An overview of anti-diabetic plants used in Gabon: Pharmacology and toxicology

B. Bading Taika, M. Bouckandou, A. Souza, H.P. Bourobou Bourobou, Louise Mackenzie, L.A. Lione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ethnopharmacological relevance: The management of diabetes mellitus management in African communities,especially in Gabon, is not well established as more than 60% of population rely on traditional treatments asprimary healthcare. The aim of this review was to collect and present the scientific evidence for the use ofmedicinal plants that are in currect by Gabonese traditional healers to manage diabetes or hyperglycaemia basedhere on the pharmacological and toxicological profiles of plants with anti-diabetic activity. There are presentedin order to promote their therapeutic value, ensure a safer use by population and provide some bases for furtherstudy on high potential plants reviewed.Materials and methods: Ethnobotanical studies were sourced using databases such as Online Wiley library,Pubmed, Google Scholar, PROTA, books and unpublished data including Ph.D. and Master thesis, African andAsian journals. Keywords including ‘Diabetes', ‘Gabon', ‘Toxicity', ‘Constituents', ‘hyperglycaemia' were used.Results: A total of 69 plants currently used in Gabon with potential anti-diabetic activity have been identified inthe literature, all of which have been used in in vivo or in vitro studies. Most of the plants have been studied inhuman or animal models for their ability to reduce blood glucose, stimulate insulin secretion or inhibit carbohydratesenzymes. Active substances have been identified in 12 out of 69 plants outlined in this review, theseinclude Allium cepa and Tabernanthe iboga. Only eight plants have their active substances tested for anti-diabeticactivity and are suitables for further investigation. Toxicological data is scarce and is dose-related to the functionalparameters of major organs such as kidney and liver.Conclusion: An in-depth understanding on the pharmacology and toxicology of Gabonese anti-diabetic plants islacking yet there is a great scope for new treatments. With further research, the use of Gabonese anti-diabeticplants is important to ensure the safety of the diabetic patients in Gabon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-228
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Gabon
  • Medicinal plants
  • Anti-diabetic activity
  • Toxicity


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