Antidiabetic Plants of Pakistan

  • Mubashrah Munir
  • Rahmatullah QureshiEmail author


Diabetes mellitus (DM), a complicated metabolic disorder, is prevalent across the globe particularly in the rural communities. The indigenous communities of the developing countries mostly rely on the traditional recipes based on plants to treat this ailment. A systematic literature survey on such herbal therapies (HTs) can provide firsthand information for drug discovery program. An attempt has been made to overview literature along with ethnobotanical survey of antidiabetic recipes from Pakistan that may be used for the development of new hypoglycemic agents. A total of 209 antidiabetic plants that belonged to 74 families are documented. Of them, 182 species are used individually and 27 species in herbal mixtures. Astragalus gummifer, Lactuca sativa, and Santalum album are recorded first time for their antidiabetic potential in the herbal mixtures. Besides, 38 species such as Adiantum incisum, Alnus nitida, Andrachne cordifolia, Artemisia roxburghiana, Berberis brandisiana, Capparis cartilaginea, Caryopteris odorata, Centaurea iberica, Chrysanthemum indicum, Cleome scaposa, Convolvulus prostratus, Cuscuta campestris, Euphorbia helioscopia, Farsetia hamiltonii, Ferula narthex, Ficus virens, Fragaria indica, Gentianodes tianschanica, Hedera nepalensis, Kickxia ramosissima, Limeum indicum, Malva neglecta, Mentha longifolia, Onosma echioides, Opuntia monacantha, Oxalis corniculata, Papaver somniferum, Prunus amygdalus, P. persica, Pyrus malus, Salix babylonica, Stellaria media, Tamarix aphylla, Tanacetum artemisioides, Taraxacum officinale, Tylophora hirsuta, Ziziphus oxyphylla, and Z. spinosa are ethnobotanically used to treat diabetes, which are required to be scientifically evaluated for in vitro and in vivo antidiabetic activity. The most frequently quoted species in treating diabetes were Syzygium cumini, Allium sativum, Momordica charantia, Ficus benghalensis, Justicia adhatoda, Citrullus colocynthis, Ziziphus sativa, Allium cepa, Caralluma edulis, Rhazya stricta, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Grewia asiatica, and Olea ferruginea. In addition to the published data, this chapter described six novel antidiabetic herbal compounds/formulations which are used by traditional health practitioners (THPs) for the treatment of DM in the country. Leaves were the most used plant parts (78%), followed by fruits, seeds, whole plant, and roots. This ethnobotanical knowledge can provide candidate antidiabetic agent for the novel hypoglycemic drugs in future. Based on the frequency of citation, it is recommended that pharmacological studies and clinical trials should be conducted on those species for which such information is lacking.


Diabetes mellitus Antidiabetic agent Ethnomedicinal plants Hypoglycemic drugs Pakistan Traditional health practitioners Herbal recipes 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyPir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan

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