Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Diabetes


From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, diabetes is known as Xiao Ke, which is caused by yin deficiency with dryness, heat and dampness. Yin deficiency is the underlying cause of the disease. Dryness and heat represent the symptoms, and dampness is reflected in raising blood glucose levels. Xiao Ke can be divided into three types: upper, middle and lower. The upper type is characterized by excessive thirst, the middle by excessive hunger, and the lower by excessive urination. Most patients with diabetes manifest symptoms of all three types.

In Western medicine, there are two main differentiations, type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes and type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes. The course of diabetes can be unpredictable and serious complications may arise. It is best to have the patient check their blood sugar regularly and closely monitor their insulin intake.

Chinese Herbs for Diabetes

1) Herbal medicine is an important component to the treatment of diabetes. Different formulas may be effective for different people, so practitioners may try several different approaches. Commonly used Chinese herbal formula is Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, also known as Six Flavor Teapills. It treats a wide variety of conditions from high cholesterol, diabetes, low adrenals and insomnia.

Where to buy: Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

How to use: Liu Wei Di Huang Wan can be used in the forms of powder and capsules.

2) Bitter Melon is also commonly used to reduce blood glucose in Chinese medicine. It can help patients suffering from diabetes type 1 and type 2. Many diabetes patients in China have bitter melon in their meal plans. Stir-fry bitter melon is a common dish you can order from Chinese restaurant. Or, you can have bitter melon tea.

Where to buy: Bitter Melon Tea

Acupuncture Treatment for Diabetes

Acupuncture is commonly used to treat diabetes in China. Acupuncture points used to treat diabetes are all over the body and on several meridians. Studies indicate that acupuncture could help regulate pancreas function and insulin levels. TCM practitioners also believe that the hormone reaction triggered by acupuncture can help balance the parts of the body that cannot regulate sugar levels on their own. Although Chinese herbs and acupuncture have helped diabetes, they must be used carefully and after consultation. They should be used to complement existing conventional medical treatment, and not on their own.

Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment for other health conditions

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