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Diabetes is defined as a condition caused by insufficient insulin entering the bloodstream to regulate the glucose. It is either caused by cells in pancreas dying off or receptor sites clogged up by fat and cholesterol.
B. In herbal medicine perspective
The below herbs may have a potential to treat and cure diabetes, according to studies.
Cinnamon is a spice derived from the inner bark of tree, native to South East Asia, of over 300 species of the genus Cinnamomum, belonging to the family Lauraceae.. The herb has been use in herbal and traditional medicine as anti-fungal and bacteria level to improve reproductive organ, prevent flatulence and intestinal cramping, treat indigestion, diarrhea, bad breath, headache, migraine, etc. Cinnamon contains chemicals that tell the cells in your pancreas to release more insulin into the bloodstream. In the investigation of the clinical potential of aqueous extract of cinnamon and it potential effects in diabetes found that high in type A polyphenols, have also demonstrated improvements in fasting glucose, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in women with insulin resistance associated with the polycystic ovary syndrome, according to”Chromium and polyphenols from cinnamon improve insulin sensitivity” by Anderson RA(96). In other study of investigation of Myristicin (1-allyl-5-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxybenzene) is an active aromatic compound found in nutmeg (the seed of Myristica fragrans), carrot, basil,cinnamon, and parsley and it anti-inflammatory effects found that Myristicin significantly inhibited the production of calcium, nitric oxide (NO),interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, interferon inducible protein-10, monocyte chemotactic protein(MCP)-1, MCP-3, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1β, and leukemia inhibitory factor in dsRNA[polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid]-induced RAW 264.7 cells (P < 0.05), according to the study of “Anti-inflammatory effect of myristicin on RAW 264.7 macrophages stimulated with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid” by Lee JY, Park W. (97).
2. Milk thistle
Milk Thistle is a flowering plant, in the genus Silybum Adans, belonging to the family Asteraceae, native to the Mediterranean. The herb has been used in traditional medicine in treating liver, kidney, gall bladder problems, etc. Milk thistle contains sylimarin that can inhibit kidney damage related to diabetes. In the demonstration of Silybum marianum seed extract (silymarin) and its antioxidant properties on the glycemic profile in diabetic patients found that a significant decrease in HbA(1)c, FBS, total cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride SGOT and SGPT levels in silymarin treated patients compared with placebo as well as with values at the beginning of the study in each group. In conclusion, silymarin treatment in type II diabetic patients for 4 months has a beneficial effect on improving the glycemic profile, according to “The efficacy of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (silymarin) in the treatment of type II diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial” by Huseini HF, Larijani B, Heshmat R, Fakhrzadeh H, Radjabipour B, Toliat T, Raza M(98).
Bilberry is a species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, belonging to the family Ericaceae, native to Northern Europe. it has been used as foods and herbs in traditional medicine in treating acute and chronic diarrhea, gastritis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, enterocolitis, ulcerative colitis, anemia, cystitis, kidney disease and psoriasis, diabetes, etc. Bilberry contains biotin that can reduce blood glucose levels. Bilberry leaves (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) has been used in traditional medicine in treating diabetes over thousand of year. The experiment of effect of dietary bilberry extract (BBE) on hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic mice, see significant activity of the extract in improving hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes in the study of “Dietary anthocyanin-rich bilberry extract ameliorates hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase in diabetic mice” by Takikawa M, Inoue S, Horio F, Tsuda T.(99).
In other study of 110 female volunteers were recruited, and they followed four different berry diets (BB, SB, SB phenolic extract (SBe) and SB oil (SBo)) in a randomized order for 33-35 days, conducted by University of Turku, researchers found that Based on the results, it can be stated that different berries and berry fractions have various but slightly positive effects on the associated variables of metabolic diseases(100).
Dandelion is a herbaceous perennial plant, genus Taraxacum, beloning to the family Asteraceae, native to temperate regions of the world. It has been used in traditional and herbal medicine to treat gout, eczema, acne, gall bladder, kidney, liver and urinary disorders, hypoglycemia, dyspepsia with constipation, edema, blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint, skin diseases, etc,.
In the research of aqueous extracts and their effect on alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity found that Urtica dioica, Taraxacum officinale, Viscum album, and Myrtus communis with alpha-glucosidase inhibitor activity was conducted to identify a prophylactic effect for diabetes in vitro. All plants showed differing potent alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity, according to the study of “Inhibition of alpha-glucosidase by aqueous extracts of some potent antidiabetic medicinal herbs’ by Onal S, Timur S, Okutucu B, Zihnioğlu F(101).
Other study in the analyzing luteolin and chicoric acid, two abundant constituents of the common dandelion and their anti-inflammatory effects found that luteolin plays a central role in ameliorating LPS-induced inflammatory cascades via inactivation of the NF-κB and Akt pathways, and that chicoric acid strengthens the anti-inflammatory activity of luteolin through NF-κB attenuation, according to the study of “Luteolin and chicoric acid synergistically inhibited inflammatory responses via inactivation of PI3K-Akt pathway and impairment of NF-κB translocation in LPS stimulated RAW 264.7 cells” by Park CM, Jin KS, Lee YW, Song YS(102).
Cayenne is also known as Cayenne Pepper, a red, hot chili pepper, belonging to Capsicum annuum, the family Solanaceae, native to sub-tropical and tropical regions. It has been used in traditional medicine to increases metabolism, enhance circulatory system and stomach and the intestinal tract, adjust blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, treat frostbite, muscles, arthritis, rheumatism, low back pain, strains, sprains, bruises and neuralgia, etc,. Dietary capsaicin has markedly decreased fasting glucose/insulin and triglyceride levels in the plasma and/or liver, as well as expression of inflammatory adipocytokine genes and increased in adipose tissue and/or plasma, accompanied by increased activation of hepatic AMP-activated protein kinase, a marker of fatty acid oxidation., according to the study of “Dietary capsaicin attenuates metabolic dysregulation in genetically obese diabetic mice” by Kang JH, Tsuyoshi G, Le Ngoc H, Kim HM, Tu TH, Noh HJ, Kim CS, Choe SY, Kawada T, Yoo H, Yu R(103).
6. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is oldest living tree species, genus Ginkgo, belonging to the family Gink-
goaceae, native to China, from temperate zone to subtropical zone and some parts of north America. It Has been used in traditional herbal medicine in treating impotence, memory loss,respiratory diseases, circulatory disorders and deafness as well as preventing drunkenness, and bedwetting.
Ginkgo biloba extract by an NIDDM subject may increase the hepatic metabolic clearance rate of not only insulin but also the hypoglycemic agents. The result is reduced insulin-mediated glucose metabolism and elevated blood glucose, according to the study by The Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences-MSC 6246(104).
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