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J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Apr;10(2):369-78.

Role of selected Indian plants in management of type 2 diabetes: a review.

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Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Type 2 diabetes has become a global epidemic. Modern medicines, despite offering a variety of effective treatment options, can have several adverse effects. Ayurveda, a science that uses herbal medicines extensively, originated in India. Of considerable interest is the adoption of Ayurveda by the mainstream medical system in some European countries (e.g., Hungary), emphasizing this modality is increasing worldwide recognition. From ancient times, some of these herbal preparations have been used in the treatment of diabetes. This paper reviews the accumulated literature for 10 Indian herbs that have antidiabetic activity and that have been scientifically tested. Few of these herbs, such as Momordica charantia, Pterocarpus marsupium, and Trigonella foenum greacum, have been reported to be beneficial for treating type 2 diabetes. Mechanisms such as the stimulating or regenerating effect on beta cells or extrapancreatic effects are proposed for the hypoglycemic action of these herbs.

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