Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia caused by defective insulin secretion, resistance to insulin action, or a combination of both. DM has reached epidemic proportions in the US and more recently worldwide. The morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes is anticipated to account for a substantial proportion of health care expenditures. Although there are several drug treatments currently available, the need for new herbal agents for treatment of diabetes are required. The treatment goals for patients with diabetes have evolved significantly over the last 80 years, from preventing imminent mortality, to alleviating symptoms, to the now recognized objective of normalization or near normalization of glucose levels with the intent of forestalling diabetic complications. The present review stated several findings from an extensive literature search of natural plants that have been assessed for the anti diabetic activity over past 80 years. An attempt has been made to summarize the information in order to highlight those chemical entities and plant species which are of worthy for further investigation as leads to the drug developments. Over 100 plant species from wide range of families containing various chemical classes of compounds have been cited here which are worthy for the researchers and the industrialist concerned to diabetes.
Keywords: Diabetes, Herbal drugs, Insulin, Glucagons, Gestational diabetes
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