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Traditional Herbal Medicines for Diabetes Used in Europe and Asia: Remedies From Croatia and Sri Lanka

Ines Banjari, PhD; Pavithra N Herath, MSc; Andreja Misir, MSc; Radmila Pavlovic, PhD; Viduranga Y Waisundara, PhD

Diabetes is a global pandemic where alternative means of combating the disease have been the focus of research in recent years. Herbal remedies for diabetes have proven to be a valuable alternative therapy given the fact that many of the existing synthetic drugs are incapable of curbing the disease progression. This review article serves as an appraisal of highlighting the variety and diversity of herbal remedies that are present around the world by looking at only 2 countries—Croatia and Sri Lanka—located in Europe and Asia, respectively. The following herbs were selected for review: from Croatia: (1) Cichorium intybus, (2) Olea europaea, (3) Taraxacum campylodes, (4) Urtica dioica, and (5) Vaccinium myrtillus; and from Sri Lanka: (1) Acacia catechu, (2) Allium sativum, (3) Aloe vera, (4) Cinnamomum zeylanicum, (5) Gymnema sylvestre, and (6) Zingiber officinale. The botanical origins, bioactive compounds, evidence-based studies on antidiabetic properties, as well as uses and applications of these herbs in various ailments, are included herein. A plethora of scientific evidence on the antidiabetic potency of these herbs exists to date, through which it is apparent that they could be promoted as alternative therapies for diabetes.

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