Efficacy of Surinamese plants in the therapy of diabetes mellitus-analysis of the literature

Type Journal Article - Academic Journal of Suriname
Title Efficacy of Surinamese plants in the therapy of diabetes mellitus-analysis of the literature
Volume 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 276-283
Diabetes mellitus is highly prevalent in Suriname, where it claims more than 170 deaths per year. Plantderived
preparations are extensively used in the treatment of this disorder, but often without scientific
proof of therapeutic efficacy. In this study, we searched in on-line libraries such as PubMed and Hinari
for evidence of potential therapeutic efficacy of Surinamese plants that are commonly used for treating
diabetes. The fifteen most frequently mentioned plants were Azadirachta indica (neem), Catharanthus
roseus (kotomisi), Desmodium canum (toriman), Mangifera indica (manya), Momordica charantia (busi
sopropo), Morinda citrifolia (didibri apra), Orthosiphon stamineus (kattesnor), Phyllanthus niruri (finibita),
Physalis angulata (batotobita), Quassia amara (kwasibita), Ruellia tuberosa (watrakanu), Spondias
dulcis (pomme citère), Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (isriwiwiri), Syzygium cumini (dyamun), and Wulffia
baccata (sukrutanta). Preparations from A. indica and P. niruri may lower elevated blood sugar levels,
but this assumption is only based on a few clinical studies. Those from M. charantia were positive in
some clinical studies but negative in others, while those from S. cumini turned out negative in all clinical
tests. Preparations from C. roseus, M. indica, M. citrifolia, and O. stamineus have only undergone
preclinical evaluation. And those from D. canum, P. angulata, Q. amara, R. tuberosa, S. dulcis, S.
jamaicensis, and W. baccata have never been tested. Thus, the scientific evidence to support the
clinical use of the above-mentioned plants in the treatment of diabetes is scant. Patients treat their
disease with substances that may be ineffective and/or may cause unforeseen adverse effects. The
plants should be evaluated in well-designed preclinical and clinical studies to define their roles in the
treatment of diabetes.

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