Combined Ayurveda and Yoga Practices for Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Controlled Trial

Complement Med Res. 2018;25(1):16-23. doi: 10.1159/000464441. Epub 2017 Sep 29.


Background: The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in India is a cause for national concern, particularly the spiraling cost burden to the country. As one approach to stop its increase, Yoga medicine has been widely implemented, finding popularity with all social strata. Here, we report a study suggesting that treatment with fresh herbal juices and Yoga can improve the levels of blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in people with pre-diabetes.

Methods: Study design: 3-arm controlled trial 3 months in duration.

Participants: 157 male prisoners with newly diagnosed, high fasting blood sugar (FBS) and postprandial blood sugar (PPBS) levels. Group interventions: (1) Rasahara and Yoga, (2) Yoga, (3) no intervention.

Assessments: FBS and PPBS levels were measured every 2 weeks; HbA1c and blood lipids were determined pre- and post-intervention.

Results: Significant decreases occurred in the FBS (-21.13 ± 21.16 mg/dl) and PPBS levels (-15.02 ± 14.89 mg/dl) in group 1 (both p < 0.0001) and in the FBS level (20.62 ± 32.68 mg/dl) in group 2 (p = 0.0005), while the increases in group 3 attained significance only for the PPBS level (9.62 ± 21.83 mg/dl) (p = 0.0022). Observed changes in HbA1c were: group 1, -0.044 ± 0.059 mg/dl; group 2, +0.024 ± 0.456 mg/dl (not significant); and group 3, +0.365 ± 0.369 mg/dl (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: This study of Yoga for the treatment of diabetes shows that all male prisoners could benefit from the Yoga prison programs. Addition of Yoga programs to state and federal activities at all levels is now national policy in India. Follow-up studies should be carried out to obtain more robust results.

Keywords: Ayurveda; Health restoration; Prevention; Rasahara; Type 2 diabetes; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Medicine, Ayurvedic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use
  • Prediabetic State / therapy*
  • Prisoners
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Yoga*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Plant Preparations
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human