Thursday, 27 October 2011

Herbal cure to diabetic foot: Plantain, turmeric and coconut to the rescue

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Plantain, turmeric and coconut have been the
integral part of the Indian kitchen, but a team of doctors has now
found that a herbal cream obtained from them and three other herbs
helps in the healing of the foot ulcers in patients suffering from the
complications of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetic foot disease is a major health problem, which may lead to
amputation of the leg if timely medical intervention is not provided.
What starts as ulcers or wounds on the foot of type 2 diabetes
patients soon leads to diabetic foot disease.

A team of diabetes specialists led by Prof Vijay Viswanathan took up a
pilot study using polyherbal formulation to find out if the healing of
diabetic foot ulcers is comparable with standard silver sulphadiazine

They prepared a herbal cream using plantain, turmeric, coconut oil,
along with Aloe vera, Pandanus odoratissimus and Glycyrrhiza glabra.
The polyherbal cream was applied to the ulcers, which were already
foul smelling, for about six weeks. The ulcers were healed and the
effect was on par with that of standard silver sulphadiazine cream.

According to Prof Vijay, foot infection is a leading cause for
hospital admission among diabetes patients in India. The risk of lower
extremity amputation is 15 to 46 times higher in diabetes patients
than in persons who do not have diabetes.

The herbal cream contained 0.20 per cent Glycyrrhiza glabra, 19.42 per
cent plantain, 2.43 per cent turmeric, 9.70 per cent Pandanus, and
4.85 per cent Aloe vera. The team, comprising K Rajesh, KV Kavitha and
K Satyavani, besides Prof Vijay, noticed that plantain tightens the
open wound, reduces its area and accelerates the healing process,
while turmeric provides the much needed anti-inflammatory and
antiseptic properties. The coconut oil enhances the growth of the

The other herbs used in the polyherbal cream improves normal cell
multiplication, helps in formation of natural fibrinogen network,
cleanses the would and controls the tissue glucose level.

The team noted that daily application of polyherbal cream could reduce
the wound size significantly in about a month and a half. It does not
give any side effects. "The polyherbal cream may be effective in
treating diabetic foot ulcers along with current standard care. It may
be an alternative to silver sulphadiazine cream used in healing
diabetic foot ulcers," they observed.

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