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  • Turmeric For Diabetes Dosage, Research, Treatment + Prevention

    Turmeric For Diabetes Dosage, Research, Treatment + Prevention

    The Ayurveda Experience June 13, 2018

    Turmeric is a well-known spice and one of the worlds most extensively researched anti-diabetic herbs. The main active ingredient in Turmeric is curcumin and its derivatives curcuminoids. In this article we consider turmeric for diabetes, as well as turmeric research, turmeric for diabetes dosage and turmeric for diabetes prevention. 

    Here’s what we’ll cover in this article.

    What Is Diabetes Mellitus?
    Types Of Diabetes Mellitus
    Diabetes Mellitus In Ayurveda
    Pathogenesis (Samprapti) Of Diabetes Mellitus (Madhumeha): Ayurvedic Perspective
    Turmeric For Diabetes Mellitus
    How It Works: Turmeric’s Mode Of Action In Diabetes Mellitus, The Ayurvedic Perspective
    Turmeric For Diabetes? What The Scientific Research Says
    When To See The Doctor
    Turmeric Precautions And Contraindications

    READ MORE: Easy Turmeric Latte Recipe + Benefits, Turmeric Benefits (Curcumin), Dosage, Side Effects + More, Can Turmeric Help You Lose Weight?

    Turmeric for diabetes prevention, turmeric for diabetes dosage.What Is Diabetes Mellitus?

    Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by recurrent or persistent high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time. It is diagnosed by demonstrating any one of the following.

    1. A fasting plasma glucose level ≥ 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl).
    2. A plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl) two hours after a 75 g oral glucose load as in a glucose tolerance test.
    3. Symptoms of high blood sugar and casual plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl).
    4. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) ≥ 48 mmol/mol (≥ 6.5 DCCT %).

    READ MORE: The Best Food For Diabetics, According To Ayurveda, Will Turmeric Lower Blood Pressure?

    Types Of Diabetes Mellitus

    There are two main types of diabetes mellitus called type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

    Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes) is characterized by beta cell destruction caused by an autoimmune process. It usually leads to absolute insulin deficiency often first present in children or in young adults.

    Type 2 diabetes occurs due to a progressive insulin secretory defect on the background of insulin resistance and is more associated with being overweight. It most often first presents in people over the age of 40. This is because people with type 2 diabetes still make insulin however they do not make enough insulin according to the body’s needs, or the body is not able to use the insulin properly. It tends to develop gradually (over weeks or month).

    Diabetes Mellitus In Ayurveda

    In Ayurveda, diabetes mellitus (Madhumeha) falls under a set of 20 urinary disorders (Prameha)1 which are generally characterized by the production of excess turbid urine (Prabhootavilmutrata).2 Although in this set of urinary disorders (Prameha) there is involvement of all three doshas, Kapha dosha involvement is predominant. Pitta and Vata doshas are involved at later stages.

    Any one of these twenty urinary disorders (Prameha), when left untreated, can be converted into diabetes mellitus (Madhumeha)3 and in this condition there is a passage of a large amount of sweet and astringent urine.

    READ MORE: Kapha Diet: Everything You Need To Know

    Turmeric for diabetes dosage, Turmeric for diabetes prevention.Pathogenesis (Samprapti) Of Diabetes Mellitus (Madhumeha): Ayurvedic Perspective

    According to Charaka, due to the imbalance of all three doshas there is disturbed metabolism of fat (meda). As a result, channels are blocked causing obstruction in the movement of Vata dosha. Obstructed Vata transforms the sweet essence of all the tissues (ojas) into an astringent and sweet taste like honey, which discharges in the form of urine. This condition is called diabetes mellitus (Madhumeha).

    The pathogenesis (Samprapti) of diabetes mellitus (Madhumeha) can be understood in the following way.

    According to Ayurveda, vitiated Kapha is considered the prime culprit for the occurrence of a set of 20 urinary disorders (Prameha) which when left untreated are converted into diabetes mellitus (Madhumeha). The invariable vitiation of Kapha dosha can be correlated with increased levels of glucose in the blood.

    According to Ayurveda, the nourishment of all tissues (Dhatus) is influenced by the function of the main digestive fire (Agni or Jatharagni) which is responsible for digestion of food as well as absorption and respective metabolic digestive fire of each tissue (Dhatvagni). All the seven tissues develop sequentially and nourish further tissue (Dhatu).

