Herbal Infusions as a Valuable Functional Food

Nutrients. 2021 Nov 12;13(11):4051. doi: 10.3390/nu13114051.


Herbal infusions are an underestimated and easy to intake a source of biologically active natural compounds (polyphenols), which, in the dissolved form, are more easily absorbed. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the potential of herbal infusions as a functional food to reduce postprandial hyperglycemia (inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase) and to reduce the effects of increased blood glucose level (antioxidant effect-DPPH, CUPRAC, and Fe2+ chelating assays, as well as anti-inflammatory activity-inhibition of collagenase). We showed that polyphenols are present in the examined aqueous herbal infusions (including chlorogenic and gallic acids). Subsequently, our research has shown that herbal infusions containing cinnamon bark, mulberry leaves, and blackberry fruits most strongly inhibit glucose release from complex carbohydrates, and that all herbal infusions can, to different degrees, reduce the effects of elevated blood sugar. In conclusion, infusions prepared from herbal blends could be recommended to prevent type II diabetes.

Keywords: antidiabetic activity; antioxidant activity; inhibition of collagenase; inhibition of α-amylase; inhibition of α-glucosidase; polyphenols.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology
  • Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • Collagenases / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Functional Food*
  • Glucose
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Morus
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plants / chemistry*
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology
  • Rubus
  • alpha-Amylases
  • alpha-Glucosidases


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Chelating Agents
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • alpha-Amylases
  • alpha-Glucosidases
  • Collagenases
  • phenolic acid
  • Glucose