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Traditional Thai cures for diabetes

BANGKOK (ANN/THE NATION) – In the realm of health and wellness, traditional Thai medicine emerges as a holistic approach to diabetes care. Emphasising dietary adjustments to restore bodily balance, it offers a unique perspective on managing this prevalent health concern.

Diabetes, a condition rooted in pancreatic and insulin irregularities, manifests through elevated blood sugar levels accompanied by symptoms such as nocturnal urination, increased hunger, tingling extremities, and delayed healing.

If left unaddressed, the condition can progress, potentially resulting in deteriorating eyesight and heightened vulnerability to infections.

The Thai Traditional Medicine Department advocates reducing starch and sugar intake to manage blood sugar levels. It also recommends the consumption of local vegetables known for their sugar-regulating properties.


Mara Khinok (Bitter Gourd): Despite its inherent bitterness, the bitter gourd is a valuable vegetable containing charantin, a substance known to help lower blood sugar levels. Aside from its potential in diabetes management, it is believed to alleviate fever and enhance appetite. This versatile vegetable can be incorporated into various dishes or used in smoothies, with its bitterness easily balanced for a more palatable experience.

Tamleung (Ivy Gourd): Characterised by its cool flavour, ivy gourd’s leaves and stems contribute to the regulation of blood sugar. Nutritionally rich, it serves as a versatile ingredient in soups, curries, and other culinary creations.

Toeyhom (Pandan): Renowned for its sweet aroma, pandan leaves and roots go beyond fragrance, offering diuretic and blood sugar-reducing properties. Commonly used in traditional desserts, pandan-infused water provides a refreshing option on hot, sunny days.

Chiang Da (Gurmar): Indigenous to northern Thailand, gurmar is typically brewed into tea and is believed to aid in reducing blood sugar levels.

Chaplu (Wildbetal Leafbush): The slightly spicy wildbetal leafbush not only relieves intestinal gas and promotes appetite but also contributes to blood sugar regulation. Caution is advised against excessive consumption, as it may lead to dizziness, kidney stone formation, or urinary tract issues.

Two more types of vegetables with reported blood sugar-reducing properties:

Cha-om (Climbing Wattle): Packed with flavonoids, cha-om is believed to play a role in blood sugar control.

Ta-Krai (Lemongrass): Beyond its aromatic appeal, lemongrass is thought to contribute to lowering blood sugar levels.

Amid these dietary suggestions, regular exercise is key to maintaining a strong, healthy body. Adequate hydration (at least eight glasses of water daily) coupled with ample rest and sleep, is vital for overall well-being.

Individuals with pre-existing health conditions are encouraged to undergo regular health check-ups, ideally on an annual basis.

By embracing the wisdom of traditional Thai medicine, adopting natural remedies and adjusting their lifestyle, people can manage diabetes effectively.