    During the pathological process of diabetes mellitus (Madhumeha), there is a state of imbalance of all the three doshas along with low digestive fire (agnimandya) and metabolic impairment (dhatwagni mandya). Metabolism of fat tissue (medodhatvagni mandya) is especially disturbed. It blocks the formation as well as the nourishment of tissues, resulting in the development of freely flowing fats in the blood circulation (Abaddha Medas). This pathological process may cause insulin resistance due to which glucose does not enter the cell effectively and remains in the blood in high concentrations causing diabetes mellitus (Madhumeha).

    READ MORE: Kapha Pacifying Date Pickle Recipe, 10 Rules For The Kapha Diet, Kapha Balancing Roasted Chickpeas Mix Rexipe

    Turmeric For Diabetes Mellitus

    The Ayurvedic Properties of Turmeric

    Turmeric (Curcuma Longa, Haridra) possesses a pungent (katu) and bitter (tikta) taste. Its property is light (Laghu) and dry (Rooksha). It has a hot potency (Usna Virya) and its post digestive effect (Vipaka) is pungent.4

    The ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka enlisted Turmeric as one of the herbs in a group of ten most effective herbs for scraping or having a lipolytic effect (Lekhaniya mahakashaya).5

    According to the ancient Ayurvedic classical text Ashtang Hridaya, Turmeric and Indian gooseberry (Embellica officinalis, Amalaki) are considered the best herbs for the management of diabetes.6 In fact, Ayurveda considers Turmeric the best among all the herbs mentioned for diabetes.

    READ MORE: Amla: The Sour, Anti-Aging Ayurvedic Super Fruit + Amla Recipes, Tulsi (Holy Basil): Tulsi Benefits, Uses, Research, Contraindications, How To Take Tulsi

    How It Works: Turmeric’s Mode Of Action In Diabetes Mellitus, The Ayurvedic Perspective

    According to Ayurveda, Diabetes mellitus (Madhumeha) involves the imbalance of all the three doshas, and Turmeric is known to pacify all the three doshas (tridoshashamaka).

    By virtue of its hotness, it balances Vata and Kapha. Because of its dry (Ruksha) and light (Laghu) property, hot (Ushna) potency (veerya) and pungent (Katu) post-digestive effect (Vipaka), it balances Kapha dosha. Due to its bitterness, it balances Pitta dosha.

    Turmeric basically works in four ways in managing diabetes mellitus (Madhumeha).

    • Due to its Kapha antagonist properties, Turmeric effectively reduces the increased level of glucose (vitiated Kapha) and freely flowing fats in the blood circulation (Abaddha Medas).
    • Due to its lipolytic or scraping (Lekhaniya) quality and Kapha and Pitta pacifying properties, it reduces inflammation (Shothahara) and destroys the accumulated bad cholesterol (Meda). Turmeric removes blockages in the blood vessels and cleanses the channels (Srotoshodhana), making the circulation of blood and nutrients easy.
    • Due to its pungent, bitter taste and its dry, light property and hot potency, Turmeric rectifies the digestive fire (Agni or Jatharagni) and metabolic digestive fire (Dhatavagni). It aids in the proper nourishment of the tissues (Dhatus), balances Vata Dosha with unobstructed movements of Vata. As a result, the essence of all the tissues (ojas) reverts into its normal condition.
    • The lipolytic or scraping property of Turmeric helps in removing excess fat. It may also help in shedding weight. And weight loss helps in regression of the pathology of diabetes and further promotes reduction in insulin resistance further.7

    READ MORE: 37 Tips To Fight Inflammation Caused By Pitta Dosha, Turmeric Smoothie Recipe With Ginger

    Turmeric for diabetes prevention, turmeric for diabetes dosage.Turmeric For Diabetes? What The Scientific Research Says

    The impressive benefits of Turmeric are due to the presence of a natural compound curcumin, the principal curcuminoid. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps in lowering blood sugar levels in diabetes. Let’s see how it may help in managing as well as preventing diabetes and its related complications.

    1. Turmeric Has Antihyperglycemic Effects  

    Research says that curcumin helps in balancing blood glucose and insulin levels in diabetes. It lowers elevated blood sugar by bringing down glucose production in the liver, stimulating glucose uptake by the body, stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic tissues, improving pancreatic cell function and reducing insulin resistance.8

    2. Turmeric Manages Postprandial Glucose level

    Alpha‐glucosidase inhibitors (AGIs) play an important role in the healing of type‐2 diabetes. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors act as competitive inhibitors of alpha-glucosidase enzymes in the brush border of the small intestines. They reduce the rate of digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. That means they have a lowering effect on postprandial blood glucose and insulin levels.

