The word “Diabetes” comes from the Greek word “Diabanmo” which means to run through or passing through. In Unani medicine “Ziabetus” is the term which is used generally for diabetes, and “Ziabetus Shakari” for diabetes mellitus. It is mentioned in most of the Unani literature like Al Qaanon, Al Hawi, Kamilus Sana’ah, etc. Arabian scholars have also mentioned it by terms like Atsha, Dolab, Zalaqul kulliya and Dawwarah. Egyptians have described clinical features similar to Diabetes almost 3000 years back.
As per Unani philosophy, it is a disease in which the consumed water is passed out through the kidney immediately after its intake. Due to hot temperament of kidneys, the water is absorbed from the blood circulation and sent to the urinary bladder.
Classification of Diabetes (Ziabetus)
According to the presence or absence of sugar in the urine, it is divided into two types:
- Ziabetus Sada or Ziabetus ghair shakari (Diabetes insipidus), characterized by excessive thirst and urination, without the presence of sugar in the urine.
- Ziabetus Shakari (Diabetes mellitus), characterized by excessive thirst and urination, but with sugar in the urine.
According to the intensity (Khiffat wa Shiddat) of the disease, it is also divided into two types:
- Ziabetus Haar: Abrupt onset with severity of symptoms.
- Ziabetus Baarid: Gradual onset and less severity of symptoms comparatively.
- Zof’e Gurda (Weakness of kidney)
- Ḍu̒ f al-Kulya (Renal insufficiency)
- Sue Mizaj Haar Gurda (Hot derangement in the temperament of kidney)
- Sue Mizaj Baarid Gurda (Cold derangement in temperament of kidney)
- Ittesae Gurda wa Majra-e- Baul (Dilatation of kidney and urinary tract)
- Baroodat-e- Badan, Jigar wa Gurda (Cold derangement in temperament of body, kidney and liver)
Uncontrolled diabetes may lead to kidney disease, heart disease, blindness, gangrene and even coma. Modifications in diet and lifestyle can reduce the possibility and complications of the disease. Unani medicines are strongly advisable in lifestyle diseases, especially diabetes.
Prevention is better than cure and is applicable in case of diabetes as well. Regular exercise and proper sleeping habit help in prevention of lifestyle diseases.
Avoid sedentary lifestyle, stress/strain, anxiety and cold/humid environment.
Unani physicians advise balanced dietary plan, including fiber rich product and raw vegetables, to control and prevent the complications. Carbohydrate rich diet such as rice, potato, oily food, fruits and starch food items, should be side-lined in the diet of a diabetic patient. Reduce the total quantity of food as per diet chart. Avoid junk and sugary food. Restrict liquor and red meat.
Ilaj bil Dawa (pharmacotherapy)
Single and compound formulations are mentioned below (which are free from side effects and are holistic in nature).
- Kernel of Jamun seeds and its leaves
- Karela (bitter gourd)
- Tender shoots of Neem
- Fenugreek seed
- Gurmar Booti
- Basil leaves
- Satte gilo
- Cinnamon powder
- Qurs Tabasheer
- Qurs Ziabetus
- Qurs gulnaar