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Review

Phytotherapy for diabetes mellitus; A review of Middle Eastern and North African folk medicinal plants

Sara S Abouzekry 1 ORCID logo, Marwa T Badawy 1 ORCID logo, Nada M Ezzelarab 2 ORCID logo, Ahmed Abdellatif 1, 2* ORCID logo

1 Biotechnology Program, School of Sciences and Engineering, the American University in Cairo, 11835, Egypt
2 Department of Biology, School of Sciences and Engineering, the American University in Cairo, 11835, Egypt

Abstract

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is considered as one of the most common metabolic disorders affecting huge number of people worldwide. Despite the availability of large numbers of drugs in the market to treat the disease, there is still a need for new sources to deal with the problem and avoid side effects. In the pursuit of discovering safer and more effective anti-diabetic drugs, herbal and folk medicine drugs from regions all over the world have captured researchers’ interest. Middle Eastern and North African medicinal plants contain a variety of pharmacologically active components that have shown to possess promising anti-diabetic potential. However, few data have been reported about medicinal plants from these regions in comparison to plants from other regions. Anti-diabetic medicinal plants from the MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) region, their role in controlling DM, and suggested mechanisms for the anti-diabetic activity of some medicinal plants are discussed in this review. Many of these plants have not been fully investigated and characterized, yet they have great potential for further development as anti-diabetic drugs.
Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Anti-diabetic plants, Folk medicine, Anti-diabetic drugs, Phytomedicine, Herbal medicine
This review provides up to date information on anti-diabetic medicinal plants from the Middle East and North Africa regions, many of which have not been fully investigated. This review will create a wide interest in these plants as potentially safe and effective anti-diabetic drugs for humans use in future.
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Submitted: 18 Jan 2020
Revision: 27 Apr 2020
Accepted: 06 May 2020
ePublished: 12 Oct 2020
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