Medicinal plants with concomitant anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive effects as potential sources of dual acting therapies against diabetes and hypertension: A review

J Ethnopharmacol. 2019 May 10:235:329-360. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.02.024. Epub 2019 Feb 12.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Diabetes and hypertension are pathophysiologically related diseases that co-exist with a wider complex of metabolic diseases having similar set of risk factors. There are numerous ethnopharmacological evidences on the anti-diabetic and/or anti-hypertensive properties of medicinal plants from various parts of the world, which are used as therapies to concomitantly manage diabetes and hypertension.

Aim of the review: This article reviewed findings on medicinal plants with both anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive effects reported in same experimental study to facilitate the development of dual-acting therapies against diabetes and hypertension.

Materials and methods: A literature search was carried out on different scientific search engines including, but not limited to "PubMed", "Google Scholar", "Scopus" and ScienceDirect to identify published data in which plants in same experimental studies were reported to possess both anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hypertensive effects. Subsequently, the anti-diabetic/anti-hypertensive potency ratio (ψ) of the medicinal plants was computed.

Results: Sixty-four studies with 102 plant species matched the selection criteria. Members of the Fabaceae family were the most investigated plants, while the ψ greatly varied across the plants, with only 11 plants having a ψ ≃ 1. Withania somnifera Dunal was the only plant reported to show blood glucose-lowering and diuretic effects in humans, comparable to daonil. Caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, caftaric acid, cichoric acid, verbascoside, leucosceptoside A, isoacteoside, fucoxanthin and nicotinamide were the reported dual acting anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive compounds identified and/or isolated in the plants.

Conclusions: This review suggests that medicinal plants possess varied therapeutic dynamics against hypertension and diabetes that could be exploited for the discovery of therapeutic preparation(s) or agent(s) for treating the two diseases.

Keywords: Anti-diabetic; Anti-hypertensive; Concomitant; Diabetes; Hypertension; Medicinal plants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Medicine, Traditional / methods
  • Phytotherapy / methods
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Plant Preparations