Since ancient times, plants have been an exemplary source of medicine. Ayurveda and other Indian literature mention the use of plants in treatment of various human ailments. India has about 45,000 plant species and among them, several thousands have been claimed to possess medicinal properties. Research conducted in last few decades on plants mentioned in ancient literature or used traditionally for diabetes have shown anti-diabetic property. The present paper reviews 45 such plants and their products (active, natural principles and crude extracts) that have been mentioned/used in the Indian traditional system of medicine and have shown experimental or clinical anti-diabetic activity. Indian plants which are most effective and the most commonly studied in relation to diabetes and their complications are: Allium cepa, Allium sativum, Aloe vera, Cajanus cajan, Coccinia indica, Caesalpinia bonducella, Ficus bengalenesis, Gymnema sylvestre, Momordica charantia, Ocimum sanctum, Pterocarpus marsupium, Swertia chirayita, Syzigium cumini, Tinospora cordifolia and Trigonella foenum graecum. Among these we have evaluated M. charantia, Eugenia jambolana, Mucuna pruriens, T. cordifolia, T. foenum graecum, O. sanctum, P. marsupium, Murraya koeingii and Brassica juncea. All plants have shown varying degree of hypoglycemic and anti-hyperglycemic activity
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Authors: Grover J.K.1; Yadav S.; Vats V.
Source: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 81, Number 1, June 2002, pp. 81-100(20)