Israeli researchers hope to create a product from a plant reportedly capable of treating diabetes that patients could purchase.
The Chiliadenus iphionoides (sharp varthemia) is an aromatic shrub that grows in Israel, as well as other parts of the Middle East.
A study led by Dr. Jonathan Gorelick, Judea Research and Development Centre in 2011 found that consumption of sharp varthemia increased sugar absorption in skeletal muscle and fat cells. Blood sugar levels were also reduced in animals exposed to the plant.
Other anti-diabetic activity from the Chiliadenus iphionoides plant included increased insulin secretion in beta cells.
Diabetes treatment
Gorelick’s team revealed in a presentation at Israeli’s Ariel University on Monday 8 June that they are now actively investigating how to isolate an ingredient in sharp varthemia that could lead to an accessible diabetes treatment.
While Gorelick stressed that many plants have been tested, and are capable of treating diabetes, only a few are able to be successfully marketed as diabetes medicines.
Earlier this year, Israeli scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that cannabidiol, a chemical compound from the cannabis plant could treat diabetes through its anti-inflammatory properties.

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