Diabetes is not a new disease. It was recorded in the “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon”, written during the period of time known as the “Warring States” (475-221 BC). Within the Canon, the ancient physicians noted that those with larger waistlines were more prone to the disease.
The pathogenesis and treatment of diabetes is also recorded in “Jin Gui Yao Lue – Essential Prescriptions from the Golden Chamber”. Written during the East Han Dynasty 25-220 AD) by Zhang Zhongjing, it is still used by practitioners for the treatment of diabetes.
To TCM practitioners, diabetes is caused by weak internal organs (the root) which manifests in external pathogens, emotional stress, obesity and weak internal organs (hereditary). The effects are an accumulation of Internal-Heat (the branch).
According to the pathology of diabetes, TCM categorises diabetes into four different phases.
There have been many studies run on TCM herbs and their effects on treating diabetes. Study results have been published in both Mandarin journals as well as international journals of medicine.
In one study1, a herb was shown to have five hypoglycaemic effects:
1 (卢兆莲（第⼆军医⼤学）. 中药降糖作⽤机理的研究进展[J]. 中医药导报, 2009, 15(11): 76-78)