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Abstract

MEDICINAL PLANTS ON ANTIDIABETIC ACTIVITIES

*Bishnupriya Sahoo and Debdas Panigrahi

ABSTRACT

Gymnema sylvestre (Asclepiadaceae) also known as ‗gurmar‘ or ‗sugar destroyer‘ is a woody, climbing traditional medicinal herb which has many therapeutic applications in Ayurveda system of medicine. It is used for lowering serum cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose level (hypoglycaemic or antihyperglycemic), hyperlipidaemia, weight loss, stomach ailments, constipation, water retention and liver diseases, either high or low blood pressure, tachycardia or arrhythmias, and used as appetitive, purgative, in eye troubles, anti-inflammatory, smooth muscle relaxant, prevention of dental caries, cataract and as anticancer-cytotoxic agent. Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.; Family: Cucurbitaceae) is a vegetable with tropical and subtropical distribution. Bitter gourd fruit is a rich source of nutrients and ranks first among cucurbits for its nutritive value, being a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Natural antioxidants in bitter gourd are primarily plant phenolics and polyphenolic compounds derived from fruits and seeds, and thus are alternatives to replace synthetic antioxidants to enhance food quality. Fruit contains as many as 14 carotenoids (five at the immature stage, and six and 14 in the mature-green and ripe stages, respectively) and cryptoxanthin, which is the principal chloroplast- and chromoplast-based pigment in ripe fruit. These plants are used to cure diabetes. They are best described as antidiabetic drugs.

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