Anti-Diabetic Effects of Plants Belonging to the Genus Senna: Pharmacology, Mechanism of Action and Phytochemistry
Pp. 138-153 (16)
Mohammed Auwal Ibrahim and Md. Shahidul Islam
The genus Senna belongs to the family Leguminosae in the major group of
flowering plants (Angiosperms). Members of this genus are widely distributed in
different parts of the world and are mostly used for the traditional treatment of diabetes
mellitus. Scientific investigations have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects. In this
chapter, all the in vitro and in vivo anti-diabetic studies conducted on members of Senna
genus are critically reviewed with emphasis on the pharmacology, mechanism of antidiabetic
action and identified bioactive anti-diabetic agents in the plants. Among the
members of the genus, Senna auriculata, S. fistula and S. tora are perhaps the most
investigated. Other members of the genus investigated for anti-diabetic effects are S.
occidentalis, S. surratensis, S. angustifolia, S. singueana and S. siamae. Most of the
plants demonstrated potent anti-diabetic activity which is mediated via mechanisms
similar to conventional anti-diabetic drugs. Unfortunately, only few studies were
reported on the pure bioactive anti-diabetic agents but groups of phytochemicals were
postulated (as bioactive agents) for most of the studies. Findings from the in vitro and in
vivo anti-diabetic studies would be of interest for further research and subsequent
standardization (and commercialization) of anti-diabetic herbal remedy from some
members of Senna genus.
Senna, Cassia, diabetes, anti-diabetic, antihyperglycemic.
Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Durban 4000, South Africa.