommended for treatment of diabetes. Vasanta kusumakara is another drug for the treatment of diabetes. It is given in a dose of 0.125 gm. twice daily on an empty stomach mixed with cream (half teaspoon) and sugar (one fourth of a teaspoon.)

In an advanced stage, and if not attended to in time, diabetes may produce many complications like coma and carbuncles. For this, it is necessary to immediately reduce the blood sugar, and treatment should be taken under the direct supervision of an expert ayurvedic physician.

Diet to taken by Diabetes patients: Sugar in any form, rice, potato, banana, and such other cereals and fruits which contain high percentage of carbohydrates are contra-indicated. Similarly, fats should be avoided. There should be control over the quantity of diet. Vegetable like Karela (bitter gourd), fruits and leaves of drumstick, patola and bimbi are specially useful in this condition. All bitter things, in general, are good for this disease. Vegetables prepared of neem flower and neem leaves are extremely good. It has been reported that regular intake of two tender leaves each of neem and bilva in the morning considerably reduces blood sugar.

Other regimens: Sleep during the daytime is strictly prohibited. The diabetes patient should resort to moderate exercise. Yogic exercise, specially paschimottanasana is very useful. The patient should take care not to cut or injure himself, because in diabetes, the healing process is very slow as a result of which there is every possibility of the wound becoming septic. If the patient is attacked by any other disease then it should be attended to immediately because the patient of this disease usually lacks resistance, and the disease is very likely to take an acute turn if not treated early.