Herbal Diabetes Treatments Used in the Casablanca Region

Jim Crocker
18th April, 2024

Herbal Diabetes Treatments Used in the Casablanca Region

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In Morocco, a study found 47 plants used by diabetics for managing their condition
  • Sesame, garden cress, fennel, and rosemary were among the most popular plants used
  • These findings could lead to new diabetes treatments based on traditional medicine
Morocco, with its rich cultural heritage, has long embraced the use of traditional medicine to tackle various health issues, including the increasingly prevalent condition of diabetes mellitus. Affecting over 12% of the adult population, diabetes presents a significant public health challenge within the country. To address this, researchers from Hassan First University of Settat embarked on a study to document and analyze the use of medicinal plants by individuals managing type 2 diabetes in the Casablanca-Settat region[1]. The study, conducted through interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire, engaged 244 diabetic patients who reported using medicinal plants as part of their treatment regimen. Through the Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC) analysis, the research identified 47 different plant species across 25 families that were commonly used in managing diabetes. Notably, the Apiaceae, Lamiaceae, and Fabaceae families were frequently cited, with Sesamum indicum L. (sesame), Lepidium sativum L. (garden cress), Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (fennel), and Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) being the most prominent species mentioned. The preferred method of preparation was infusion, and seeds were the most commonly used plant part. This study not only provides a comprehensive list of plants used in Moroccan traditional medicine for diabetes management but also opens the door to further scientific exploration of their potential benefits. The findings resonate with earlier research[2], which highlighted the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Lycium barbarum fruit extracts in diabetic rabbits. This prior study emphasized the importance of phytochemicals, such as polysaccharides and antioxidants, in exerting therapeutic effects, suggesting that the plants identified in the Moroccan study may contain similar beneficial compounds. Furthermore, the study aligns with global trends, as seen in a Kenyan study[3], which documented the reliance on traditional medicine for diabetes care in African communities. The Kenyan research identified several plant species with reported hypoglycemic activity, underscoring the potential of traditional knowledge in contributing to diabetes management. The Moroccan study also complements findings from research on Mentha arvensis[4], which identified phytochemicals with strong anti-diabetic properties through in silico and in vitro approaches. Compounds such as luteolin and rosmarinic acid, found in Mentha arvensis, were shown to inhibit enzymes involved in diabetes, suggesting that some of the plants used in Morocco may also contain similar active ingredients. By documenting the use of these medicinal plants, the study by Hassan First University of Settat not only preserves traditional knowledge but also provides a foundation for future pharmacological research. The documented plants could be analyzed to isolate and understand the active compounds responsible for their anti-diabetic properties, potentially leading to new, effective treatments. In conclusion, the Moroccan study reaffirms the importance of traditional medicine in managing diabetes and encourages the integration of this knowledge into modern healthcare systems. It also invites further scientific inquiry into the efficacy and safety of these plants, with a view to potentially developing new drugs that could alleviate the burden of diabetes in Morocco and beyond. The interplay between traditional practices and modern science holds promise for innovative solutions to this global health challenge.



Main Study

1) Ethnobotanical survey on herbal remedies for the management of type 2 diabetes in the Casablanca-Settat region, Morocco.

Published 15th April, 2024


Related Studies

2) Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects and antioxidant activity of fruit extracts from Lycium barbarum.

Journal: Life sciences, Issue: Vol 76, Issue 2, Nov 2004

3) Ethnobotanical studies of medicinal plants used by Traditional Health Practitioners in the management of diabetes in Lower Eastern Province, Kenya.


4) Exploring the antibacterial, antidiabetic, and anticancer potential of Mentha arvensis extract through in-silico and in-vitro analysis.


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