Symptomatic therapy is a microscopic approach at the molecular level, whereas lifestyle modifications and improvement of the constitution are macroscopic approaches to overall conditions. Integrated approaches at the microscopic and macroscopic levels are effective. Improvement of the constitution is based on the notion of traditional Chinese medicine. This method uses a collective effect of natural ingredients to improve an abnormal constitution instead of focusing on a single symptom or a single parameter.
Patients with metabolic syndrome, including type 2 diabetes, have a constitution of liver depression and internal heat and a qi deficiency with blood stasis. Prolonged hepatic stagnation and metabolic inflammation causes a qi deficiency with blood stasis (disorders of energy production and circulation), which should be improved by the principle of soothing the liver and clearing away heat, tonifying qi, and activating the blood. A textbook of traditional Chinese medicine describes the indications for Chinese herbal ingredients.
Soothing the liver means ensuring smooth flow in the liver. Chinese herbal ingredients for soothing the liver have the effect of protecting hepatocytes, improving circulation in the liver, and promoting bile secretion.
Clearing away heat means suppressing inflammation. Chinese herbal ingredients for clearing away heat have immunostimulating, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Tonifying qi means restoring impaired functions. Malaise and delayed healing of tissue damage are typical symptoms of a qi deficiency. A qi deficiency corresponds to low energy conditions. The comprehensive function of digestion, absorption, and metabolism is called spleen qi. Chinese herbal ingredients for tonifying qi have the effect of improving digestive, absorptive, and metabolic functions; promoting the healing of damaged tissue; and enhancing immunity.
Activating blood is also called activating blood and resolving stasis, indicating improvement in circulatory disorders. Chinese herbal ingredients for activating blood have the effect of improving microcirculation as well as antifibrotic, antithrombotic, and antitumor effects.
According to the principles, edible ingredients were used to devise the supplement Ketsumeisei. Ketsumeisei is a refined supplement produced from the ingredients Sickle-pod Senna, cape jasmine fruit, astragalus root, Chinese wild yam, kudzu vine root, safflower, Chinese licorice, and Chinese ginseng. Sickle-pod Senna, cape jasmine fruit, and Chinese licorice improve liver function and inflammation. Astragalus root, Chinese wild yam, and Chinese ginseng tonify qi (promotion of energy metabolism). Safflower, kudzu vine root, and Chinese ginseng have the effect of activating blood and improving blood stasis (circulatory disorder).
In particular, Chinese ginseng promotes metabolism and has the dual effect of thrombolysis and hemostasis. Sickle-pod Senna is described in Shennong’s classic Materia Medica, the world’s oldest drug compendium in existence, and has been used to prevent liver disease, ocular disease, constipation, and aging.
Ketsumeisei is formulated to improve the constitution of metabolic and circulatory impairments.
Animal experiments showed that Ketsumeisei alone lowered blood glucose levels in alloxan-induced diabetic mice.25 Observations of patients with type 2 diabetes showed that oral doses of Ketsumeisei in combination with hypoglycemic agents for 1 to 2 months markedly improved malaise and other symptoms and substantially decreased blood levels of free fatty acids. There was a trend toward reduction in fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels,25,26 and numbness in the extremities, recurrent fundal hemorrhage, and skin ulcers were also improved. Blood glucose levels improve with the use of Ketsumeisei but temporarily increase in some cases. A temporal increase is likely to occur particularly when Ketsumeisei is used in combination with diet and exercise.