The high prevalence of diabetes mellitus and its complications, increase in usage of complementary therapies (especially herbal therapies), and need of developing countries for indigenous medical methods inspired us to introduce some plants in Iranian traditional medicine that are used in the treatment of diabetes. By studying the topic of “ziabetes” (the synonym of diabetes) mentioned in some Iranian traditional medical texts, we collected the text related to the anti-diabetic edible plants and identified their scientific names. Pub-med and Scopus databases were used to search the hypoglycemic effects of these medicinal herbs on laboratory animal or human. Many medicinal herbs and minerals in single or compound form have been used in Iranian traditional medicine. Plants such as Punica granatum, Rosa damascene, Plantago psyllium, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Coriandrum sativum, Portulaca oleracea, and Rumex patientia are the most popular among them. The hypoglycemic effects of some of these plants on laboratory animal or human have been presented from different published articles. The effects of some anti-diabetic plants used in Iranian traditional medicine were evaluated and their efficacies were mainly demonstrated on animals. However, we need more clinical trials to prove the safety and efficacy of these herbs on human.
Key words: Traditional medicine, phytotherapy, herbal medicine, diabetes mellitus, Iran
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