Can the leaves of bougainvillea be used to reduce symptoms of diabetes?

Bougainvillea leaves are not just beautiful. They also have medicinal uses. A team of researchers from Jiwaji University in India found that bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis) leaves have potential use as a natural remedy for diabetes. The results of their study, which was published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, showed that bougainvillea leaf extracts could reduce glucose levels and oxidative stress in vivo.

  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as reduced physical activity, increase the risk of obesity and diabetes.
  • Diabetes is a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels due to insufficient insulin production or reduced efficacy of this enzyme. Lower insulin levels encourage the buildup of reactive oxygen species, which makes diabetic patients vulnerable to oxidative stress.
  • Oxidative stress induces tissue damage and disrupts the different receptors, enzymes, and signaling pathways involved in normal body processes. These result in the development of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Conventional antidiabetic medications are available but these are associated with adverse side effects, and they tend to be expensive. Because of these, traditional herbal remedies are now being explored for their potential use in treating diabetic patients.
  • Bougainvillea is a plant rich in bioactive compounds like pinitol, which was observed to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • In this study, the researchers collected extracts from bougainvillea and administered them in Wistar rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes for 28 days.
  • To determine the therapeutic potential of the herb, the team used parameters like blood glucose levels, glycosylated hemoglobin, body weight, and lipid profile. Moreover, they also evaluated different markers for kidney and liver function and oxidative stress.

From these experiments, the researchers found that bougainvillea leaf extracts significantly reduced blood glucose and lipid levels, restored kidney and liver functions, and prevented oxidative damage. Overall, these indicate that bougainvillea has potential use as a natural remedy for diabetes since it has anti hyperglycemia, antihyperlipidemic, and antioxidant activities.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

For more articles about natural remedies for diabetes, visit

Journal Reference:
Chauhan P, Mahajan S, Kulshrestha A, Shrivastava S, Sharma B, Goswamy HM, Prasad GBKS. BOUGAINVILLEA SPECTABILIS EXHIBITS ANTIHYPERGLYCEMIC AND ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITIES IN EXPERIMENTAL DIABETES. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 17 July 2015;21(3):177–185. DOI:10.1177/2156587215595152

comments powered by Disqus