6 Popular Chinese Teas for Diabetes

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Hyperglycemia is caused by the deficiency of insulin secretion or the damage of its biological function, or both.

The main causes of diabetes are genetic factors and environmental factors. Diabetes or long-term high blood sugar can cause chronic damage and dysfunction in various organs and tissues, especially the eyes, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, and nerves.

At present, there is no cure for diabetes, but diabetes can be controlled by a variety of treatments. It mainly includes five aspects: education for diabetic patients, self-monitoring blood sugar, diet therapy, exercise therapy, and drug therapy.

Diet therapy is the basis of diabetes treatment, and some patients with mild diabetes can control their condition with diet therapy alone.

Drinking tea is a good choice for diet therapy. Regularly drinking tea not only has a health-preserving effect, but also can control diabetes. Here are 6 Chinese teas having a good effect on treating diabetes:

1. Green tea

Green tea is a kind of unfermented tea that retains the most natural nutrients of the fresh leaves, especially the content of tea polyphenols which is more than 85%. Tea polyphenols have the effect of lowering blood sugar levels and improving liver and kidney.

Diabetic patients are susceptible to atherosclerosis and tea polyphenols can effectively inhibit atherosclerosis.

Scientific research shows that EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) in green tea can play a part in the role of insulin. EGCG can significantly reduce blood sugar.

In 2019, a research paper was published in Science Translational Medicine. The paper shows a new function of green tea in the treatment of diabetes. When the human body is implanted with some kind of customized cell, people only need to drink special green tea.

After green tea intake, tea catechins and phenolic acids are rapidly metabolized into the antioxidant protocatechuic acid (PCA), which can control the secretion of insulin so as to replace the diabetes treatment method of insulin injection.

2. Black tea

Black tea is a kind of fermented tea which generates theaflavins and thearubigins during the fermentation process.

Theaflavins, known as “soft gold” in tea, has a good function of lowering blood lipid and has no toxic side effects. This study was published in JAMA, an international authoritative medical journal.

A common symptom of diabetic patients is abnormal cholesterol. Theaflavins can not only combine with cholesterol in the intestine to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the food, but also inhibit cholesterol synthesis in the human body.

Theophylline is abundant in black tea, and it is an important component of the “red” color of black tea soup. Theophylline is a powerful antioxidant that helps aging organisms resist biological oxidation.

3. White tea

White tea is a slightly fermented tea. Long-term drinking white tea can effectively control insulin secretion, promote fat catabolism, decompose excess sugar in the blood.

The tea polysaccharide contained in white tea is a kind of acid glycoprotein, which combines with a large number of mineral elements and is called tea polysaccharide complex or tea polysaccharide for short.

Modern medical research shows that tea polysaccharide is the main pharmacological component of tea in the treatment of diabetes.

As early as 2009, the Fuding Municipal Government commissioned the Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to do the blood sugar reduction experiments of white tea. Fuding is a county of Fujian Province and it is the hometown of white tea.

Animal experiments had shown that the appropriate high dose of Bai Hao Yin Zhen (a high-quality white tea) can effectively lower blood sugar and improve the symptoms of diabetes.

4. Burdock tea

Burdock also called Niu Bang is traditional Chinese medicine. The medicinal part is the roots of Burdock.

Burdock tea is a pure natural tea made from the burdock roots. Burdock has the effects of treating diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, anti-cancer, detoxification and so on. Scientific experiments show that the water extract of Burdock can significantly and permanently reduce the blood sugar of rats.

Burdock tea is also rich in water-soluble cellulose, which can help interrupt the cycle of cholesterol and promote the elimination of cholesterol. It is very suitable for diabetics to drink.

5. Kuding tea

Kuding is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine. Kuding tea literally called Bitter Nail tea is also a natural tea. It was regarded as a tribute tea in the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD).

Kuding tea has a good curative effect on diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular diseases, so it is favored by middle-aged and elderly people.

For patients with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia, drinking Kuding tea can reduce blood pressure, blood lipids, and blood sugar within 20 to 30 days.

Besides, Kuding tea can enhance human immunity and has a certain effect on the treatment of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

6. Corn silk tea

Corn silk is used as a traditional Chinese medicine in China. In traditional Chinese medicine, corn silk is also called “Dragon Beard” due to its health-care function.

Corn silk tea not only has the effect of clearing heat and detoxifying, but has a significant effect on reducing blood lipid, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Corn silk porridge is commonly used to treat diabetes in southern China.


These kinds of tea are very popular for diabetic patients. In addition to dietary therapy, diabetic patients should cooperate with exercise therapy to control diabetes.

Proper exercise can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, reduce body weight, reduce body fat, enhance physical strength, improve workability and quality of life.