This post is the first follow-up of the previous blog post [Diabetes] Commonly used herbs in TCM remedies 【消渴症（糖尿病）】中医处方里常见的中药
- 人参（Ren Shen）Ginseng
Properties：Sweet, slightly bitter, slightly warm
How it helps in diabetes treatment: Strongly tonifies the body’s Yuan (original) Qi which invigorates the human body. It is also known to promote blood circulation. In some clinical studies, it is shown that ginseng reduces insulin resistance and thus helps to normalise blood glucose levels.
So, the question is, which should be used in diabetes treatment: Asian Ginseng or American Ginseng？
Both Ginseng and American ginseng have been used to treat patients with diabetes. However, it should be noted that TCM treatment takes into account a holistic view of the patient’s health and body condition. Speaking from personal experience, the concept of syndrome differentiation also allows TCM treatments to be flexible and dynamic. This is vital to patients because treatment is targeted to fix the body’s core problems (imbalances), thus boosting the body’s immunity while minimising adverse effects on the patient’s health. Hence, the overall heatiness/ coolness of the TCM prescription should suit the body constituent of the patient for treatment to be effective.
To sum up, Ginseng’s medicinal effect to tonify the spleen and lungs is relatively stronger than American ginseng but it is important to note the dosage used and complement it with other suitable herbs to prevent heatiness. American ginseng, on the other hand, is suited for patients with both Qi and Yin deficiency.