Anti-Diabetic Potential of Natural Plant Sources: An Assessment of Awareness and Consumption among Diabetics

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  • Department of Food and Nutrition, Ludhiana - 141 004 ,IN
  • Department of Food and Nutrition, Ludhiana - 141 004 ,IN
  • School of Organic Farming Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana - 141 004 ,IN



Natural plant sources, medicinal plants, diabetes mellitus, fenugreek, holy basil, ginger, garlic, Gymnema sylvestre


Diabetes is a leading cause of death in developing countries, and there is a growing interest in utilizing natural remedies to manage high blood sugar levels. This study aimed to evaluate the awareness and usage of traditional plant-based treatments among diabetes patients. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 500 diabetic patients in Ludhiana hospitals' Outpatient Departments (OPDs). A structured questionnaire gathered data on demographics, socioeconomic status, medical history, hyperglycemia management, and awareness and utilization of 22 traditional anti-diabetic plants. The results showed that the majority (55.2%) focused on dietary control, followed by exercise (49.6%) and oral hypoglycemic medications (46.8%). Interestingly, a higher percentage of female diabetics (56.3%) engaged in exercise compared to males (44.2%), while insulin use was reported by 17.2%, and only 19.2% used herbal supplements. A majority (62.4%) of subjects reported awareness of the listed plant sources as potential anti-diabetic agents. Notably, fenugreek seeds, bittergourd, ginger, and holy basil were the most recognized plants, acknowledged by 55.2, 47.2, 44.4, and 40.8% of respondents, respectively. In the study, awareness of garlic as an anti-diabetic remedy was significantly (p<0.05) higher among females (40.6%) compared to males (31.3%), while males exhibited significantly (p<0.05) greater awareness of tulsi's anti-diabetic properties. Interestingly, a relatively higher percentage reported consuming garlic (34%) as part of their diabetes management, either as a remedy or in meal preparations, followed closely by holy basil (32.6%), bittergourd (31.4%), and fenugreek seeds (28.2%), it's apparent that only a small fraction actually incorporated these plants into their daily routines. This underutilization of readily available and cost-effective remedies in India may be attributed to the lack of substantial clinical data supporting their efficacy. The study highlights the gap between awareness and practical adoption of traditional medicinal plants among diabetics, despite their accessibility and affordability in India. Urgent efforts are needed to document ethnobotanical knowledge before it vanishes, and further initiatives should promote the utilization of traditional medicinal plants as a complementary approach to control hyperglycemia.


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Author Biography

Rajender Kumar, School of Organic Farming Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana - 141 004

Principal Agronomist

School of Organic Farming, PAU



How to Cite

Jain, D., Singla, N., & Kumar, R. (2023). Anti-Diabetic Potential of Natural Plant Sources: An Assessment of Awareness and Consumption among Diabetics. The Indian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, 60(4), 520–538.



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