Abstract

Enicostemma littorale Blume, also known as Mamajjaka in Sanskrit, Indian gentian in English and “Kadavinay” in local language, is a perennial herb of Gentianaceae family. The plant parts like leaves and roots are used since ages in various parts of India for treating diabetes. It is widely used in Solapur and Osmanabad districts of Maharashtra, in the form of “leaf pickle” as a dietary supplement in diabetic patient. Acharya Priyavat Sharma has described it as useful in madhumeha. Mamajjaka has a predominance of Tikta rasa, Ushna virya, Katu vipaka, Laghu-Ruksha guna and Vayu-Aakash mahabhuta. It’s an easily available and economically important herb. Different constituents of Mamajjaka, like Swertiamarin, Flavonoids, Saponins, triterpenoids, alkaloids, catechins, sterols, phenolic acids and xanthones, have been reported for possessing hypoglycemic properties. In-vivo, anti-hyperglycemic effect of Mamajjaka has been established, through enhancing glucose-induced insulin release, reducing the glycosylated hemoglobin and by inhibiting the action of glucose-6-phosphate in liver. As, all previous studies have established the significant potentials of Mamajjaka both in Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes, in this study we have reviewed the pharmaco-kinetics of Mamajjaka, keeping in mind the scientific basis of traditional use of Mamajjaka mainly as diet in diabetes. We have established the role of panchabhautic constitution of Mamajjaka as a dietary supplement for the diabetic patients. We have concluded that Mamajjaka, being cost-effective and easily available medicinal herb possessing hypoglycemic properties, can be used as an excellent vegetable in diabetic patients as a dietary supplement.