Plant foods in the management of diabetes mellitus: spices as beneficial antidiabetic food adjuncts

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2005 Sep;56(6):399-414. doi: 10.1080/09637480500512872.


Diet has been recognized as a corner stone in the management of diabetes mellitus. Spices are the common dietary adjuncts that contribute to the taste and flavour of foods. Besides, spices are also known to exert several beneficial physiological effects including the antidiabetic influence. This review considers all the available information from animal experimentation as well as clinical trials where spices, their extracts or their active principles were examined for treatment of diabetes. Among the spices, fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenumgraecum), garlic (Allium sativum), onion (Allium cepa), and turmeric (Curcuma longa) have been experimentally documented to possess antidiabetic potential. In a limited number of studies, cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), mustard (Brassica nigra), curry leaves (Murraya koenigii) and coriander (Coriandrum sativum) have been reported to be hypoglycaemic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allium
  • Animals
  • Coriandrum
  • Cuminum
  • Curcuma
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy
  • Food Additives / administration & dosage*
  • Ginger
  • Humans
  • Murraya
  • Spices*
  • Trigonella


  • Food Additives