Neerizhivu (Diabetes Mellitus)



Diabetes mellitus (or diabetes) is a lifelong condition that affects body's ability to use glucose. Glucose fuels the cells of our body. But the cells need insulin, a hormone, in order to take in the glucose and use it for energy. In diabetes mellitus, either the body doesn't make enough insulin, it can't use the insulin it does produce or a combination of both. Since the cells can't take in the glucose, it builds up in the blood.

 There are three major types of diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes and

Gestational diabetes


Some of the signs and symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections

Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it's more common in people older than 40.

High levels of blood glucose can damage the tiny blood vessels of kidneys, hearteyes, or nervous system. That's why diabetes if left untreated  can eventually cause heart diseasestroke, kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage.


In siddha system of medicine Diabetes mellitus is described as neerizivu noi (neer means urine and izhivu means excessive discharge). It is mentioned as a neer perukkal noi (polyuric conditon). Few synonyms that can be found in siddha literature for this disease are inippu neer (inippu means sweet and neer means urine), mathu megam (mathu means sweet and megam means venereal disease) and mega neer (mega means venereal disease and neer means urine).

 Siddhars (founding fathers of siddha medicine) have categorised this disease along with mega noigal (venereal diseases). According to siddha sysyem of medicine, neerizhivu or madhumegam is characterized by excessive and frequent urination, presence of ants and house flies in the urinated place, sweet smell on heating of urine, loss of weight resulting in the gradual deterioration of the udal thathukal (7 physical constituents).


The cause of the disease is mainly attributed to the unhealthy lifestyle of a person. The main factors that do find mention in siddha text are excessive indulgence in sex, over eating, laziness, mental stress, giving too much importance to material possessions, sedentary lifestyle, heredity, and high intake of ghee, milk, alcoholic beverages, meat & fish and food with sweet taste.

According to siddha texts like Agathiar 1200, because of the above mentioned factors three varieties of vatham (vayu) humour namely keezh nokku kal, mel nokku kal and paravu kal are increased from their normal levels and they in turn stimulate mooladharam (an important site present between external genital organs and anal opening) resulting in production of excessive heat and thereby this disease. This affects the basic seven physical constituents one by one which leads to emaciation. Thus the disease is said to occur because of deranged vatha and pitha humour. In some texts derangement of kabam humour is said to occur first.

Diagnosis by reading nadi (pulse) is given importance in siddha sysyem of medicine. According to siddha tradition, experienced and expert physicians in pulse reading can diagnose the disease by feeling/examining the pulse. In neerizhivu (diabetes), it is said in the texts that, on pulse examination, both vatham and pitham pulse will be dominant or will be felt above their normal limits. In advanced state of the disease all the three pulse readings (vatham, pitham and kabam) will be felt feebly.

In addition to this, siddha texts also mention about the ten avathaigal (complications) that follow this disease if left untreated. Some of them are dyspnoea, surfacing of boils, excessive fatigue, infections and cachexia.


As mentioned above, the deranged vatham and pitham humours should be normalised. Since the udal thathukal (physical constituents) are affected severely in this disease, proper therapy should be given to rejuvenate and restore them.

Some medicinal plants which are found mentioned in siddha texts for the treatment of this disease are given below:

Tamil name

Botanical name


Cassia auriculata


Cassia fistula


Syzygium cumini


Salacia reticulata


Costus speciosus


Terminalia arjuna


Trigonella foenum graecum


Phyllanthus amarus


Tinospora cordifolia


Curcuma longa


Murraya koenigii


Momordica charantia


Terminalia chebula


Terminalia belerica


Phyllanthus emblica

Some familiar siddha medicinal preparations of plant origin, used for the treatment are decoctions like Avarai kudineer, chooranams (fine powders) like Seenthil chooranam, Naaval chooranam, Chandana chooranam, Thottalvadi chooranam, Kariveppilai chooranam etc.

Mathumega chooranam, a well known poly herbal siddha formulation used by siddha practitioners, is found to be very effective in controlling this disease and clinical studies done also prove its antidiabetic effect.

Clinical studies also show that, preparations of mineral origin lika Abraga chendooram are also effective. Other preparations of mineral origin used are Gandaga parpam, Velli chendhuram, Vanga parpam etc.

Siddha text also prescribes wheat rich diet for a person affected by this disease. Also cooked, unripe fruits of brinjal, avarai (broad beans) and drumstick is advocated. Yoga and suitable asanams are also advised for patients.

A qualified siddha physician should be consulted for proper monitoring of blood glucose levels and the exact line of therapy to be followed depending upon the condition of the patient to keep the disease in control.


Decoction made from seenthil thandu (stem of Tinospora cordifolia) and Chukku (dried ginger) taken in equal quantity can be taken two times a day before meals.

4-5 grams of the fine powder of the) leaves and root of thottal vadi (Mimosa pudica can be taken daily.

Decoction of avarai (Cassia auriculata) panchangam (root, leaf, flower, unripe fruit and bark) powder taken two times a day before meals can be helpful.

3 grams of powder of equal parts of karunjeeragam (Nigella sativa) and venthayam (fenugreek) can be taken twice a day before food.

3 grams of nellikai (gooseberry) and manjal (turmeric) with water twice a day can be taken before food.

Cirrurukurinjan (Gymnema sylvestre) powder: 3-5 gram can be taken before meals with water.


1.Viswanathan R, Sekar V, Velpandian V, Sivasaravanan KS, Ayyasamy, anti-diabetic activity of thottal vadi choornam (mimosa pudica) in alloxan induced diabetic rats, International Journal of Natural Product Science 2013; 3(5): 13-20

2.Thanikachalam Sadagopa, Anbarasi Chandrasekharan, Harivanzan Vijayakumar, Saravanababu Chidambaram, Bhaskar VKS Lakkakula Efficacy and Safety Profile of Siddha Compound Madhumega choornam (MMC) in Type II Diabetic Patients, International Journal for Pharmaceutical Research Scholars (IJPRS) ,V-3, I-1, 2014

3. Manoharan.A, Manjula.M , Mubarak.H, Chitti Babu .C.V, Pivotal Role of Siddha Medicinal Plants In Diabetic Dyslipidaemia, International Journal of Medicine and Nanotechnology, Volume-2, Issue-3, 2015, Page- 246-253

4. C. Mary Sharmila A.Faridha, N.Chidambaranathan, Evaluation of Anti-Hyperglycemic Activity of Kariveppilai Churnam in Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats, International Journal of Pharma Sciences and Research (IJPSR), Vol 6 No 06 Jun 2015

5. Arunvanan.M, Aasi.s.K, Mubarak.H, Kanagarajan.A, an overview on anti diabetic activity of siddha medicinal plants, Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol 6, Suppl 2, 2013

5. Kuppusamy Mudaliar, K.N. Siddha Maruthuvam pothu, 7th edition 2007, Directorate of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, Chennai-106

  • PUBLISHED DATE : Jan 19, 2016
  • PUBLISHED BY : Zahid
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Feb 09, 2016


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