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THE PHARMA REVIEW (SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2011)

Phototherapy : The Safe and Effective Therapeutic Approach for Treatment of Diabetes

Dr. Dilip Kumar Panda

Introduction: The global resurgence of interest in medicinal plants entails enormous multidisciplinary scientific research and compilation of information. India with its rich bio-diversity, varying agro ecological conditions, and a vast treasure of knowledge in traditional medicines, is unlikely placed to create and occupy a niche in fast growing herbal product market. Contribution of Indian Research in the filed of medicinal plants relating to botanical, chemical, pharmacological and clinical studies are very relevant and important in national context. The need of better drugs and remedies for various diseases are the demand of today’s healthcare system and plants are the rich source of many invaluable therapeutics.
Over three quarters of the world population rely on the use of traditional medicines for their primary healthcare needs. The medicinal plants are not only major components of the many therapeutic formulations used in indigenous systems of medicine but also of a large numbers of drugs in Allopathy. In India, with one of the oldest ethnobotanical tradition in the world, medicinal plants are the backbone of all major systems of medicine. WHO has recommended the use of herbal formulations or phytomedicines for the treatment of diseases (especially for chronic diseases like diabetes) when safe and effective modern medicines are not available. In the changed present day scenario, many international agencies like WHO have advocated to develop database relating to botanical, chemical and pharmacological properties of medicinal plants which could help in harnessing full potential of medicinal plants and also help in protecting country’s ethnomedical and biological wealth. In many cases, phytomedicines have been emerged as the best alternatives to modern synthetic medicines, but because of growing environmental pollution, soil and ground water contamination (due to unplanned industrialization and urbanization), the phytomedicines are getting contaminated with many unwanted toxic chemicals as well as heavy metals (like Pb, Hg, Ni, Cd, As) and thus may bear a greater risk of toxicity and health hazards.
Treatment of Diabetes – Phytotherapeutic Approach
Since antiquity; diabetes has been treated with herbs and plant derivatives. The herbs and plant derivatives have largely been employed traditionally by native people in the areas in which they grow. In recent years, phytomedicines have been emerged as the best alternative to modern synthetic medicines. Phytomedicines are not only effective but also their adverse effects are less frequent compared with synthetic medicines. In traditional system of Indian medicines many herbal remedies individually or in combination have been recommended for the treatment of diabetes and management of its complications even the commercial formulations of many of these plants are also in use in India and many other developing countries including America and Europe. Ayurvedic literature also refers to the usefulness of plant extract in diabetes mellitus as there has been wealth of indigenous drugs for safe and effective treatment of diabetes. Scientific analysis of phytomedicines revealed that they possess enormous therapeutic capabilities that modern medicine is searching for. Medicinal plants are distributed worldwide, but they are most abundant in tropical countries. It is estimated that about 25% of all modern medicines are directly or indirectly derived from higher plants. In some particular cases, such as antitumoral and antimicrobial drugs, about 60% of the medicines currently available on the market and most of those in the late stages of clinical trials are derived from natural products, mainly from higher plants
In traditional herbal therapy a numbers of medicinal plants are in use, either as monotherapy or polyherbal therapy for the treatment and management of diabetes mellitus and management of its complications. Many herbal formulations are also used for the treatment and management of diabetes. Not only in India or Asia, medical plants are also popular in America and other European countries for the treatments of diabetic syndrome. People are turning more and more to prevention and wellness programs, including natural medicines. If this trend develops, phytomedicines could become an important new alternative crop in the United States. Though from the very ancient.

 

 

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