Turn around diabetes with turmeric

Recent news talks again of another study showing how refined foods (this time white rice) can increase your risk of getting adult onset diabetes (diabetes type ii):

“White rice ‘raises diabetes risk’, say us experts.”

Replacing white rice with brown rice and wholemeal bread could cut the risk of diabetes by a third, US experts say.

White rice poses a diabetes threat because it causes steep rises in blood sugar, say Harvard researchers in archives of internal medicine.

Brown rice and other wholegrain foods are a healthier option as they release glucose more gradually, they say.

The study is based on questionnaires; some say the data is not robust enough to base firm conclusions on.

It may be that people who eat less white rice tend to live healthier lifestyles, for example. (1)

Ayurveda says that diabetes is brought on partly by eating a diet that is high in ‘white’ refined foods, like white rice, white flour, white sugar as well as sugary drinks. Modern science confirms this showing us that foods that are assimilated too quickly (refined carbohydrates) damage the sugar metabolism. These foods are said to have a high glycaemic index as they contain relatively high amounts of simple carbohydrates and relatively lower amounts of complex carbs, fibre etc.

According to ayurveda, someone with adult onset diabetes, or pre-diabetes, can do two things for their condition:

  1. Remove all refined foods and drinks from the diet, replacing them with whole-food equivalents. This particularly important for all forms of carbohydrate rich foods, but applies to all food categories in general. Dairy produce, especially things like ice cream, milk shakes, yoghurts etc. Should also be reduced.
  2. Use small amounts of turmeric internally, in cooking or as a food supplement.

If diabetes is caught in its early stages, results can be quite radical, stopping the disease entirely, or allowing some insulin dependent type ii diabetics’ to reduce their medication.

Turmeric is the best natural metabolic regulator. It can regenerate unhealthy liver and pancreas tissue, reinstating healthy metabolic function, digestion, blood-sugar levels etc. It is also an excellent digestive and helps remove toxins from the body.

For prevention purposes, everyone can safely use small amounts of turmeric on a regular basis in cooking. Turmeric also helps prevent against most other chronic diseases including cancer. Here is a list of some of its clinically proven or time-tested therapeutic indications:

Indigestion, poor blood circulation, cough, bronchitis, amenorrhea, skin disorders, diabetes, arthritis, rheumatoid disorders, anaemia, wounds, bruises, HIV, AIDS, cancer, poisoning, gallstones, parasites, infections, haemorrhoids.

Turmeric also detoxifies the body from environmental pollution and has antioxidant properties stronger than vitamins C or E.

It is also one of the main spices used for controlling irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic digestive complaints that involve inflammation and a build-up of toxins and imbalance in the gut bacteria and flora.

In order for turmeric to be effective in helping the treatment of recently diagnosed diabetes, or other serious or chronic ailments (see the list below), low doses of about 1 gram (half a level teaspoon) taken 3 times per day with meals need to be used for 6-12 months in order to be effective.

While turmeric is a common spice, if miss-used (i.e. if you take too high a dose) it can cause harm. Always seek advice from a professional ayurvedic practitioner when it comes to using herbs or spices for the treatment of health conditions. Doses vary according to age, sex and other factors.

Look out though! Turmeric stains things yellow and won’t wash out. In order to remove stains from clothes or work-surfaces, ultraviolet light (or strong sunlight) will slowly bleach the stain away.

P.s. For readers who know about ayurveda, note that in small doses, turmeric is tri-doshic, i.e. it doesn’t aggravate any of the doshas.

(1) Read full news story.

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7 thoughts on “Turn around diabetes with turmeric

  1. hi alex.could you elaborate on why tumeric is good for diabetes and also why white basmati rice is it not good even if used as part of kitchree..i thought if washed it ws tri doshic rice nd not refined eg not uncle bens rice..i have been advising peopel with weak diesgtion to eat this as a grule or on its own with spices if needed and also for vata types as it is gentle..

    for dibetic people would brown therefore be better ,or another option..how abot if white basmati was cooked with tumeric ?

    • As for why turmeric is good for diabetes, basically it fixes the pancreas which is the main organ that goes wrong in early stages of diabetes. Turmeric helps balance the insulin regulation of the pancreas.

      As for white rice, this is a question of Yukti. Dr Robert Svoboda says: “The word yukti is derived from the same root as the word Yoga. Yukti is defined in Sanskrit as babu-karana-yoga-ja which means ‘created from the union of many causes'”. The use of white basmati rice according to ayurveda therefore depends on many factors. But basically, it is neutral to the doshas if used as part of a varied diet that contains other whole grains and pulses, as well as vegetables. White basmati rice when prepared as kichadi (i.e. mixed with split mung dhal) is useful for time-limited regimes, as is rice gruel made from white basmati rice. However, if you were to eat exclusively white basmati rice as your main grain source, and if you were a kapha type prakriti – it might push you in a diabetic direction, bieng slightly kapha increasing. As you say, there is more to worry about if you eat lots of highly-refined quick-cook white rice as opposed to white basmati rice.

      Ayurveda always recommends cooking grains along with spices such as turmeric. One western author hypothesises that this is why cultures who consumed mildly spiced carbohydrate rich diets (such as is typical in traditional India) do not have diabetes epidemics. The spices are balancing out the naturally sweet taste of grains like rice and wheat, preventing their use from over-stressing the sugar metabolism and causing weight gain and diabetes.

      Many people, women especially are scared to eat regular servings of ‘carbs’ as there is so much hype about them causing obesity. The truth is that it is refined carbs that are the problem. If you eat mainly unrefined carbs, and use mild spices in your cooked – you won’t gain weight.

      Hope this helps! Alex.

  2. thanks alex thats great yes tyrying to tell people white basmati isnt fattening esp as part of a detox is a challenge..but kapha types i usually will go for somthing else also eg millet or barley ,good to know if eating to much it can bring on diabetes! and the explaination on tumeric great as helsp explan why it is in most of the formulas and also helps with digestion ,absorbtion, cleansing etc …x

    • If kapha prakriti is going to do a mono diet, or an anti-ama diet that is very limited in scope (i.e. contains only one type of grain) then it is better to use a more nourishing whole grain to sustain them. In this case barely or brown rice are better than millet which is more reducing and harder to eat in general.

  3. I do agree. Some people don’t believe in Kharma, but it still exists. Ayurveda means basically “LONGEVITY”. If you are interested in healthy living you should check out a book called Foods Heal. Foods Heal.

  4. Will Tumeric heal the pancreas if your pancreas has already stopped working? I was put on insulin because i was told my pancreas wasing putting out much insulin…this was after i was put on a pill which tore my stomach up..The doctors never advised me to eat better or exercise when they thought i was prediabetic…I’m pissed and have heard once you go on insulin you can never get off b/c your pancreas shuts down…so you see why I am so interested in finding out if tumeric offers me hope.. thanks T.

  5. P.s. I am not overwieght and told I was a brittle diabetic now…Doctors also said i was NOT a text book diabetic..what the Heck? No history in immediate family either..I am thinking metabolic but I’m not a doctor.

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