Diabetes is nowadays considered a growing concern as its rate among the population continues to grow. At the moment, about 23 million Americans are diagnosed with various types of this disease. As far as the pharmacological treatment of Diabetes mellitus (DM) has some limitations and side effects, non-traditional and non-medical approaches acquire high priority. For instance, the Okra-based methods are given much attention in the existing research literature.
Medical plants have always been one of the possible treatment methods applied in various cases. Das, Nandi, and Gosh (2019) support this idea and state that okra possesses a rich nutritional value, which preconditions its use in traditional medicine as an antidiabetic measure. In their research, they assume that the plant can be used as an indispensable tool in the prevention of diabetes as okra-based formulations can provide individuals with nutrients they need and reduce the risk of DM’s emergence (Das et al., 2019).
The positive impact of okra on the human body can be explained by its composition. It contains a-cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, pectic matter, fatty and waxy matter, and aqueous extract (Chanchal et al., 2018). The presence of these components explains its antioxidant activity and the ability to prevent cellular damage, which is important for treating various diseases, including DM. Chanchal et al. (2018) outline the fact that okra has traditionally been used by different peoples as a part of folk therapies.
To investigate the therapeutic effect of okra, Sadek and Alnjauidi (2019) examine diabetic mice and alteration in their states. The primary goal was to reduce blood glucose by using this vegetable. At the end of the experiment, Sadek and Alnjauidi (2019) conclude that okra can be a perfect choice for accomplishing this task and managing glucose levels in type II diabetic patients, which offers opportunities for its use.
Analyzing the bioactive compound of okra extract and its impact on controlled rats, Anjani, Damayanthi, Rimbawan, and Handharyani (2018) acquire similar outcomes as they admit the improved states of animals. It means that the use of this plant and its active elements is a promising option regarding the antidiabetic treatment and improvement of patients’ quality of life.
Investigations show that okra seeds can also be used as a specific therapy. For instance, Dubey and Mishra (2018) analyze the antidiabetic potential of this element on rats by administrating okra seeds pellets to them. Results evidence that this approach can be promising because of the reduction of blood sugar and overall better states of animals who acquired this treatment.
Another study by Majd, Tabandeh, Shahriari and Soleimani (2016) proves the anti-hyperglycemic, hypolipidemic effects of okra on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. It means that the given plant can be an appropriate alternative to the existing pharmaceutical treatment, and there is a need for further investigation.
In such a way, the offered pieces of evidence show that okra can be considered one of the possible ways to help patients with diabetes. One of the advantages of the non-traditional treatment presupposing the use of plants is the absence of side-effects and limits peculiar to the use of prolonged use of medications.
It presumes that clients might benefit from a better quality of life and avoid complications in their states. Additionally, there are no elements in the composition of the discussed plant that can result in the development of various forms of addiction among its users. The selected research papers prove the existence of positive alterations in investigated animals, which inspires optimism regarding the further use of okra to resist diabetes.
Moreover, the facts offered above show that there are multiple options for the use of Abelmoschus esculentus in medicine. Both the plant and its seeds can contain elements that have anti-hyperglycemic effects on bodies and reduce the level of blood sugar, which is one of the most desired outcomes among patients with diabetes. Further analysis of this sphere can help to outline ways how okra can be employed by therapists and applied to various cases to improve the state of patients.
Unfortunately, there are still some serious gaps in knowledge related to the discussed issue. First of all, there are still no credible investigations of how okra affects human bodies and patients with diabetes. There is no structured and scientific approach to investigating the plant’s influence on blood sugar and glucose in patients with various diabetes types. For this reason, future research should be focused on the elimination of these gaps by creating the basis for an in-depth analysis of okra’s effects on various populations. It can be achieved only if there are safety guarantees to all participants of such projects.
Altogether, okra remains one of the most promising options for non-traditional and non-medical treatment of diabetes because of its composition, and unique characteristics useful for diabetic patients.
Anjani, P., Damayanthi, E., Rimbawan, & Handharyani, E. (2018). Antidiabetic potential of purple okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 196, 012038.
Chanchal, D., D., Alok, S., Kumar, M., Bijauliya, R., Rashi, S., & Gupta, S. (2018). A brief review on Abelmoschus esculentus. Okra. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 9(1), 58-66.
Das, S., Nandi, G., & Gosh, L. (2019). Okra and its various applications in drug delivery, food technology, health care and pharmacological aspects – A review. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 11(6), 2139-2147.
Dubey, P., & Mishra, P. (2018). Antidiabetic effect of okra seed: In streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. International Journal of Plant, Animal, and Environmental Sciences, 8(2), 1-12.
Majd, N., Tabandeh, M., Shahriari, A., & Soleimani, Z. (2016). Okra (Abelmoscus esculentus) Improved islets structure, and down-regulated PPARs gene expression in pancreas of high-fat diet and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Cell Journal, 20(1), 31-40.
Sadek, H., & Alnjauidi, I. (2019). The therapeutic effect of Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) on rats induced diabetes that throws new light on managing type II diabetic patients. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 8(3), 312-324.