Dr. Ron’s Research Review – August 30, 2017


This week’s research review focuses on the history of treatments for diabetes.

The Ebers Papyrus mentions several remedies for correcting excess urine that include: cyperus grass, Groats of wheat, Desert dates, Nubian ochre, liquid from a baker, etc. (Carpenter, 2006)

Dr. John Rollo recommended a diet entirely of animal food and broth, without bread, beer, or any vegetable matter. (Rollo, 1797)

Frederick William Pavy’s “Dietary for the Diabetic” was the definitive guide to diabetes for many years. It recommended meats and broth along with selected vegetables, plus avoidance of sugar and bread. (Pavy, 1862)

The Eclectic Practice of Medicine has a section on Diabetes Mellitus that mentions syzygium jambolanum (jambul) that occasionally succeeded in completely removing the sugar and controlling the polyuria for a time, in conjunction with a careful diet that excludes sugar and starch. But in no case has the patient been cured. (Ellingwood, 1910)

The pancreas and islets of Langerhans were discovered in 1869. Pancreatic injections were used in 1916. Banting isolated insulin in 1921 and gave its first injection to a human in 1922.

Dr. Ron


Rollo’s Treatment of Diabetes

The diet to consist of animal food principally, and to be thus regulated
Breakfast. One and a half pint of milk and half a pint of lime-water, mixed together; bread and butter.
Noon. Plain blood-puddings, made of blood and suet only.
Dinner. Game or old meats which have been long kept; and as far as the ftomach may bear, fat and rancid old meats, as pork. To eat in moderation.
Supper. The same as breakfast.
2dly. A drachm of kali sulphuratum to be dissolved in four quarts of water which has been boiled, and to be used for daily drink.
No other article whatever, either eatable or drinkable, to be allowed than what has been stated,
3dly. The skin to be anointed with hog's lard every morning. Flannel to be worn next the skin. The gentlest exercise to be only permitted, but confinement to be preferred.
4thly. A draught at bed-time of twenty drops of tartarifed antimonial wine, and twenty-five of tincture of opium, and the quantities to be gradually increased. In reserve, as substances diminishing action, tobacco and foxglove,
5thly. An ulceration, about the size of half a crown, to be produced and maintained externally, and immediately opposite to each kidney. And,
6thly. A pill of equal parts aloes and soap, to keep the bowels regularly open.


“Dietary for the Diabetic” (Pavy, 1862)


May Eat

Butcher’s meat of all kinds, except liver. Ham, bacon, or other smoked, salted, dried, or cured meats. Poultry. Game. Fish of all kinds, fresh, salted, and cured. Animal soups not thickened, beef tea, and broths. The almond, bran, or gluten substitute for ordinary bread. Eggs dressed in any way. Cheese. Cram cheese. Butter. Cream. Greens. Spinach. Water-cress. Mustard and cress. Green lettuce. Celery and radishes may be partaken sparingly of. Jelly, flavored, but not sweetened. Blanc-mange made with cream not milk. Custard made without sugar. Nuts of any description, sparingly.

Must Avoid Eating

Sugar in any form. Bread, wheaten or otherwise. Rice. Arrowroot. Sago. Tapioca. Macaroni. Vermicelli. Potatoes. Carrots. Parsnips. Turnips. Peas. French beans. Cabbage. Brussels sprouts. Cauliflower. Broccoli. Asparagus. Seakale. Pastry and puddings of all kinds. Fruit of all kinds, fresh and preserved.

May Drink

Tea. Coffee. Cocoa from nib. Dry sherry. Claret. Brandy, and spirits that have not been sweetened. Soda-water. Burton bitter ale, sparingly.

Must Avoid Drinking

Milk, except sparingly. Sweet ales, mild and old. Porter and stout. All sweet wines. Port wine, unless sparingly. Liquors.




The Ebers Papyrus Possibly Having to Do With Diabetes Mellitus
            (Carpenter, 2006)  Download

Diabetes Mellitus
            (Ellingwood, 1910)  Download

Researches on the Nature and Treatment of Diabetes
            (Pavy, 1862)  Download
Researches on the Nature and Treatment of Diabetes, was published in 1862 by Frederick William Pavy, a British physician and physiologist. For many years it was the definitive guide to diabetes.

An Account of Two Cases of the Diabetes Mellitus
            (Rollo, 1797)  Download



Carpenter, S. (2006). The Ebers Papyrus Possibly Having to Do With Diabetes Mellitus. Retrieved from https://bxscience.edu/ourpages/auto/2008/11/10/43216077/egypt%20medicine.pdf
Ellingwood, F (1910), ‘Diabetes Mellitus’, Eclectic Practice of Medicine (
Pavy, FW (1862), Researches on the Nature and Treatment of Diabetes, (John Churchill).
Rollo, J (1797), An Account of Two Cases of the Diabetes Mellitus, (London: T. Gillet).