Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for Diabetes

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for Diabetes

Herbs for Diabetes

Chinese Herbs for Diabetes
photo: joelschreck.com

TCM Herbs for Diabetes (Wasting and Thirsting Syndrome)

As you may know, there is no disease known as diabetes in Chinese medicine.  However, it's pretty obvious that the ancient TCM pattern known as Wasting and Thirsting Syndromes closely resemble what we'd diagnose as untreated diabetes today.  There are several different patterns that fall under the heading of Wasting and Thirsting Disease, and numerous formulas have been devised to address these patterns. 

Commonly used base formulas are Liu Wei Di Huang, and Da Bu YIN Wan. Other herbs and acupuncture are added to treat complications of diabetes such as peripheral neuropathy, cataracts, etc.

For patterns involving the lungs, Mai Wei Di Huang Wan is a better choice than Liu Wei Di Huang. Use the single herb Tian Hua Fen (trichosanthis)

For patterns involving the stomach/ spleen with resulting sensation of gnawing hunger or thirst, add Bai Hu Tang Wan (White Tiger Pills). Use the single herb ZHI MU(anemarrhena)

For patterns involving the kidneys marked by frequent urination, use Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan (Golden Book Pills) instead of Liu Wei Di Huang Wan. Use the single herb Hu Lu Ba (fenugreek)
For cataracts or other eye problems due to diabetes, use QI JU DI HUANG WAN MING MU DI HUANG WAN, or  Cataract Vision Improving Pills
An Asian vegetable, called bitter melon, or momordica charantia, is known to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.

An OTC formula for blood sugar that has been used for all forms of diabetes is JIANG TANG WAN. 

 

ACUPUNCTURE FOR DIABETES

Acupuncture points are chosen based on the medical history, and specific stage of diabetes advancement. Treatments and acupuncture points selected are highly differentiated from individual to individual.

The main acupuncture points effective in treatment of diabetic symptoms and conditions include quchi, sanyinjiao, zusanli, and yishu. Supplemental points, combined with these main points in treatments to produce increased symptom improvements, are yuj, guanyuan and baihui.

Diabetes is often treated with a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas that have a hypoglycemic effect, such as Liu wei Dihuang Wan.

Treatment may involve acupuncture applied to up to a dozen acupoints for a single session. A course of acupuncture therapy for diabetes is typically long-term, as acupuncture can treat symptoms but not cure diabetes. The treatment course may consist of one to two sessions per week, with number of weekly sessions dependent upon improvement in symptoms and decline in blood sugar levels.

Acupuncture treatment for diabetes is most effective for those individuals who have had diabetes for only a few years, and have a milder disease manifestation. Diabetic acupuncture is also most effective in treating diabetes in younger individuals. Diabetics receiving acupuncture also experience a decline in cholesterol levels and have fewer medical complications, such as cardiovascular diseases.

Diabetic acupuncture can also help diabetics in the following ways: Attenuate symptoms of polyphagia, (impulse to overeat), polydipsia, (excessive thirst), enhance blood outflow and regulate vascular peripheral resistance, increase cell proliferation, and prevent slowing of motor nerve conduction. Diabetic acupuncture treatment programs can also reduce the prolonged healing time of diabetic non-healing skin wounds such as ulcers.

 

TCM RESEARCH ON DIABETES

Randomized study of glibenclamide versus traditional Chinese treatment in type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetes et Metabolisme, Vray M.; Attali JR..

According to a recent French study at the Universite Paris-Nord, hospital Jean-Verdier, France, TCM (traditional Chinese herbal medicine) offers effective treatment for patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The French researchers evaluated the efficacy of a traditional Chinese treatment based on three plants in association with a sulfonylurea, glibenclamide (2.5 mg x 3/d). A randomized double-blind trial was established involving 4 groups of patients, all of whom were type 2 diabetic outpatients, 40-70 years of age, being treated by diet alone or oral anti-diabetic drugs.

216 patients from five different medical centers took part in the trial. Blood tests were used to monitor changes in blood sugar levels and insulaemia. The researchers found that those patients receiving the TCM treatment experienced significantly decreased blood glucose values only 2 hours after the test meal, although the beneficial effects were compounded when combined with glibenclamide. Hypoglycaemia occurred in 19 patients in the control groups but no instances were recorded in the TCM group.
This was the first multicenter controlled trial of TCM in relation to diabetes and the three Chinese plants tested were found to be well tolerated and effective in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Hopefully, further research in this field will follow.

Vuksan V, Stevenpiper JL, Koo VYY, et al. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) reduces postprandial glycemia in nondiabetic subjects and subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Archives of Internal Medicine 2000; 160: 1009-1013.

American ginseng improves glucose tolerance in diabetics and non-diabetics
A small, randomized clinical study showed that treatment with American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) helped improve glucose tolerance in non-diabetic people as well as those with type II diabetes mellitus. For the study, 10 non-diabetic people and 9 people with type II diabetes received treatment with 3 g ginseng or placebo capsules either 40 minutes before or in combination with an oral glucose challenge. In non-diabetic participants, no difference was observed in glycemia between placebo and ginseng when the substances were administered along with glucose, but significant reductions were seen when ginseng was taken 40 minutes before the glucose challenge. However, compared with placebo, both ginseng dosage regimens improved glucose tolerance in the people with diabetes. The researchers cautioned that for non-diabetics, “to prevent unintended hypoglycemia, it may be important that the American ginseng be taken with meals.” They also noted that the 3 g dose of ginseng used in their study is higher than that used in most other clinical studies, which is typically 1.5 g or less.

 

ACUPUNCTURE FOR DIABETES

Acupuncture points are chosen based on the medical history, and specific stage of diabetes advancement. Treatments and acupuncture points selected are highly differentiated from individual to individual.

The main acupuncture points effective in treatment of diabetic symptoms and conditions include quchi, sanyinjiao, zusanli, and yishu. Supplemental points, combined with these main points in treatments to produce increased symptom improvements, are yuj, guanyuan and baihui.

Diabetes is often treated with a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas that have a hypoglycemic effect, such as Liu wei Dihuang Wan.

Treatment may involve acupuncture applied to up to a dozen acupoints for a single session. A course of acupuncture therapy for diabetes is typically long-term, as acupuncture can treat symptoms but not cure diabetes. The treatment course may consist of one to two sessions per week, with number of weekly sessions dependent upon improvement in symptoms and decline in blood sugar levels.

 

ACUPUNCTURE FOR DIABETES

Acupuncture treatment for diabetes is most effective for those individuals who have had diabetes for only a few years, and have a milder disease manifestation. Diabetic acupuncture is also most effective in treating diabetes in younger individuals. Diabetics receiving acupuncture also experience a decline in cholesterol levels and have fewer medical complications, such as cardiovascular diseases.

According to some research, diabetic acupuncture can also help diabetics by attenuating symptoms of polyphagia, (impulse to overeat), polydipsia, (excessive thirst), enhance blood outflow and regulate vascular peripheral resistance, increase cell proliferation, and prevent slowing of motor nerve conduction. Diabetic acupuncture treatment programs can also reduce the prolonged healing time of diabetic non-healing skin wounds such as ulcers.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or another medical professional. We make no claims as to efficacy or safety of herbs or herbal medicine appearing on this site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Previous article Chinese Herbs for Diarrhea
Next article Chinese Herbs & Acupuncture for Detoxifcation

Leave a comment

Comments are reviewed before appearing

* Required fields

Sale

Unavailable

Sold Out