New Delhi: There should be rigorous research proving the effectiveness of herbal medicines prescribed under Ayurveda, homeopathy and Unani before relying on them for the treatment of diabetes, pointed out. the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The ICMR last week released a draft guideline for the treatment and management of type 2 diabetes in India, in which the umbrella research body discussed the effectiveness of indigenous drugs in providing treatment for diabetes.
“Many people with diabetes in our country use indigenous drugs from other systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani. Several herbal products have been advocated for the treatment of diabetes, such as Pterocarpus marsupium, Gymnema sylvestre, Mormordica chirantica and Eugenia jambolana, ”states the draft guidelines.
“These drugs, alone or in combination, have hypoglycemic effects. Their exact mechanism of action is still unclear. There is a common belief that all herbal medicines are safe and non-toxic, which is not necessarily true, ”the guidelines state.
“Given the widespread use of these native drugs, physicians should be aware of herbal-drug interactions. There are many possibilities for research and careful evaluation of these agents should be done in the management of diabetes, ”they say.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic-vascular syndrome characterized by predominant insulin resistance with varying degrees of insulin secretion defect. It is a progressive disease often associated with central obesity, dyslipidemia and hypertension.
Interestingly, the ICMR advocated the use of yoga in diabetes management and stress management. According to the guidelines, stress management is essential and could take the form of meditation, yoga, a long outdoor walk, exercise, and trying out hobbies like reading, gardening and painting. . The practice of yoga is our traditional Indian system, which has therapeutic value in controlling our physical and mental health. This should be done under the guidance of an expert, the guidelines specify.
However, practitioners of modern medicine have always been at odds with alternative medicine systems claiming relief or treatment with yoga or herbal medicines. “It’s interesting that yoga has been mentioned in stress management. There is a greater role of yoga; almost equivalent to aerobic physical activity, in diabetes; however, reliable data and systematic review are needed to verify this. Until then, yoga could be practiced once the daily physical activity quota was reached, ”said Anoop Misra, president of the Fortis C-DOC Center for Diabetes and vice president of the Diabetes Foundation of India.
“As there is more and more research into local herbs and nutraceuticals in the treatment of diabetes; solid long-term data on their safety and effectiveness is certainly needed. Commercial bhasmas or similar remedies of questionable importance should be avoided. However, using home-cooked vegetables (karela, methi) doesn’t hurt and could be taken to increase fiber intake, ”Misra said.
The International Diabetes Federation estimates that there were 72.9 million people with diabetes in India in 2017. This figure is expected to reach 134.3 million by 2045. The prevalence of diabetes has increased in urban India, especially in metropolitan cities and rural areas are also fast. catch up.
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