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Plants used to treat diabetes in Sri Lankan Siddha Medicine - an ethnopharmacological review of historical and modern sources

Sathasivampillai, SV; Rajamanoharan, PR; Munday, M; Heinrich, M; (2017) Plants used to treat diabetes in Sri Lankan Siddha Medicine - an ethnopharmacological review of historical and modern sources. Journal of Ethnopharmacology , 198 pp. 531-599. 10.1016/j.jep.2016.07.053. Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND: In recent decades diabetes mellitus has become a considerable health problem in countries like Sri Lanka and results in an increasing economic burden hampering the social and economic development of these countries. About 60 to 70 % of the rural population in Sri Lanka rely on indigenous medicinal systems as their main source for primary health care. Siddha (Tamil) Medicine is one of the four Sri Lankan traditional medicinal systems and it is practised mostly in the eastern and northern provinces of Sri Lanka where the majority of Tamils reside. AIM: The foundation of this study is a documentation of plant species recorded in historical and modern Sri Lankan Siddha Medical documents used to treat diabetes. Based on the systematic documentation and analysis of Siddha concepts about diabetes and its signs and preparations used to treat diabetes in Sri Lankan Siddha Medicine, the plant species included in these preparations (excluding globally or very widely used, very well studied species) were evaluated in terms of the current state-of-the-art about these species' pharmacology and effectiveness in order to lay a foundation for their further development. METHOD: Historic and modern Sri Lankan university texts books in Tamil were used as sources for information on diabetes Siddha concepts and antidiabetic Sri Lankan Siddha Medicine preparations. Information on the known antidiabetic effects of extracts and compounds obtained from these species were used in order to assess the current state of the art of these species. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Information of ingredients, preparation methods, amount of ingredients used, and dosages of 60 antidiabetic Sri Lankan Siddha Medicine preparations were obtained. Animal parts including marine organisms, inorganic substances, and plants are the three types of ingredients used. Overall 171 plant species in 73 families were documented. Senna auriculata (L.) Roxb. (Fabaceae) was identified as the most frequently cited species. Globally distributed and very well studied plants were excluded in the pharmacological and clinical literature review which includes 123 plant species. The majority (48 %) of the plant species reviewed were studied up to in vivo level as the current maximum level of scientific evidence available. Followed by 41 % of species have not been studied for antidiabetic activities or did not show antidiabetic activity. Moreover, 6 % and 5 % were studied up to in vitro and in clinical levels, respectively. The majority of the species were studied only in the models that represent type 1 diabetes. CONCLUSION: This is the first study systematically assessing the importance of preparations and plants used in antidiabetic Sri Lankan Siddha Medicine preparations. Antidiabetic plants are a crucial health care resource in Sri Lankan Siddha Medicine. This study also identified a wide range of methodological problems in the studies conducted so far. More and better type 2 diabetes models should be employed in future studies. This comprehensive review creates the basis for a more systematic study of these local resources.

Type: Article
Title: Plants used to treat diabetes in Sri Lankan Siddha Medicine - an ethnopharmacological review of historical and modern sources
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.07.053
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2016.07.053
Language: English
Keywords: Alpha glucosidase inhibition assay; alpha amylase inhibition assay; Diabetes Mellitus; Fabaceae; Senna auriculata; Siddha Medicine; Sri Lanka; Streptozotocin; Tamil Medicine
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharma and Bio Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1506372
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