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What is Ayurveda medicine?

Ayurveda, the science of life, prevention and longevity is the oldest and most holistic medical system in the world. This medical system originated in India about 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda is derived from a Sanskrit word made of the words 'ayur' and 'veda'. 'Ayur' means life and 'veda' means knowledge or science. Thus, the term 'ayurveda' means 'the knowledge of life' or the 'science of life'. In principle, 'ayur' comprises of the mind, body, senses and the soul. The aim of this holistic system is to prevent illness, heal the sick and preserve life. This includes protecting health and prolonging life and eliminating diseases and dysfunctions of the body. Ayurveda is based on the fact that the universe is made up of five elements: air, water, fire, earth and ether. These are represented in humans by three bodily humors or 'doshas' called 'vata', 'pitta' and 'kapha'. They govern all metabolic activity – anabolism (kapha), catabolism (vata) and metabolism (pitta). When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond undesirable levels, the body loses its balance and the state of disease sets in. When the three doshas are balanced, one is in good health. This form of medicine suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess doshas.

Ayurvedic therapy

Therapies used in Ayurvedic medicine may include herbal supplements, mineral and fruit / vegetable preparations plus cleansing processes and dietary modifications. The principle of Ayurvedic remedies is to act on the total body, strengthen the power of resistance and promote healing. Thus, this system provides new vital energy, prevents and corrects the aging process. It also helps to combat illnesses and frees one of psychological burdens.

Ayurvedic treatment of diabetes

Diabetes in Sanskrit is 'madhumeha', 'madhu' meaning sweetness and 'meha' meaning excessive urination. Indian physicians have known this disease for several thousand years. The earliest description of 'madhumeha' is found in one of the sacred Vedas, the Atharvaveda that dates back to around 1500 to 1000 B.C.

The great physician Caraka in Caraka Samhita (a medical treatise) described the etiology, symptomatology, pathology, prognosis and management principle of diabetes. He defined 'madhumeha' as a disease where the patient passes urine which is characteristically sweet, astringent and rough. He described twenty variations or presentations of diabetes. Another physician, Vagbhata, who wrote the third of the three most important treatises added sweetness to be present in the whole body. The great physician Susruta who wrote the major surgical text in Ayurveda used the term 'kshaudrameha', which means the urine resembles honey and acquires the sweet taste. Another term 'dhatupaka janya vikruti' was used where 'dhatupaka' means metabolism. When the full term is expressed, it means derangements in body tissues takes place due to discrepancies in metabolism.

Principle of treatment

Physician Caraka classified patients with 'madhumeha' into 2 groups according to their vitality, constitution and disease etiology. Patients were either obese and strong or lean and weak. Treatment protocols were different for each type. While cleansing processes was part of the treatment, herbal therapy and diet was used.

Ayurveda Pharmacopoeia

The pharmacopoeia of India is very rich in herbal treatment for diabetes. Eighty five percent of the 20 anti-diabetic plants widely used around the world has been prescribed in India. The Ayurvedic herbal supplements for diabetes have been selected on the principles of rasa (taste), guna (physicochemical properties), veerya (potency), vipaka (post-digestive effect) and prabhava (unique effect of the supplement). Each of the principles in the supplement is believed to have specific effect on the doshas and functions of the body, which is how they exert their therapeutic effects. These medicinal substances bring about a balance of three bodily doshas.

Herbs and vegetable products comprise the most extensive portion of the Ayurvedic Materia medica. Any part of the plant could be used medicinally. Traditionally, the entire herb or whole plant extract are used rather than just isolated ingredient as used in allopathic drugs. In earlier Ayurvedic texts, 600 herbs have been mentioned to have anti-diabetic potency. Today modern Ayurveda has identified more than 1200 plants.


A medicinal formula in Ayurveda is always considered as being more than merely the sum of its parts. It is the overall balance or action of the formula that is important. This is based on the Ayurvedic philosophy that emphasizes the whole. The extracts of the herbs or parts are combined in such a way that their natural attributes synergistically enhance the action of the whole formula. Thus, a holistic approach to the treatment of a disease syndrome. One such supplement that was formulated years ago and based on Ayurvedic principles is Cogent db+.

The ingredients in the formulation have had conventional therapeutic and recorded use in Ayurvedic medicine for disorders of the kidney, cardio- vascular system, liver and metabolism for thousands of years. The formulation has 2 distinctive properties:

  • anti-diabetic
  • acts as a prophylactic against diabetic complications

Thus, this herbal supplement:

  • is able to clinically lower high blood glucose levels (anti-hyperglycemic)
  • does not compromise vital organs such as kidneys and liver
  • can be prescribed for diabetic complications (therapeutic and prophylactic)

Based on evidences from the Ayurvedic literature, the supplement now has undergone extensive scientific and clinical evaluation for over 20 years in various medical institutions in India and other countries. Further clinical evaluations have been recently conducted on the effectivity of Cogent db+.