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Antidiabetic Herbs and Spices

1Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Apata, Ibadan, Nigeria

2Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

World Journal of Nutrition and Health. 2019, Vol. 7 No. 1, 18-22
DOI: 10.12691/jnh-7-1-4
Copyright © 2019 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
ADENIYI Paulina O., SANUSI Rasaki A.. Antidiabetic Herbs and Spices. World Journal of Nutrition and Health. 2019; 7(1):18-22. doi: 10.12691/jnh-7-1-4.

Correspondence to: ADENIYI  Paulina O., Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Apata, Ibadan, Nigeria. Email:


The increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus is gradually becoming a public health threat globally. Most existing therapeutic regimens are not without limitations and constraints, hence, the need for easy, feasible and cost effective alternative cannot be overemphasized. Some herbs and spices have been observed to exert antidiabetic activity. This review therefore compiles antidiabetic herbs and spices with the places of origin, conditions for growth, culinary uses and mechanisms of action of the antidiabetic effect with a view of encouraging their possible use as an antidiabetic food adjunct in cuisines towards the prevention and management of the diabetes. The search engines accessed were Google Scholar, Scopus, HINARI and PubMed. Antidiabetic herbs and spices compiled include; African nutmeg, Basil, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin, Curry leaves, Dandelion, Dill, Fenugreek seeds, Garlic, Ginger, Mustard seed, Nutmeg, Onion, Rosemary and Turmeric. Some of these are most suitable only in savoury dishes while others are applicable in both sweet and savoury dishes. The possible mechanisms of the antidiabetic activity are: inhibition of the activities of α-amylase, α-glucosidase, hexokinase, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), glycogenolytic and gluconeogenic enzymes; activation of antioxidant enzymes, Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK); free radical scavenging activity; mimicry of insulin action; enhancement of insulin secretion; enhancement of Glucose transporter-4 (GLUT-4) translocation and antiplatelet activity. Some herbs and spices are indeed antidiabetic. However, their application in cuisines could be an easy, feasible and cost effective measure to prevent and manage diabetes globally.