By: D.Gopalakrishnan and R. Gokilavani

Sardar vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Textile management,
1483, Avanashi road, Coimbatore - 641004,
Department of Zoology, Michael Job College of Arts & Science, Coimbatore

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people, 80 percent of the world population, presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Herbal medicine is a major component in all indigenous peoples' traditional medicine and a common element in ayurvedic, homeopathic, naturopathic, traditional oriental, and Native American Indian medicine. WHO notes that of 119 plant-derived pharmaceutical medicines, about 74 percent are used in modern medicine in ways that correlated directly with their traditional uses as plant medicines by native cultures. Substances derived from the plants remain the basis for a large proportion of the commercial medications used today for the treatment of diabetes.

Herbal Garments developed has immense medicinal value and it is a genuine answer to pollution and artificial textiles. In herbal garment development, all stages of processing are done in a natural way. The aim of these Garments is changeover to environment-friendly processed textile products not only for apparel purposes but also controlling diabetes. It also to safeguard the environment, pollution prevention and to promote eco-friendly textiles to ensure that they reach to the individual and to the masses to generate a true awareness. Herbal garments prevent pollution by avoiding the use of more then 1/3 pound of lethal chemicals, which is essential in making of one shirt. It also encourage tree plantations, because the herb used is the main source of raw material together it provides manure to the soil & plants because the waste generated by the herbal dyes would serve the same purpose. On the societal side, it promotes mass labour employments because hand-process is involved through out all stages of herbal dyeing.

1. Introduction

An innovative approach has been made in these fabrics to develop diabetes controlling herbal garment. It is a new approach to control the diabetes by wearing the herbal treated diabetic controlling garment. The herbal extract has been applied to the cotton fabrics by Pad-Dry-Cure Technique. The garments are herbal treated cotton fabrics to control the diabetes. The specialty of these garments involves by treating the knitted cotton fabrics using only natural processes right from desizing to dyeing stage without using any synthetic chemicals.

2. Parts of the skin

The skin consists of three layers, each with its own specialized role to play:

. the hypodermis
. the dermis

2.1. The Hypodermis

This is the deepest layer of the skin and is manufactured by specialist cells. It is composed mainly of fat (also referred to as adipose tissue). The thickness of this layer varies from person to person and also from one body area to the next with very little around the spine and nose, but with more where curves are formed. This layer acts as insulation and protects the internal organs from temperature variations and also acts as an energy reserve from which the body can draw as required.

This part of the skin is sandwiched on top of the hypodermis and the epidermis (the outermost part of the skin) and is a vitally important area of the skin since it is here where the fibroblast cells form the network of fibers of the skin.

This area of the skin is fed by blood circulating through tiny arteries, veins and capillaries to bring nutrition and oxygen to the cells whilst removing waste products. Although they provide nutrition to the skin and remove waste material, their constriction and dilation is of vital importance to keep our body temperature constant. The dermis also contains the sensitive nerve endings, sweat glands, hair follicles and sebaceous glands.

The Epidermis

This section of the skin is the outermost part and contains no arteries, veins or capillaries but is fed from the dermis via the lymph. The epidermis can be divided into three distinct layers,

. Stratum germinativum
. Stratum spinosum
. Stratum corneum

Sweat glands: Three types of sweat glands are housed in the skin - that being the sebaceous, apocrine and eccrine glands.

Sebaceous glands: The sebaceous glands are located near the hair follicle and produce sebum - the natural oil of your skin. Sebum is produced to keep the skin lubricated and to prevent it from drying out.

Apocrine glands: Apocrine glands are primarily found in the armpits, round the belly button, genital and anal areas of the body. These glands are situated deep within the subcutis and produce a milky type sweat.

Eccrine glands: The eccrine glands are also situated deep in the subcutis, but unlike sebaceous and apocrine glands, they do not use the hair follicle to exit the sweat to the skin, but have their own dedicated pore, or duct, to move the sweat to the surface of the skin.

2.3. Function of the skin in herbal garment

The herbal molecule responds to the warmth of human skin and is subsequently absorbed into the body through sweat pores of the skin and it will diffused into the blood vessel and after that it gives the desired medicinal quality. The cloth has to be in direct contact with the wearer's skin for the above process take place.

2.4. Causes of diabetes

Drugs such as steroids, Dilantin, and others may elevate the blood sugar through a variety of mechanisms. Certain other drugs, such as alloxan, streptozocin, and thiazide diuretics, are toxic to the beta cells of the pancreas and can cause diabetes. Certain syndromes (for example, Prader-Willi, Down's, Progeria, and Turner's) may result in a hyperglycemic state; if this state is prolonged, the result can be permanent diabetes.


Gymnema sylvestre

In India, there is a locally descended medical science with the history of 2,000 years called "AYUL-VEDA" in which all treatments are done with natural materials. Among those materials, Gymnema sylvestre has always been used as a herb good for diabetes treatment, and also as a diuretic, a digestive and a tonic. The word "Gymnema" is said to be derived from a Hindu word "Gurmar", a sugar destroyer, because a bite of Gymnema sylvestre makes you feel no sweet taste of sugar.

