Use of antidiabetic plants in Morocco and Québec.
Data from ethnopharmacological surveys of the antidiabetic plants most frequently recommended by herbalists, naturopaths and other traditional practitioners in Morocco and Québec, Canada, were compared. Only Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) was among the top ten most recommended antidiabetic plants found in both surveys, taking the first place in Morocco and the second place in Québec. Vaccinium spp. (blueberry) was the most recommended antidiabetic plant in Québec. Other plants in the top ten list in Québec are already known for their hypoglycaemic activity, including Taraxacum officinale, Gymnema sylvester, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Syzygium cumini, Opuntia streptacantha and Panax ginseng/P. quinquefolium [P. quinquefolius]. In contrast, the most commonly recommended antidiabetic plants of the Morocco survey are less often the objects of published scientific study, despite their long history of traditional medicinal use. Aside from fenugreek and Lupinus albus which are known antidiabetic plants, Globularia alypum and Nigella sativa have recently been shown to exert interesting hypoglycaemic effects in animal models of diabetes. Other commonly used plants were Artemisia herba-alba, Origanum compactum and Vitis vinifera.