Author(s): Aruna Devaraj R and Nirmala Anbu Rani R
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic cum vascular syndrome of multiple etiologies characterized by chronic hyperglycemia with malfunction of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Medical plants play an important role in the management of diabetes mellitus especially in developing countries. Many ethnobotanical surveys on medicinal plants used by the local population have been performed in different parts of the world. The large numbers of herbals have demonstrated the importance of medicinal plants in the treatment and management of complications associated with diabetes. The effects of these plants may delay the development of diabetic complications and correct the metabolic abnormalities. Moreover, during the past few years some of the new bioactive drugs isolated from hypoglycaemic plants showed antidiabetic activity with more efficacy than oral hypoglycaemic agents used in clinical therapy. Further, medicinal plants are also expected to serve as natural storehouse of novel antidiabetic leads.