A systematic analysis of anti-diabetic medicinal plants from cells to clinical trials

Simeon Omale, Kennedy I. Amagon, Titilayo O. Johnson, Shaun Kennedy Bremner, Gwyn W. Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Background Diabetes is one of the fastest-growing health emergencies of the 21st century, placing a severe economic burden on many countries. Current management approaches have improved diabetic care, but several limitations still exist, such as decreased efficacy, adverse effects, and the high cost of treatment, particularly for developing nations. There is, therefore, a need for more cost-effective therapies for diabetes management. The evidence-based application of phytochemicals from plants in the management of diseases is gaining traction. Methodology Various plants and plant parts have been investigated as antidiabetic agents. This review sought to collate and discuss published data on the cellular and molecular effects of medicinal plants and phytochemicals on insulin signaling pathways to better understand the current trend in using plant products in the management of diabetes. Furthermore, we explored available information on medicinal plants that consistently produced hypoglycemic effects from isolated cells to animal studies and clinical trials. Results There is substantial literature describing the effects of a range of plant extracts on insulin action and insulin signaling, revealing a depth in knowledge of molecular detail. Our exploration also reveals effective antidiabetic actions in animal studies, and clear translational potential evidenced by clinical trials. Conclusion We suggest that this area of research should be further exploited in the search for novel therapeutics for diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14639
Number of pages41
Early online date5 Jan 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2023


  • medicinal plants
  • insulin action
  • diabetes
  • glucose transport
  • insulin signaling
  • phytochemicals


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