Mumbai-based Sanjiv Dhawan was diagnosed with a case of borderline diabetes four months ago. The 34-year old employee of an multinational says his doctor advised him exercise and methi, or fenugreek.
Using spices and herbs in medicines is nothing new. But for those who want to keep medicines as the last resort, natural supplements are now available over the counter. And, this niche of herbal supplements for conditions such as diabetes and eczema is an emerging focus area for a section of India’s medicine companies.
Dhawan says: “Both me and my wife work long hours. My office is nearly 25 km away, while she works in town,” adding that though he was aware of traditional remedies for treating his condition, the preparation of these remedies remained a concern.
If prescribed properly, supplements with herbs can completely eliminate diet regimes for obese people, feel doctors. They feel supplements that have ingredients such as ordinary methi in it are more effective in controlling chronic conditions such as diabetes. Methi, haldi and similar spices and herbs have essential micronutrients that can help eliminate fat or other deficiencies that may cause a person to put on weight or even worse, become a diabetic.
“Supplements that supply micronutrients can in fact be very beneficial to the body compared to other supplements that do not have them,” said Dr. Shashank Joshi, noted Mumbai-based diabetologist. “Traditional spices such as methi, even if taken individually, can be highly beneficial for diabetics,” he added.
USV Medical’s Diataal or Troikaa Pharma’s Herbavate are steps in this direction. Prashant Tewari, managing director, Mumbai-based USV Laboratories, said: “We decided to create a dietary supplement that would not be allopathic in nature. The initial response has been encouraging.” Troikaa’s Herbavate though has not been that successful as a prescription product. The company, which has put the drug through clinical trials, says that the slow nature of the therapy puts doctors and patients off.