Antidiabetic drugs of plant origin used in China: compositions, pharmacology, and hypoglycemic mechanisms.Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2003; 28(2):108-13ZZ
The paper reviewed compositions and pharmacological effects of eight antidiabetic herbal drugs that have been approved by health regulatory agency for commercial use in China. Investigators attributed the hypoglycemic effect of these products to their ability to restore the functions of pancreatic tissues and cause an increase in insulin output, to inhibit the intestinal absorption of glucose, or to the facilitation of metabolites in insulin-dependent processes. Treatment with herbal drugs has an effect on protecting beta cells and smoothing out fluctuations in glucose levels. The use of these naturally derived agents in conjunction with conventional drug treatments such as an chemical agent or insulin permits the use of lower doses of the drug and/or decreased frequency of administration which decreases the side effects most commonly observed.