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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Diet Therapy for Diabetes: Part 3 of 5

NOTE: Following is the third of five excerpts on diabetes from one of Dr. Leung's earlier writings. This originally appeared in 1997 in Dr. Leung's newsletter, Leung's Chinese Herb News, Issue 11, page 3. -ed

In a recent issue of the Shizhen Journal of TCM Research [Shizhen Guoyao Yanjiu,8(6): 553 (1997)], numerous simple treatments of diabetes using common Chinese foods or herbs are summarized by three doctors from the Caiyuan Municipal People's Hospital of Shandong Province. The following recipes are based on herbs/foods that should be available in Chinese or other ethnic stores in North America.

Jiao gu lan tea (Gynostemma pentaphyllum herb)

Once daily, steep 30 g of the herb in boiling water in a teapot. Drink the tea througout the day. Guaranteed effective! That's according to the authors. Jiao gu lan is currently a hot item, because it contains saponin glycosides that are very similar in chemical structure to ginsenosides (and a few are actually identical to certain ginsenosides). For this reason, intensified studies during recent years have shown it to have many similar pharmacological effects as ginseng. One of these effects is the lowering of blood sugar. You can buy this herb in Chinatown herb shops. I have seen packaged jiao gu lan tea bags for sale in some New York Chinatown herb shops. But if you use the tea bags, you will probably need 10 to 15 a day, depending on the weight of each tea bag.

Digupi or lycium root bark tea

Digupi is the root bark of Lycium barbarum or L. chinenese. Its properties and uses were first recorded in the Shennong Herbal about 2,000 years ago. Even at that time, it was described as being able to relieve thirst, sweet urine, and excessive urination (polyuria) that are major symptoms of diabetes. It is considered cold-natured and is also traditionally used to treat "hot" conditions, including dyspnea cough, hectic fever, sweating, and hemmmorrhages. More recent uses include the treatment of hypertension, malaria, carbuncle, and sores. It is available from Chinatown herb shops.

These and more herbal remedies are available from the volumes of Dr. Leung’s newsletter, of the same name as this blog (Leung’s Chinese Herb News). This newsletter was published and sent to subscribers (most were industry-insiders) from 1996 to 2004. The collected works now serve as an excellent reference work, created with Dr. Leung’s frank, honest opinions and down-to-earth communication style.For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit http://www.earthpower.com/. To order the newsletter containing the remedies mentioned above, visit the bookstore, click “Buy Now” on the newsletter, and select Issue # 11 from the drop down list.

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