Diabetes and Ancient India: a Glimpse through Ancient Indian Scripture

Document Type: Original Article

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Abstract

India is on the verge of becoming the diabetic capital of the world. The fact is that even in ancient India diabetes was prevalent and reference of diabetic-like condition is there in Atharvaveda, known as one of the oldest literature in the world. A search through ancient Indian religious, political and medical scripture shows various references of diabetes, better known aspramehaor madhumehato ancient India. Ancient Indian medicine was well developed and there are now vivid descriptions of the cause, symptoms, pathopysiology, complications and treatment of diabetes in these scriptures. Arthasastra, the famous political scripture of India even gives reference to diabetogenic techniques for destroying enemies. Charaka, Susruta and other contemporary physicians of ancient India had a scientific approach to diabetes and its management. Therefore, prevalence of diabetic has been documented in India since the Vedic period and ancient Indian scriptures have provided some valuable knowledge for diabetes.

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