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diabetes instruments

Chinese Medicine for Diabetes

Diabetes is unknown in the annals of Chinese medicine.  But the disease pattern known as Wasting and Thirsting Syndrome closely resemble it.  There are several different patterns that fall under the heading of Wasting and Thirsting Disease, and there are numerous formulas that address these patterns.  Many of these formulas originate with LIU WEI DI HUANG, a formula created by the physician Qian Yi and recorded in 1119 AD. 

For patterns involving the lungs, Mai Wei Di Huang Wan is a better choice than Liu Wei Di Huang.

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

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. 
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. 


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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.


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.

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