Background: Diabetes mellitus is an important human disease afflicting many from various walks of life in different countries. Even though modern medicines contribute a variety of effective treatment options, they can have several unfavourable effects. The intention of this review is to organize and discuss various studies that have been previously conducted on the effectiveness of these herbal plants in diabetes.
Method: By using various electronic search databases, a comprehensive English literature search was conducted. Different search terms were used by combining all the search fields in titles, abstracts and keywords.
Results: Curcuma longa, a spice, is commonly known as turmeric and belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. Piper nigrum is also a spice, commonly called black pepper, and belongs to the family Piperaceae. Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date fruit, belongs to the family Arecaceae. From ancient times, they have been traditionally used for the treatment of various diseases. Among various activities, regulation of hyperglycaemia is considered one of their important effects. One of the aetiological factors implicated in the development of diabetes and its complications is the damage induced by free radicals. Antioxidant properties of antidiabetic compounds would be more beneficial. Extracts of these plants have shown hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic effects by the involvement of several mechanisms. In the future, further studies are needed to investigate the mechanisms involved in their hypoglycaemic potential and their active constituents as synthetic analogues.
Conclusions: This review focusses on some medicinal plants that have antidiabetic effect, thus contributing to the reduction of risk factors associated with diabetes, and related beneficial effects are compiled.