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Herbal arsenal against diabetes: Study identifies 400 medicinal plants with Blood Sugar control abilities

Researchers have discovered that approximately 400 medicinal plants possess anti-diabetic properties, which can be beneficial in managing Type 2 diabetes.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Kalyani, West Bengal, has been published in the World Journal of Diabetes.

According to the researchers, nature is abundant with a wide variety of medicinal plants that have the potential to regulate blood sugar levels, thus aiding in the control of Type 2 diabetes.

While previous studies have focused on 21 herbal plants such as 'vijayasar,' 'jamun,' cumin, 'neem,' 'amla,' and turmeric, which exhibit significant anti-hyperglycemic effects, the current research broadens the scope to include approximately 400 medicinal plants.

The medicinal properties of these plants have been extensively studied, leading to the development of various herbal formulations to manage diabetes.

One notable example is BGR-34, a herbal formulation developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and marketed by AIMIL Pharmaceuticals. BGR-34 comprises active compounds derived from four medicinal herbs: 'daruharidra,' 'gudmar,' 'methi,' and 'vijayasar.'

Additionally, 'giloe' and 'majeeth' have been incorporated into the formulation to enhance immunity and antioxidant levels.

AIMIL Pharmaceuticals' Executive Director, Sanchit Sharma, emphasized the effectiveness of BGR-34, stating that it not only reduces sugar levels but also aids in weight management and improves the body's metabolic system.

Furthermore, Sharma highlighted the potential benefits of other medicinal plants, such as pomegranate, 'shilajit,' bean, tea, 'ginkgo biloba,' and saffron, which have exhibited anti-diabetic properties in partial research studies.

However, the researchers emphasize the need for further trials to fully explore their efficacy.

The researchers also noted that several allopathic drugs used in diabetes management have their origins in herbal sources.

For instance, metformin, a commonly prescribed medication for diabetes, is derived from the Galega officinalis plant, which was historically used in Europe during the 19th century to treat diabetes. 

Similarly, the development of SGLT2 inhibitors, a class of drugs effective in diabetes treatment, involved obtaining Phlorizin from apple tree bark. 

These examples underscore the importance of evidence-based trials on natural products, which may pave the way for the future development of novel drugs for diabetes management.

The study highlights the significance of exploring the therapeutic potential of natural products and conducting evidence-based trials to further advance diabetes treatment.

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