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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 373-391

A Review on Herbs Used in treatment of Diabetes Mellitus by Sri Lankan Ayurvedic and Traditional Physicians


1 Senior Lecturer, Department of Nidana Chikithsa, Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka
2 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
E.R.H.S.S. Ediriweera
Senior Lecturer, Department of Nidana Chikithsa, Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, Rajagiriya
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Diabetes mellitus has no known permanent cure and is highly prevalent worldwide. In traditional medicine and Ayurveda it is correlated with disease called Madhumeha. In Sri Lanka, Traditional and Ayurvedic physicians treat diabetes mellitus very effectively. Information was obtained from traditional and Ayurvedic physicians, Ayurvedic text books and old manuscripts. According to these, various parts of several herbs are used: flowers (Butea monospema), leaves (Adhathoda vasica), fruits (Momordica dioica), seeds (Syzygium cumini), stems (Tinospora cordifolia), stem bark (Ficus religiosa), root bark (Salacia reticulate ) roots (Oryza sativa), aerial roots (Ficus benghalensis), rhizome (Alpinia galanga) bulb (Allium sativum), creeper (Passiflora foetida) and entire plant (Scoparia dulcis). These are prepared in different forms like powders, decoctions, juices and pastes. Decoctions are made using single or multiple herbs. Multiple decoctions usually contain hyperglycaemic herbs such as Cyperus rotundus, Aloe vera to minimize drastic hypoglycaemic complications as usually evident with allopathic drugs. In addition, patients are recommended to consume antidiabetic herbs as food or drinks: as chyme (Osbeckia octandra), curries (Lassia spinos), salads (Centella asiatica), spices (Trigonella foenum-graecu), fresh fruits (Phyllanthus embelica), or as a drink (Camellia sinesis). About one hundred and twenty six plants belonging to fifty one families are used to treat diabetic patients in Sri Lanka.


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