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Medicinal Plants Evaluated for Anti-Diabetic Potential

Diabetes mellitus is an insulin-related metabolic disorder characterized by prolonged hyperglycemia. The disorder has been primarily treated by various synthetic drugs that ameliorate the altered glycemic status in diabetic subjects.

Although synthetic drugs are efficient, they have notable side effects together with their beneficial action. Medicinal plants have been used since ages to treat diabetes and associated conditions in various healthcare systems around the globe.

Although the medicinal plants have been used for a very long time as primary health care needs, they have not been completely utilized as acceptable drugs in the treatment of diabetes because of lack of knowledge of their chemical composition, preparation procedure, active bio-actives present, possible side effects and ambiguity on the effective form and dosage of administration.

A vast number of medicinal plants have been attributed to have anti-diabetic potential in preliminary assays, but most of them do not reach the clinical trial level due to incomplete information on the above-mentioned parameters.

The present review gives a general picture of medicinal plants that have been assessed in human diabetic subjects, which can be developed either in combination with other medicinal plants or alone as medication for diabetes and drawbacks which should be properly addressed so that medicinal plants can be effectively utilized as anti-diabetic drugs.