    Turmeric is capable of inhibiting glucosidase enzymes effectively. During a research study, it was seen that dry rhizomes of turmeric exhibited potent α-glucosidase inhibitory capacities. It was then postulated that it is capable of managing Postprandial Glucose level efficiently.9.

    READ MORE: When To Eat: The Best Times To Eat Different Foods, Ayurvedic Foot Care: Pampering Treats For Tired Feet

    3. It Stops The Risk Of Developing Diabetes (Turmeric For Diabetes Prevention)

    Clinical research supports the fact that curcumin supplementation has been proven to reverse pre-diabetes. A 9-month curcumin intervention in a pre-diabetic population significantly lowered the number of pre-diabetic individuals who eventually developed type 2 diabetes.

    In addition, curcumin therapy appeared to improve overall function of β-cells. This study demonstrated that curcumin intervention in a pre-diabetic population may be beneficial and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.10 According to this research study, curcumin has been shown to have anti-diabetogenic effects. It improved the activity of pancreatic adrenergic receptors  and regulated the ability of the pancreas to sense glucose and secrete insulin.11  

    4. It Inhibits Inflammation

    There is an association between inflammatory biomarkers and the occurrence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and its complications. Adipose tissue are the major sites for the production of those inflammatory biomarkers. These inflammatory biomarkers produce inflammatory response and contribute to the occurrence of type 2 diabetes mellitus by causing insulin resistance.

    In addition to this, in the presence of hyperglycemia the inflammation intensifies and promotes long-term complications of diabetes. Targeting inflammatory pathways is one of the strategies to prevent and control diabetes and related complications.12 Research during the study found that curcumin present in Turmeric suppresses and reverses many of the inflammatory and metabolic derangements caused by diabetes and prevents its proliferation. Research also shows that curcuminoids exert anti-diabetic effects, by reducing serum Adipocyte-fatty Acid Binding Protein Levels, a reduction in enzymes and proteins involved in inflammation, which leads to improved metabolic parameters in type 2 diabetes.13 

    5. It Reduces Oxidative Stress And Its Complications

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are formed as a natural byproduct of the normal metabolism of oxygen and have important roles in cell signaling and homeostasis. When ROS levels increase dramatically, this may result in significant damage to cell structures. Any imbalance between the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant level leads to a condition known as “oxidative stress”. It results in the development of a pathological condition such as Diabetes.

    Under hyperglycemic (high blood sugar levels) conditions, increased uptake of glucose leads to excess production of ROS which causes oxidative degradation of fats (lipid peroxidation), oxidative damage to cell and initiation of inflammatory pathways. Oxidative stress further produces complications of diabetes which includes stroke, neuropathy, retinopathy and nephropathy.14

    Research says that Turmeric acts as an antioxidant, scavenges ROS and inhibits lipid peroxidation. Curcuminoid present in Turmeric supplements has shown to raise the level of antioxidant enzymes in diabetes.15 This property of turmeric can help in reducing oxidative stress observed in diabetes. Besides this, research has also shown that curcumin can prevent the deleterious complications of diabetes.16

    6. It Improves Liver Function

    Patients with diabetes often suffer from fatty liver disease and other liver disorders. It was seen in a study that dietary fed curcumin for 8 weeks excreted less albumin, urea, creatinine, and inorganic phosphorus. During a research study, curcumin intake exhibited reduced liver weight and lipid peroxidation products in the plasma and urine which are considered as indicators of improved liver function.17

    Researchers also concluded that curcumin supplements help in the improvement of different features of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In a research study it was seen that 70mg of bioavailable curcumin per day for 8 weeks reduced liver fat content in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and brought about a 78.9% improvement in the disease.18

    7. Checks the Diabetes induces High Cholesterol levels

    There is a link between the insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and diabetic dyslipidemia that tends to cause people with type 2 diabetes to get heart disease or a stroke at a younger age than people without type 2 diabetes. Diabetic dyslipidemia is a characteristic pattern. It consists of low HDL cholesterol, an increased concentration of small dense LDL-cholesterol particles, increased triglycerides, and postprandial lipemia. This pattern is most frequently seen in type 2 diabetes. Dietary intake of Curcumin has demonstrated a significant lower level of liver cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids.19

