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Current Diabetes Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3998
ISSN (Online): 1875-6417

Review Article

Herbal Medicines for Diabetes Management and its Secondary Complications

Author(s): Shubham Kumar, Anu Mittal, Dinesh Babu and Amit Mittal*

Volume 17 , Issue 4 , 2021

Published on: 03 November, 2020

Page: [437 - 456] Pages: 20

DOI: 10.2174/1573399816666201103143225

Price: $65


Diabetic Mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder that is concerning for people all over the world. DM is caused due to lack of insulin or ineffective production of insulin in the pancreas. A total of 463 million people were reported to have diabetes mellitus in 2019 and this number is predicted to rise up to 578 million by the year 2030 and 700 million by 2045. High blood sugar gives rise to many complications like diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, atherosclerosis, hypercoagulability, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, abdominal obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease, foot damage, skin complications, Alzheimer’s disease, hearing impairment, and depression. These life-threatening complications make diabetes more severe than other diseases. Many synthetic drugs have been developed, but still, a complete cure is not provided by any of the molecules. Continuous use of some synthetic agents causes severe side effects, and thus the demand for non-toxic, affordable drugs still persists. Traditional treatments have been an extremely valued source of medicine all over human history. These are extensively used throughout the world, indicating that herbs are a growing part of modern and high-tech medicines. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed a total of 21,000 plants, which are used for medicinal purposes around the world. Among them, more than 400 plants are available for the treatment of diabetes. Despite the fact that there are many herbal drugs available for treating diabetes, only a small number of these plants have undergone scientific and medical evaluation to assess their efficacy. Trigonella foenum-graecum, Allium sativum, Caesalpinia bonduc, Ferula assafoetida,etc., are some of the medicinal plants used for antidiabetic therapy. The presence of phenolic compounds, flavonoids, terpenoids, and coumarins is responsible for the antidiabetic nature of the medicinal plants. These constituents have shown a reduction in blood glucose levels. Pycnogenol, acarbose, miglitol, and voglibose are some of the examples of marketed drugs, which are obtained from natural origin and used as antidiabetic drugs. The active principles derived from the plants work through many antidiabetic mechanisms, which include inhibition of α-glucosidase, α-amylase, and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B activities. One of the major advantages of herbal drugs is the low level of side effects attributed to these medicines, and this attracted various researchers to develop new molecules for the treatment of diabetes. In this review, recent advances in the field of herbal drugs to treat diabetes, prevent secondary complications from arising due to diabetes, and various herbal molecules in different stages of clinical trials will be emphasized upon.

Keywords: Diabetic mellitus, hyperlipidemia, herbal medicines, nephropathy, renal dysfunction, retinopathy, secondary complications.

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