Historical Events

The Ayur Veda of Susruta names diabetes after honey-urine and says it's suffered by the rich who overindulge in rice, flour, and sugar.

Total Dietary Regulation

(this is from the 6th century B.C.)


The earliest mention of the sweetness of diabetic urine is contained in the Ayur Veda of Susruta, dating from the sixth century. The disease bore the distinctive name of Madhumeha or honey-urine." Thus the most prominent clinical feature, and one of the most widely supported modern hypotheses concerning etiology, received their first mention in India. But Hindu medicine failed to advance beyond this beginning, and exerted no influence on progress elsewhere.


A translation by Chunder Bose is as follows: “Madhumeha is a disease which the rich principally suffer from, and is brought on by their overindulgence in rice, flour, and sugar. The patient feels weak and emaciated, and complains of frequent micturition, thirst, and prostration. Ants flock round his urine. Carbuncles and phthisis are its frequent complications.” For other quotations, see Christie.

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