    8. It Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes Induced Cardiovascular Disease

    Hyperglycemia is the hallmark of Diabetes mellitus and is a major risk factor for endothelial dysfunction. Endothelium dysfunction precedes and portends the development of atherosclerosis and is an independent prognostic predictor for the risk of future of cardiovascular events. In a research study, Curcumin was found to be as good as atorvastatin allopathic medicine in improving endothelial dysfunction along with reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Moreover, long-term curcumin intake have also shown improvement in lowering plasma and hepatic cholesterol and suppressing early atherosclerotic lesions as comparable to the protective effects of lovastatin allopathic medicine during a study20

    9. It Has Anti-Obesity Potential

    Curcumin, a major active component of Turmeric overcomes insulin resistance in obesity-induced diabetes and is helpful for the prevention of obesity and insulin resistance.

    10. It Hastens Wound Healing

    Curcumin has been shown to possess significant anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anti-coagulant and anti-infective effects in research studies. Curcumin has shown to enhance granulation tissue formation, collagen deposition, tissue remodeling and wound contraction. A study found that it’s topical application has been shown to speed up the wound healing process.21

    A research study showed that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential of curcumin caused faster and better wound healing in diabetic rats which proves that curcumin could be an additional novel therapeutic agent in the management of impaired wound healing in diabetics.22

    In order to manage diabetes and its complications and reap several of turmeric’s benefits, enjoy a healthy amount of Turmeric in your diet. Try an easy and tasty Golden Milk recipe.

    READ MORE: Golden Milk For Joints, Does It Work?, How Golden Milk Benefits Memory, Golden Porridge: A Turmeric Breakfast Bowl Recipe

    When To See The Doctor

    Though ample preliminary research shows that Turmeric may lower the sugar level in diabetes mellitus, one should take caution while consuming large quantities of Turmeric along with anti-diabetic medications.

    The curcumin present in Turmeric has an anti-hyperglycemic effect. So the quantity of this herb needs to be carefully monitored and regulated when taken along with anti-diabetic medications. In order to know the best suitable amount of Turmeric according to one’s blood sugar level, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner or health care provider.

    Turmeric Precautions And Contraindications

    Dietary intake of turmeric in the form of a spice, in the quantity of 1-3 grams in food, is always safe for consumption. In this amount, it is unlikely to cause any adverse side effects. In the following conditions however, it is best to avoid health supplements of Turmeric. Do not consume Turmeric in more than the regular dietary amount in the following health conditions.

    Do not take Turmeric supplements during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

    Studies found that Turmeric may stimulate uterine contraction.23 In addition, due to the lack of research on Turmeric, pregnancy and postpartum, it is better not to take it during this time.

    READ MORE: How To Breastfeed The Ayurvedic Way

    Do not take Turmeric supplements if you’re on blood thinners or have a bleeding or clotting disorder.

    Curcumin has shown to have anticoagulant or blood thinning effects.24

    Do not take Turmeric supplements prior to surgery. 

    Curcumin has shown to have blood thinning properties.

    Do not take Tumeric supplements if you are suffering from kidney stones or gout. 

    Research has shown that Turmeric may increase the level of oxalates in the blood.25

    Do not take Turmeric supplements when there is gall bladder obstruction.

    Research has shown that curcumin may cause painful contractions in conditions of gall bladder obstruction.26

    Do not take Turmeric supplements in low blood pressure conditions.

    Studies found that curcumin has the property of reducing blood pressure.27

    READ MORE: Will Turmeric Lower Blood Pressure?, Heal With Haldi: Turmeric Milk Recipe, 50 Ayurvedic Herbs You Need To Know

