Efficacy of Surinamese plants in the therapy of diabetes mellitus - analysis of the literature

Efficacy of Surinamese plants in the therapy of diabetes mellitus - analysis of the literature



Available online

15 Jun 2012

Found in Edition

2012, Volume 3, 276-283


Full-length paper
Diabetes mellitus is highly prevalent in Suriname, where it claims more than 170 deaths per year. Plant-derived preparations are extensively used in the treatment of this disorder, but often without scientific proof of therapeutic efficacy. In this study, we searched in on-line libraries such as PubMed and Hinari for evidence of potential therapeutic efficacy of Surinamese plants that are commonly used for treating diabetes. The fifteen most frequently mentioned plants were Azadirachta indica neem, Catharanthus roseus kotomisi, Desmodium canum toriman, Mangifera indica manya, Momordica charantia busi sopropo, Morinda citrifolia didibri apra, Orthosiphon stamineus kattesnor, Phyllanthus niruri finibita, Physalis angulata batotobita, Quassia amara kwasibita, Ruellia tuberosa watrakanu, Spondias dulcis pomme citère, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis isriwiwiri, Syzygium cumini dyamun, and Wulffia baccata sukrutanta. Preparations from A. indica and P. niruri may lower elevated blood sugar levels, but this assumption is only based on a few clinical studies. Those from M. charantia were positive in some clinical studies but negative in others, while those from S. cumini turned out negative in all clinical tests. Preparations from C. roseus, M. indica, M. citrifolia, and O. stamineus have only undergone preclinical evaluation. And those from D. canum, P. angulata, Q. amara, R. tuberosa, S. dulcis, S. jamaicensis, and W. baccata have never been tested. Thus, the scientific evidence to support the clinical use of the above-mentioned plants in the treatment of diabetes is scant. Patients treat their disease with substances that may be ineffective and/or may cause unforeseen adverse effects. The plants should be evaluated in well-designed preclinical and clinical studies to define their roles in the treatment of diabetes.




diabetes mellitus, Suriname, ethnopharmacological medicines, meta-analysis


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Dennis R.A. Mans (8)

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname

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Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname

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