Prameha Sankhya in Samhitas- What is Prameha or Diabetes in Ayurveda?


In this article, we will know the types of Prameha and the different ways in which Prameha has been classified in the Samhitas or the scriptures of Ayurveda.

Before we classify, let us understand the meaning of Prameha.

What is Prameha?

According to Ayurveda, Prameha refers to a metabolic syndrome involving clinical symptoms of obesity and prediabetes.

Prameha roga is referred to as Diabetes mellitus which according to Ayurveda is defined as a disease with a single difference depending on the doshas or dhatus.

In Ayurveda, the 3 fundamental doshas which constitute the body are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Whereas Dhatus are 7 in the body namely, Rasa(plasma), Rakta(blood), Mamsa(muscle), Meda(fat), Asthi(bone), Majja(bone marrow) and Sukhra(reproductive fluid).

Major characteristics of Prameha include-

According to Sushruta and Vagbhatta, Prameha is mainly characterised by two abnormalities:

  1. Prabhuta Mutrata 
  2. Avila Mutrata 
Prabhuta Mutrata Excessive urinationMetabolic or hormonal changes
Avila MutrataTurbidity of urineAbnormalities in the urinary tract

Causes of Prameha

The causes of Prameha can be mainly grouped under 3 categories:

Ahar – DietVihar – LifestyleMansik – Psychological
Excess consumption of dairyLow physical activityIgnorance
Excess consumption of sugary foodsSedentary lifestyleOverthinking
Excess consumption of food rich in fatExcess sleepAnxiety
Excess consumption of sour and salty foods that cause water retentionLaziness or reluctance to workoutExcess stress

Prameha has been classified into 27 types based on the different characteristic symptoms related to the associated dosha:

Three doshas

Let us know the types of Prameha which are classified as Kaphaja, Pittaja and Vataja in the Samhitas namely, Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita written by the laureates Charaka, and Sushruta respectively.

Firstly, let us look at the Kaphaja Prameha or the Prameha caused mainly due to the imbalance in Kapha dosha:

Out of the 27 types of Prameha, 14 types of Prameha are Kaphaja.

Kaphaja Prameha

S.noTypes of PramehaModern nameIn Charaka SamhitaIn Sushruta Samhita
1Udakameha Diabetes insipidusExcretion of transparent, watery, colourless and large quantity of urineTransparent urine which is excreted as white and watery with no discomfort.
2IkshuvalikamehaAlimentary GlycosuriaSweet, cold, slimy, turbid which is like cane juiceUrine representing sugar cane juice
3SandramehaPhosphaturiaOccurence of urine precipitation when kept overnightUrine turning thick or turbid
4SandraprasadamehaBelluriaUrine turns partly clear and partly precipitated
5ShuklamehaChyluriaFrequent passage of urine that is floury and white in colour
6SukramehaSpermaturiaPassage of semen like urine or urine with semenPassing of urine like semen
7SheetamehaRenal GlycosuriaFrequent passage of urine which is very sweet and cold
8SikatamehaGraveluriaPassing of fine-sand like particles with urine
9ShanairamehaSlow urinationUrine is passed very slowly in small quantities with great difficultySlow passage of urine along with Kapha
10AlalamehaAlbuminuriaSlimy phlegm like urine with threads is passed
11LavanamehaPassage of transparent urine resembling saline water
12PhenamehaFrothy urine which is passed slowly
13SuramehaSura like or wine-like urine is passed
14PistamehaAlbumosuriaUrine that is like a suspension of flour in water is passed

Out of the 27 types of Prameha, 7 types of Prameha are Pittaja or due to the imbalance of Pitta:

Pittaja Prameha

15 KharamehaAlkalinuriaUrine that has the properties of an alkaliThe urine resembles an alkaline solution
16KalamehaIndicanuriaBlack and hot urine is excreted
17NeelamehaIndicanuriaSour and blue urine is passed like the colour of Nilakantha bird featherPassing of frothy, clear and bluish urine is passed
18Raktameha HamaturiaUrine that is saline, hot and red in colour is producedUrine like blood is excreted
19ManjisthamehaHaemoglobinuriaUrine that is red with extreme saline smell is excretedUrine that is like Manjistha is produced which resembles mixing in water
20HaridramehaBilirubinuriaColour of urine id like Haridra with a pungent tasteUrine which is like Haridra colour and has a burning sensation while passing
21 AmlamehaUrine is passed which has an acidic taste and smell

Out of the 27 types of Prameha, 6 types of Prameha are Pittaja or due to the imbalance of Vata:

Vataja Prameha

22VasamehaUrine mixed with Vasa is passed frequentlyUrination which is like Vasa
23MazzamehaExcretion of urine which is frequent and mixed with mazza
24HastimehaFrequent passage of urine like an elephant. This type is an incurablePassage of huge quantities of urine like an elephant that is excited.
25MadhumehaDiabetes mellitusUrine that is astringent in taste, sweet and pale is passed
26SarpimehaGhee-like urine is released
27KshaudramehaSugarcane or honey-like urinePassage of urine which has the colour and taste of honey

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