What is the importance of Nirukti of madhumeha?


Let us understand the meaning of Nirukti.

Nirukthi stands for something that gives the actual meaning or explanation of a term. Understanding the essence or the true meaning of something is essential to form a solid frame of understanding which becomes even more important with regard to the disease.

Knowing the Nirukti of a disease, not only helps us in understanding the cause but also helps us in eliminating it from its root through effective management, and treatment of the disease.

Now that we have understood the meaning of Nirukti. Let us get to diabetes or madhumeha as denoted in Ayurveda.


Diabetes mellitus or madhumeha as the ayurvedic terminology suggests literally stands for honey urine referring to the increased sugar in the body leading to the production, and excretion of glucose in the urine.

Let us break down and understand madhumeha or diabetes from an ayurvedic perspective.

In Ayurveda, a disease or roga is classified in the order of its-

  1. Nirukti – the etymology or explanation of the word. 
  2. Paribhasha – the definition of the word.
  3. Paryaya – the synonyms of the word.

Now that we are familiar with the order of classification in Ayurveda, let us classify the madhumeha roga or diabetes-

  1. Nirukti: The word madhumeha is made up of the terms madhu and meha. The meaning of each composing word is – 

Madhu- A feeling of satisfaction or pleasing to the mind, which is why diabetes is popularly known for the characteristic “Madhu” or “sweetness” or “sweet taste”. On the other hand, the term ‘Meha’ is used to signify the following meanings

  • To moisten (or sinchana)
  • To flow (or ksharana)
  • To flow excessively (or prasrava)

These terms are used in reference to the excess flow of urine which is a prominent symptom of diabetes.

  1. Paribhasha: From its Nirukti, madhumeha is termed as Mutradosha (urinary disorder) which is indicated by bahumootra (frequent urination) and Madhu in rasa or varna (glucose in the urine)
  1. Paryaya: Let us now know the synonyms or the different categorisations of madhumeha.
  • Prameha or Prakarshena Mehati or excessive urine outflow.
  • Mootra dosha: a disorder of the urinary system
  • Madhumeha: a condition which is indicative of excess urination which resembles the colour or taste of honey.

These are the popular terminologies among many that Ayurveda categorises madhumeha under.

From the classification of madhumeha in Ayurveda, diabetes is chiefly termed as the metabolic disorder of Kapha.

The cause of madhumeha in Ayurveda is given as

  1. Consumption of foods leading to Kapha like sugar or carbohydrate-rich food
  2. Insufficient activity
  3. Leading a stressful lifestyle
  4. Lethargy or increased sleep

The symptoms of madhumeha as addressed by Ayurveda include-

  1. Frequent and excess urination 
  2. Frequent and excess thirst
  3. Vision impairment
  4. Delayed wound healing
  5. Increased appetite
  6. Sweet taste in mouth

Treatment of madhumeha as prescribed by Ayurveda-

  1. Sneha karma or oilation therapy for oilating internal and external parts of the patient
  2. Elimination of vitiated doshas from the body through the treatments of panchakarma
  3. Administration of oral medicines like kashayams, lehyams and choornams
  4. Restriction of diet

Ayurvedic remedies for managing madhumeha roga-

  1. Consume more citrus fruits
  2. Practice caring for your foot
  3. Avoid consumption of sweet food
  4. Include more legumes and greens in the diet
  5. Follow an active lifestyle
  6. Sleep only at the night
  7. Have a sour dish as a part of each meal
  8. Avoid excess dairy consumption
  9. Consume more soy and fish


Now that we have understood the true meaning of madhumeha through the lens of Ayurveda, we can understand that the roga or madhumeha roga in this case was broken down, classified, and categorised into the cause, symptom and treatment of diabetes with the actual meaning of the disease laying the foundation of study for the disease by addressing both the definition and symptom through its Nirukti.

Since allopathy or modern medicine only treats by addressing the symptoms of diabetes through administering insulin and drugs, the roga or disease remains, since the cause of madhumeha persists. 

On the other hand, Ayurveda which is an age-old science treats madhumeha by eliminating the roga through its Nirukti (the essence of roga) or the root cause i.e from within.

Importance of Nirukti of madhumeha

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