The leaves of the tropical plant GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE possess a strange property. After chewing one or two leaves one is unable to detect the sweet taste and the bitter taste is also suppressed to some extent. Drinking sweet tea one can fully appreciate the aroma of the tea but not the taste of the sugar. Sugar itself is like sand which dissolves slowly in the mouth. In a sweet orange only the taste of citric acid can be detected. The taste sensitivity for other sweet substances like glycerol, saccharin, and sodium cyclamate is also suppressed. Quinine sulfate taken as a solid after a dose of leaves tastes like chalk.
The roots show the same properties but the strange effects last for only a few hours. Gymnema sylvestre belongs to the asclepiadaceae, a family whose plants usually have a acrid taste due to the presence of the very toxic cardiac glycosides. But the leaves gymnema sylvestre have only a slightly bitter taste and or not toxic to humans in gram quantities. The plant, a large woody much branched climber running over the tops of high trees, grows in central and western India, in tropical Africa and in Australia

Specification of herb

3.1 Active component and structure

Gymnema leaves contain Gymnemic acid as an effective substance. Gymnemic acid has a structure with tri-terpenoid combined with glucuronic acid and several fatty acids. We have established analytical method of Gymnemic acid by HPLC method, and extract and refine Gymnema syrvestre extract with a clear guideline of effective substance.

3.2. Physiological functions

Gymnemic acid combined with the recognized site of sugar, and so it prevents sugar from combining with the site. It has suppressive activity of absorption of sugar. The following effects have been reported.

. Controlling sweet taste
. Controlling absorption of sugar in the body
. Weight reduction
. Restoring pancreas functions
. Anti-tooth decaying effect

4. Methodology

4.1. Materials

100% cotton grey knitted fabrics are used for the development of diabetes controlling herbal garment. According to the disease, selected herbal is used in the herbal dyeing process. At any stage of the herbal garment development, eco-friendly natural processes were adopted without using any chemicals.

4.2. Process Flow

4.3 Development of diabetes controlling herbal garment

The diabetes controlling herbal garment development process consists of Natural Desizing, Natural Scouring, Natural Bleaching and Herbal Dyeing. All of them were carried out in a natural way without using any chemicals at any stage of processing.

4.3.1 Natural desizing

The material is first wetted in cold water solution containing Sapindus emerginata seed extract 10% and left in this bath for 24 hours.

4.3.2 Natural scouring

The Scouring process was carried out in the solution containing 15% plantain leaf ash at the boiling temperature for an hour and washed 3 or 4 times till the material brought to natural PH.

4.3.3 Natural bleaching

The scoured cotton fabrics are exposed to direct sunlight with use of a natural grass base and animal manure, which carries out the natural bleaching process. No chemicals are used in this process.

4.3.4 Herbal dyeing

Medicinally rich herb is used for dyeing the fabric, which depends on the nature of the disease. The dye bath is set with required amount of water and temperature. Herbal extract solution is poured into the dye bath. The fabric is treated in the dye bath at correct time and temperature according to the herbal used. Nine herbal garment samples are developed in the herbal dyeing process and the details of the process conditions are given below.

The herbal T-shirt is developed for controlling the diabetes. For this, 100% naturally preprocessed cotton fabric has been treated with the herbal extracts consists of gymnema sylvestre with the following process parameters.

Process parameters:

1) Method : Pad - Dry -Cure
2) Material : 100% knitted Cotton fabric
3) Herb used : gymnema sylvestre (100% owm)
4) Temperature : Room Temperature
5) M: L Ratio : 1:10
6) Time duration : 12 Hrs. at room temperature

5. Testing of herbal fabric

The curative fabrics have been tested as per "AATCC" (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) Standards. The antimicrobial activity was ascertained by quantitative method as recommended by AATCC. The combined AATCC 100 and Hohenstein modified test method: challenge test - JIS L 1902 and wash durability test (AATCC 124). The presumptive screenings of fabrics were carried out using Agar diffusion method and further confirmed by calculating the percentage reduction of bacteria using Shake flask test. Apart from the above tests the standard wash fastness tests to determine the wash fastness of the fabrics.

6. Future Scope

This Curative garment has opened many new avenues for future investigations as follows.

. Adaptation of various herbal combinations to cure several diseases.
. Adaptation of micro-encapsulation technique to increase the diabetes controlling performance by enhancing the retention of herbal activity even after several washes.
. Varieties of herbal garments can be developed for various applications like inner wears, children's wear, men's wear and ladies wear.
. Commercialization of the herbal garments can also possible.

7. Conclusion

Herbal Garments developed has immense medicinal value and it is a genuine answer to pollution and artificial textiles. It also to safeguard the environment, pollution prevention and to promote eco-friendly textiles to ensure that they reach to the individual and to the masses to generate a true awareness. Herbal garments prevent pollution by avoiding the use of more then 1/3 pound of lethal chemicals, which is essential in making of one shirt. On the societal side, it promotes mass labour employments because hand-process is involved through out all stages of curative garment manufacturing.


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About the author:

Gopalakrishnan is working in Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute Of Textile Management, Coimbatore-641 004, Email:

Address for the communications: 4/138, Middle shop street, Pattanam (post), Ondipudur - via, Coimbatore -641016, Mobile: 0 9865853305

R. Gokilavani is working in Department of Zoology, Michael Job College of Arts & Science, Coimbatore.

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