Saturday, 25 September 2004

Hakims develop special concoction to keep Ramadhan fast cool

2004
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 25: Unani researchers and Hakeems in the city have come up with a special concoction of herbs for diabetic Muslims, who fast during the holy month of Ramadhan, to keep them healthy and free from major health complications like hypoglycaemia and ketoacidosis.
Muslims suffering from diabetes find it hard to fast during Ramadhan since the glucose levels in the blood fluctuate because of abstinence from food for 12 hours followed by two quick meals within four hours. The problem is more complicated in the case of those suffering from insulin-dependent diabetes.
The special Ramadhan herbal prescription by city Unani experts is a sequel to a research study by a joint Indo-Bangla-Pak team of diabetologists on diabetic Muslims who fast during the holy month. The team came out with the medical formulations of sulphonylureas (the first line drugs used for Type 2 diabetes) as drug of choice during Ramadhan. The diabetologists suggested that drugs like repaglinide and natiglinide, short acting drugs in the sulphonylureas family, should be taken twice a day.
Since these allopathic drugs are known to have side effects, the Hakeems point out that special Unani medical formulations can be taken half an hour before "Sahar" (beginning of fast in the wee hours of day) and one to two hours after "Iftar" (breaking of fast after the sunset). Muslims suffering from insulin-dependent diabetes are exempted from fasting but a majority of them still fast, to fulfil one of the five articles of Islamic faith. Herbal medicines will mitigate the sufferings of such Muslims.
Unani expert Prof Syed Mahmood Najimi says one teaspoon of "Ziabeteen", if taken half an hour before Sahar breakfast and after Iftar dinner will control the blood sugar in the patients. He also prescribes Kalonji (Nigella sativa) seeds in powder form before and after the fasting period.
Unani pharmacologist Dr Syed Ghousuddin suggests Kalonji oil with black tea before Sahar and at bedtime. He says half a spoon of Kalonji Chavanprash with low fat milk at bed time will take care of the insulin level throughout the fasting period.
The Central Unani Research Institute is also doing a clinical study on the problem. "We are conducting clinical trials every fortnight on our patients. It is working well. We are also thinking of alternative formula. Since ours is a coded study, we cannot reveal the contents of the medicine. Patients can come to us and take the prescription," points out Dr Muhammad Ali Mirza, director-incharge.
According to Hakeem Wasaey Razvi Mohani, director of Institute of Tibb-e-Nabawi, diabetic patients can themselves prepare the special Ramadhan medicine at home. His prescription is equal quantities of Kalonji, gum, seeds of Shirash (Cannabis) and pulp of Indrain (Colocyinth) either in power or capsule form before and after the fasting period. Another simple medication is a mixture of four tolas of Satawar (Asparagus racemosus willd), three tolas of Dane-Ilachi (cardamon seeds), two tolas of Dalchini (cinnamon) and three tolas of Joush. Musli tonic will give extra energy and take care of the fatigue associated with fasting.
The experts want the patients to avoid starchy food like rice, potato and bread. Vegetables like bitter gourd and French beans should be consumed more to bring down the sugar level to normal and help insulin to flow.
The Unani herbal formulations also mitigate the underlying pathologies and complications associated with the diabetes millitus.
The composition of Kalonji, fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) and chicory (Cichorium intybus) is prescribed with a diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in patients with type-2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes).
The formulations not only help in lowering sugar levels but also regulate blood sugar level, improve pancreas function, lower cholesterol, improve spleen function and metabolism, strengthen digestion, reduce tiredness and counteract thirst.

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