An overview of anti-diabetic plants used in Gabon: Pharmacology and Toxicology
De Souza, Alain
Bourobou Bourobou, H.P.
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 as primary healthcare. The aim of this review was to collect and present the scientific evidence for the use of medicinal plants that are in currect by Gabonese traditional healers to manage diabetes or hyperglycaemia based here on the pharmacological and toxicological profiles of plants with anti-diabetic activity. There are presented in order to promote their therapeutic value, ensure a safer use by population and provide some bases for further study 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studies were sourced using databases such as Online Wiley library, Pubmed, Google Scholar, PROTA, books and unpublished data including Ph.D. and Master thesis, African and Asian journals.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 in the literature, all of which have been used in in vivo or in vitro studies. Most of the plants have been studied in human or animal models for their ability to reduce blood glucose, stimulate insulin secretion or inhibit carbohydrates enzymes. Active substances have been identified in 12 out of 69 plants outlined in this review, these include Allium cepa and Tabernanthe iboga. Only eight plants have their active substances tested for anti-diabetic activity and are suitables for further investigation. Toxicological data is scarce and is dose-related to the functional parameters of major organs such as kidney and liver. Conclusion: An in-depth understanding on the pharmacology and toxicology of Gabonese anti-diabetic plants is lacking yet there is a great scope for new treatments. With further research, the use of Gabonese anti-diabetic plants is important to ensure the safety of the diabetic patients in Gabon.