Herbal medicine and treatment of diabetes in Africa: An example from Guinea

ArticleinDiabetes & Metabolism 32(2):171-5 · May 2006with89 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/S1262-3636(07)70265-3 · Source: PubMed
Use of medicinal plants is widespread in Africa, particularly in Guinea where oral transmission of practices is part of the social ritual. The purpose of this study was to determine the proportion of diabetic patients who use herbal medicine and identify the types of plants in use. Reasons for using herbal medicine and the formulations employed were also noted. A questionnaire on use of herbal medicine was proposed to all diabetic patients hospitalized or consulting the Endocrinology Unit of the Conakry University Hospital between April 1 and June 30, 2003. A total of 397 patients responded; 33% declared they used herbal medicine. They proposed many motivations, sometimes in association: belief in its efficacy (74%), easy access to medicinal plants (70%), lower cost (48%), and search for complete cure of diabetes (37%). Hearing about a positive experience had convinced 78% of the users to use herbal medicine. The majority of the users were satisfied (85%). One or more clinical manifestations occurring concomitantly with use of herbs was observed in 23 patients (18%), particularly gastrointestinal disorders (n = 10) and skin problems (n = 8). Two cases of hypoglycaemia were noted. Herbal medicine plays an important role in anti-diabetes treatment in Guinea. This type of treatment should be based on scientific evidence but very few studies have been conducted. Conditions of use should be better defined and patients should be informed of potential adverse effects.
    • "Seventy-four percent of those sampled in Guinea believed in the efficacy of traditional and herbal medicine for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (Balde et al., 2006 ). The lesson here is that clinicians and researchers should not downplay the role of non-biomedical modalities in diabetes care, because there is enough evidence to suggest that their use in type 2 diabetes management is prevalent in Africa (Balde et al., 2006; Keter & Mutiso, 2012; Moshi, Otieno, & Weisheit, 2012; Ogbera et al., 2010; Semenya, Potgieter, & Erasmus, 2012; Singh et al., 2004; Tchacondo et al., 2012). When discussing diabetes in the African context, it is important to consider the role of food culture. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In spite of increasing prevalence of diabetes among Kenyans and evidence suggesting Kenyans with diabetes maintain poor glycemic control, no one has examined the role of cultural attitudes, beliefs, and practices in their self-management of diabetes. The purpose of this ethnographic study was to describe diabetes self-management among the Swahili of coastal Kenya, and explore factors that affect diabetes self-management within the context of Swahili culture. Thirty men and women with type 2 diabetes from Lamu town, Kenya, participated in this study. Diabetes self-management was insufficiently practiced, and participants had limited understanding of diabetes. Economic factors such as poverty and the high cost of biomedical care appear to have more influence in self-management behavior than socio-cultural and educational factors do. Economic and socio-cultural influences on diabetes self-management should not be underestimated, especially in a limited resource environment like coastal Kenya, where biomedical care is not accessible or affordable to all.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016
    • "Certain medicinal plants have induced hypoglycaemic accidents in type 1 diabetic patients and resulted misdiagnosis in type 2 diabetic patients (Bald e et al., 2006); the authors reported that patients did not recognize the potential risks of plants. Moreover, in their study, patients were admitted in an emergency setting due to uncontrolled glycaemia (Bald e et al., 2006). Only 47.16% of the patients in our study regularly controlled their blood glucose level. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An ethnopharmacological survey was performed in the Ouargla region (northeast of Algerian Sahara) to document ethnomedicinal knowledge and to catalogue the medicinal plants used to treat diabetes mellitus. We conducted in-person interviews of 289 diabetic patients, 25 herbalists and 10 healers in eight different areas of the Ouargla region. The results indicate that phytotherapy was always practiced to treat disease (60.90%), especially diabetes. Among the type 2 diabetes interviewees, 58 patients (44.27%) used only medicinal plants. Seventy-nine percent of plant users (176) were satisfied with herbal medicine i.e. 74% of the men and only 45.90% of the women. This could be explained by a high education level for the women. A total of 67 plant species that belong to 32 families were mentioned and were used to prepare 130 different formulations for treating diabetes and foot ulcers. Among the 13 most frequently cited species, only 3 were cultivated. More than 34 of the species are wild septentrional Sahara species. Thirteen species (19.40%) are endemic; three of them are reported for the first time as hypoglycaemic plants: Matricaria pubescens, Oudneya africana and Rhanterium adpressum. For nine species, we could not locate experimental data on anti-diabetic activity. Sixty six species are used to treat diabetes, while fifty one are used to treat symptoms that might be related to diabetes (especially foot ulcers). Anvillea radiata, Ammodaucus leucotrichus, Artemisia herba-alba and Citrullus colocynthis have the highest values of relative frequency citation (RFC), informant consensus factor (Fic) and use value (UV). They are the most used plant to decrease level of blood glucose and to treat foot ulcer. The new endemic plant species highlighted in the study could reveal an interest for further phytochemical and pharmacological studies
    Article · Apr 2016
    • "These are often life threatening and so may result to death if proper medical attention is not employed. In low income earning economy, such as the ones noticeable in the sub-Saharan African regions, access to prompt medical attention may be delayed if not denied or completely absent, hence locals rely on herbal remedy which seems to be readily available from nature and cheaper to obtain (Mbagwu et al., 2011; McGrowder, 2013; Balde et al., 2006; Tanko et al., 2008). The treatment of diabetes and its complication with herbal remedy is a common historical practice among the local of the African continent and indeed the Niger Delta people of Nigeria (Obute et al., 2007). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hyperlipidaemia is a usual and life threatening complication of diabetes mellitus. Consequently, a good anti-diabetic agent should reduce the progression of this complication. In view of this, the anti-hyperlipidaemic and anti-atherogenic activities of aqueous extract of Lasianthera africana was studied in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Extract treatment was administered at a dose of 1ml of 180 mg/ml of extract per kg body weight once daily for three weeks (21 days). Blood samples were collected thereafter by cardiac puncture for the analysis of lipid profile after the rats were exposed to chloroform vapour for 5 min. Results show that extract treatment caused significant (p<0.05) reduction in all lipid parameters analyzed when compared to the diabetic control. The reduction in total cholesterol was more for low density lipoprotein (LDL) (90%) than high density lipoprotein (HDL) (69%) by extract treatment when compared to the diabetic control by 94 and 75 percent respectively. The extract also caused significant (p < 0.05) reduction in cardiac risk ratio (CRR), atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) and the atherogenic coefficient respectively. The result therefore shows that the aqueous extract of L. africana possess anti-hyperlipidaemic and anti-atherosclerotic activities, a justification for its use by ethno-botanist in the treatment of diabetic complications.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016
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