Diabetes Week runs from the 13th to the 19th of June and aims to raise awareness of those suffering from Type 1 and 2 diabetes. It is believed that 4.9 million people are living with a diagnosis of diabetes in the UK, with 90% of those with Type 2.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. The disease can come with many serious complications which can result in amputations, sight loss, poor mental health and more.
Chinese herbal medicine treatment for diabetes has more than 2000-year history in China as the condition has been described repeatedly in the ancient Chinese medical literature. In the Huang Di Nei Jing, the condition known as Xiao Ke is mentioned, and this is translated today as diabetes or diabetic exhaustion (the literal translation is emaciation-thirst).
TCM believes diabetes “originates from a deficiency of yin and is manifested externally as a syndrome of excessive heat. With the progress of the disease, deficiency of yin produces dry-heat which in turn damages qi and yin, leading to deficiency of both yin and yang”.
It is recommended for practitioners to use herbs that nourish the yin and fluids, drain fire, and prevent dry heat from arising. Some herbs commonly used in Chinese medicine include:
As well as individual herbs and herbal prescriptions, commonly used formulas are an easy and efficient way to potentially help manage the symptoms of diabetes. Due to the different syndromes, practitioners may find it beneficial to combine standardised formulas depending on each case. As diabetes is a complex condition, it is recommended to confirm a patient’s type of diabetes and any other diagnoses confirmed before initiating any herbal treatment.
Some of the most commonly used formulas for diabetes include
Ba Wei Di Huang Tang, Fang Feng Tong Sheng San and Men Dong Yin Zi.
Other commonly used formulas include:
For herbalists wanting to prescribe tailor-made solutions for all conditions, we offer a bespoke in-house dispensary service. Please visit our dispensary website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Furthermore, according to TCM, diet plays an important role in maintaining health and treating disease. In Chinese herbalism, foods are valued and prescribed for their energetic and therapeutic properties rather than solely for their chemical makeup. Research has consistently shown that for some people, combined lifestyle interventions – including diet, physical activity and sustained weight loss – can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 50%.
Disclaimer: Please note that this information is intended for qualified herbalists or healthcare professionals only. If you are a patient, please consult your practitioner for a diagnosis as these recommendations may not be suitable for you. If you would like us to recommend a practitioner who uses Phoenix Medical products and services, contact us at email@example.com and we will gladly assist you.