In this Cochrane review, researchers at the Child and Adolescent Care Centre, in Chennai, India, assessed the effects.

First, the details.

  • 6 studies of proprietary herbal mixtures and 1 of whole system Ayurvedic treatment. were reviewed.
  • These studies enrolled 354 participants.
  • The treatment duration ranged from 3 to 6 months.
  • All studies included adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

And, the results.

  • A1c
    • Diabecon, Inolter, and Cogent DB
      • Significant reductions in A1c, fasting blood sugar or both were observed vs placebo or no additional treatment.
    • Pancreas tonic and Hyponidd treatment
      • No significant hypoglycemic response was found
    • Whole system Ayurvedic treatment
      • No data on A1c and fasting blood sugar values reported
    • Pancreas tonic treatment
      • No  significant change in health-related quality of life
  • Main adverse effects reported
    • Drug hypersensitivity (1 study, 1 patient )
    • Hypoglycemic episodes (1 study, 1 participant; 0 severe)
    • Gastrointestinal side effects (1 of 20 with Ayurvedic treatment)
    • No deaths, kidney, blood or liver toxicity reported
  • Other findings
    • Some studied, but not all, reported changes with some treatments in post meal blood sugar, lipid profile, fasting insulin levels, stimulated insulin levels, and fasting C-peptide levels.
    • No study reported on or was designed to investigate diabetic complications, death from any cause and economic data.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Although there were significant glucose-lowering effects with the use of some herbal mixtures, due to methodological deficiencies and small sample sizes we are unable to draw any definite conclusions regarding their efficacy.”

They continue, “There is insufficient evidence at present to recommend the use of these interventions in routine clinical practice and further studies are needed.”

1/31/12 22:02 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.