Potential use of the Asteraceae family as a cure for diabetes: A review of ethnopharmacology to modern day drug and nutraceuticals developments
The diabetes - associated mortality rate is increasing annually, along with the severity of its accompanying disorders that impair human health. Worldwide, several medicinal plants are frequently urged for the management of diabetes. Reports are available on the use of medicinal plants by traditional healers for their blood-sugar-lowering effects, along with scientific evidence to support such claims. The Asteraceae family is one of the most diverse flowering plants, with about 1,690 genera and 32,000 species. Since ancient times, people have consumed various herbs of the Asteraceae family as food and employed them as medicine. Despite the wide variety of members within the family, most of them are rich in naturally occurring polysaccharides that possess potent prebiotic effects, which trigger their use as potential nutraceuticals. This review provides detailed information on the reported Asteraceae plants traditionally used as antidiabetic agents, with a major focus on the plants of this family that are known to exert antioxidant, hepatoprotective, vasodilation, and wound healing effects, which further action for the prevention of major diseases like cardiovascular disease (CVD), liver cirrhosis, and diabetes mellitus (DM). Moreover, this review highlights the potential of Asteraceae plants to counteract diabetic conditions when used as food and nutraceuticals. The information documented in this review article can serve as a pioneer for developing research initiatives directed at the exploration of Asteraceae and, at the forefront, the development of a botanical drug for the treatment of DM.