    1. Vaidya Yadavaji Trikamaji, Charaka Samhita Nidana sthana chapter 4 verse 3, Chaukhmba surbharati prakashana, reprint 2000.
    2. Astang Hridya “Vidyotini” commentary by Kaviraja Atrideva Gupta, Chowkhamba publication, Varanasi, reprint edition. Nidan sthanam, 2009; 10/7.
    3. Susruta Samhita Nidan sthanam chapter 6 verse 30 Hindi Commentary, Editor Kaviraj Ambika dutta Shastri, Choukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan Varanasi, 14th Ed. 2003.
    4. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India, Part 1, volume 1.
    5. Vaidya Yadavaji Trikamaji, Charaka Samhita Sutra sthana chapter 4 verse 8-3, Chaukhmba surbharati prakashana, reprint 2000.
    6. Vagbhatta Astanga Hridaya ) Chikitsa Sthana chapter 12 verse 5, with commentaries, edited with ‘Vidyotini’ Hindi Commentary by Kaviraj Atridev Gupta,  Vd. Yadunandana Upadhyaya14th edition, published by Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi, 2003; 372.
    7. L.D.Clamp, Enhanced insulin sensitivity in successful, long-term weight loss maintainers compared with matched controls with no weight loss history Nutrition & Diabetes volume 7, page e282 (2017)doi:10.1038/nutd.2017.31.
    8. Zeinab Ghorbani, Anti-Hyperglycaemic and Insulin Sensitizer Effects of Turmeric and Its Principle Constituent Curcumin, Journal List Int J Endocrinol Meta by. Published online 2014 Oct 1. doi:  10.5812/ijem.18081PMCID: PMC4338652PMID: 25745485.
    9. P. C. Lekshmi, Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) volatile oil inhibits key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes Journal International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition Volume 63, 2012 – Issue 7.
    10. Chuengsamarn, Somlak, Suthee Rattanamongkolgul, Rataya Luechapudiporn, Chada Phisalaphong, and Siwanon Jirawatnotai. “Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes care 35, no. 11 (2012): 2121-2127.
    11. Naijil G Curcumin pretreatment mediates anti-diabetogenesis via functional regulation of adrenergic receptor subtypes in the pancreas of multiple low-dose streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats Nutr Res. 2015 Sep;35(9):823-33. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.06.011. Epub 2015 Jul 2.
    12. Lontchi-Yimagou E, Diabetes mellitus and inflammation. Curr Diab Rep. 2013 Jun;13(3):435-44. doi: 10.1007/s11892-013-0375.
    13. Na LX, Curcuminoids Target Decreasing Serum Adipocyte-fatty Acid Binding Protein Levels in Their Glucose-lowering Effect in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Biomed Environ Sci. 2014 Nov;27(11):902-6. doi: 10.3967/bes2014.127.
    14. Asmat, Ullah, Khan Abad, and Khan Ismail. “Diabetes mellitus and oxidative stress—a concise review.” Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal 24, no. 5 (2016): 547-553.
    15. Sreejayan N,Free radical scavenging activity of curcuminoids. Arzneimittelforschung. 1996 Feb;46(2):169-7.
    16. Dong-wei Zhang,Curcumin and Diabetes: A Systematic Review Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 636053 PMCID: PMC3857752PMID: 24348712.
    17. Zhang, Dong-wei, Min Fu, Si-Hua Gao, and Jun-Li Liu. “Curcumin and diabetes: a systematic review.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).
    18. Rahmani S Treatment of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with Curcumin: A Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial. Phytother Res. 2016 Sep;30(9):1540-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5659. Epub 2016 Jun 8.
    19. P. Suresh Babu, Hypolipidemic action of curcumin, the active principle of turmeric (Curcuma longa) in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry January 1997, Volume 166, Issue 1–2, pp 169–175 |
    20. Su Kyung Shin, Curcumin_Administration_Protects_Against_Atherosclerosis_via_Hepatic_Regulation_of_Lipoprotein_Cholesterol_Metabolism Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2011, 55, 1829–1840.
    21. Akbik D ,Curcumin as a wound healing agent. Life Sci. 2014 Oct 22;116(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.08.016. Epub 2014 Sep 6.
    22. Kant V Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of curcumin accelerated the cutaneous wound healing in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Int Immunopharmacol. 2014 Jun;20(2):322-30. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2014.03.009. Epub 2014 Mar 24.PMID: 24675438.
    23. Khayat S, Curcumin attenuates severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2015 Jun;23(3):318-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.04.001. Epub 2015 Apr 9.
    24. Heck AM,Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2000 Jul 1;57(13):1221-7; quiz 1228-30.
    25. Tang M ,Effect of cinnamon and turmeric on urinary oxalate excretion, plasma lipids, and plasma glucose in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1262-7.PMID: 18469248.
    26. Rasyid A ,The effect of curcumin and placebo on human gall-bladder function: an ultrasound study. Send toAliment Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Feb;13(2):245-9.
    27. Lekshmi, P. C., Ranjith Arimboor, V. M. Nisha, A. Nirmala Menon, and K. G. Raghu. “In vitro antidiabetic and inhibitory potential of turmeric (Curcuma longa L) rhizome against cellular and LDL oxidation and angiotensin converting enzyme.” Journal of food science and technology 51, no. 12 (2014): 3910-3917




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