Antidiabetic Medicinal Plants

  • Bashar Saad
  • Hilal Zaid
  • Siba Shanak
  • Sleman Kadan
Chapter

Abstract

Diabetes has been recognized by ancient physicians and its main symptoms were known by the increased thirst, frequent urination, and tiredness. Medicinal plants were commonly used for treating these combined symptoms. In addition to several instructions for specific food consumption, a mild exercise was recommended. Currently, traditional medicine continues to be practiced in most Middle East, Asia, as well as developed countries. The current form of herbal medicine has historical roots in medieval Greco-Arab, ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and other ancient medicines. More than 800 plant species are reported as antidiabetic. Over 400 plants as well as 700 recipes and compounds have been scientifically evaluated for type 2 diabetes treatment. For instance, metformin, the most popular antidiabetic drug nowadays, was developed based on a biguanide compound isolated from French lilac. Medicinal herbs contain various bioactive compounds and thus can display multiple actions on insulin production as well as distinct insulin action mechanisms: insulin sensitizing, insulin mimicking, and inhibition of intestinal carbohydrate digestion and absorption. Herbal-derived insulin sensitizers act in a synergetic mechanism to increase glucose disposal and uptake by muscle, hepatic cells, and fat as well as those that control hepatic glycogen metabolism. This chapter provides a comprehensive overview on traditional herbal medicine including the historical background, medical innovations introduced by physicians and researchers, methods of therapies, and a state-of-the-art description of traditional herbal medicine.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bashar Saad
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hilal Zaid
    • 1
    • 2
  • Siba Shanak
    • 2
  • Sleman Kadan
    • 1
  1. 1.AlQasemi Academic CollegeBaqa AlgharbiyaIsrael
  2. 2.Arab American UniversityJeninPalestine

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