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Plant Benefits



Principal Consultant, Letitia McCune, wrote her PhD on traditional medicinal plants used against the symptoms of diabetes 


Diabetes and Antioxidants

Antioxidants have been shown to


  • reduce chance of onset of diabetes

  • improve glucose disposal

  • improve many of the complications of diabetes

  • help with reduced endogenous antioxidants with onset of diabetes


and many medicinal plant species are high in antioxidants 

in fact:

Research into some traditional medicinal plants used for diabetes symptoms found

  • The greater the number of diabetes symptoms a plant was used for the greater the antioxidant activity

  • bark>leaves>roots in regard to antioxidant activity of specific part used medicinally in these species

  • trees>shrubs>herbs in antioxidant activity in these species

  • plants that grew in wetland or moist conditions had least activity



Research into the above can be found in these articles by the Principal Consultant of BotanyDoc:

      Letitia M. McCune. 2013. Chapter 22: Traditional medicinal plants of Indigenous Peoples of Canada and their antioxidant activity in relation to treatment of diabetes. In: Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Diabetes, R.R.Watson and V.R. Preedy (Eds.). Academic Press, San Diego, CA. pp. 221-234.

     Letitia M. McCune and Timothy Johns. 2007. Antioxidant activity relates to plant part, life form and growing condition in some diabetes remedies.  Journal of Ethnopharmacology 112:461-469.


     Letitia M. McCune, Patrick Owen and Timothy Johns. 2006. Flavonoids, Xanthones and Other Antioxidant Polyphenols. In:  Traditional Medicines for Modern Times: Antidiabetic Plants. Amala Soumyanath (Ed.). CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. pp. 293-303.


     Letitia M. McCune and Timothy Johns. 2003. Symptom-specific antioxidant activity of boreal diabetes treatments. Pharmaceutical Biology 41(5): 362-370.


     Letitia M. McCune and Timothy Johns. 2002. Antioxidant activity in medicinal plants associated with the symptoms of diabetes mellitus used by the Indigenous Peoples of the North American boreal forest. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 82: 197-205.


      Letitia M. McCune. 1999. Antioxidants in Canadian boreal forest indigenous medicinal plant treatments in relation to non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Ph.D. Thesis, McGill University.


Cardiovascular Disease (often in conjunction with diabetes)

Three herbal remedies have been used in multiple experiments related to cardiovascular disease, a review of these was published by the Principal Consultant of BotanyDoc:

       Letitia M. McCune. 2013. Chapter 15: A review of the antioxidant actions of three herbal medicines (Crataegus monogyna, Ginkgo biloba, and Aesculus hippocastanum) on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. In: Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Cardiovascular Disease. R.R. Watson and V.R. Preedy (Eds.), Academic Press, San Diego, CA. pp. 243-253.   


Cherries (as another way to get those healthy plant properties)

  • Cherries are ranked high among antioxidant foods and a good source of anthocyanins and polyphenols

  • Dried cherries have been shown to be high in plant protein, fiber, vitamin A and potassium

  • Research suggests cherries have anti-cancer components

  • Research also suggests cherries have cardio-protective properties

  • Studies have shown tart cherries to lower inflammation

  • The melatonin in tart cherries can help sleep patterns

The two reviews below highlight the information above, written by the Principal Consultant of BotanyDoc:

     Letitia M. McCune. 2013. Chapter 13: Dried Cherries: Phytochemicals and health perspectives. In: Dried Fruits: Phytochemicals and Health Effects. Cesarettin Alasalvar and Fereidoon Shahidi (Eds.). Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. pp. 243-257.


     Letitia M. McCune, Chieri Kubota, Nicole R. Stendell-Hollis, and Cynthia A. Thomson. 2011. Cherries and Health: A Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 51(1):1-12.

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