Medicinal plants of Southeast Asia with anti-α-glucosidase activity as potential source for Type-2 diabetes mellitus treatment

Mohammad Amil Zulhilmi Benjamin, Ruzaidi Azli Mohd Mokhtar, Mohammad Iqbal, Azmahani Abdullah, Roro Azizah, Lilis Sulistyorini, Nurkhasanah Mahfudh, Zainul Amiruddin Zakaria

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Diabetes mellitus, a widespread chronic illness, affects millions worldwide, and its incidence is increasing alarmingly, especially in developing nations. Current pharmacological treatments can be costly and have undesirable side effects. To address this, medicinal plants with antidiabetic effects, particularly targeting α-glucosidase for controlling hyperglycaemia in type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hold promise for drug development with reduced toxicity and adverse reactions. Aim of this review: This review aims to succinctly collect information about medicinal plant extracts that exhibit antidiabetic potential through α-glucosidase inhibition using acarbose as a standard reference in Southeast Asia. The characteristics of this inhibition are based on in vitro studies. Materials and methods: Relevant information on medicinal plants in Southeast Asia, along with α-glucosidase inhibition studies using acarbose as a positive control, was gathered from various scientific databases, including Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Results: About 46 papers were found from specific counties in Southeast Asia demonstrated notable α-glucosidase inhibitory potential of their medicinal plants, with several plant extracts showcasing activity comparable to or surpassing that of acarbose. Notably, 19 active constituents were identified for their α-glucosidase inhibitory effects. Conclusions: The findings underscore the antidiabetic potential of the tested medicinal plant extracts, indicating their promise as alternative treatments for T2DM. This review can aid in the development of potent therapeutic medicines with increased effectiveness and safety for the treatment of T2DM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118239
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2024


  • Acarbose
  • Active constituents
  • Medicinal plants
  • Southeast asia
  • Type-2 diabetes mellitus
  • α-Glucosidase inhibition


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