Skip to content

Plants Historically Used As Anti-diabetics in Trinidad and Tobago

Table 1 - Plants historically used as antidiabetics in Trinidad and Tobago
Scientific NameFamily 1Local Name(s)Plant PartDistribution / Native Range 2
Abrus precatorius L.Fabaceaecrab eye/ licorice/jumbie beadaerial partsNative to Africa, temperate and tropical Asia, Australia & the Pacific; naturalized in the neotropics.
Ageratum conyzoides (L.) L.Asteraceaezeb-a-famrootNative to South America and the Caribbean; naturalized and/or cultivated globally
Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f.Xanthorrhoeaceaealoesnot specifiedNative to Canary Islands and North Africa; widely cultivated and naturalized
Annona muricata L.Annonaceaesoursopnot specifiedNeotropical origin – West Indies; naturalized across the tropics; widely cultivated
Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn.PolygonaceaecoralitavineNative to Mexico & Central America; naturalized and cultivated elsewhere
Aristolochia rugosa Lam.Aristolochiaceaematrootwhole plantNative to South America and the Caribbean
Aristolochia trilobata L.Aristolochiaceaetwef or trefleavesNative to South America and the Caribbean; often cultivated
Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson ex F.A.Zorn) FosbergMoraceaebreadfruityellowing leavesNative to tropical Asia—Melanesia and Polynesia; naturalized in the Pacific; cultivated throughout the tropics
Azadirachta indica A. JussMeliaceaeneem/nim or neebleavesNative to tropical Asia; naturalized and cultivated elsewhere
Bidens pilosa L.Asteraceaeneedle grass/ railway daisyleavesExact native range obscure—includes North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean; naturalized widely
Bixa orellana L.Bixaceaeroucou/rukuleaves, rootNative to American tropics; excl. Caribbean; cultivated and naturalized elsewhere in tropics
Bontia daphnoides L.Scrophulariaceaeolive bushleavesNative to the Caribbean and Venezuela
Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.Fabaceaepigeon peasleaves and stemsWidely cultivated in the tropics; originated in India
Cannabis sativa L.Cannabaceaeganja/marijuanaleaves, shoots and seeds Probable origin - Central Asia; now widely naturalized and cultivated globally
Carica papaya L.Caricaceaepaw-pawgreen fruitNative to S. Mexico and Central America; naturalized in the Caribbean & African tropics; cultivated elsewhere
Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. DonApocynaceaeperiwinklewhole herb (flowers, leaves, root) Native to Madagascar; naturalized and cultivated in tropics and subtropics
Chromolaena odorata (L.) R.M. King & H. Rob.AsteraceaeChristmas bushflowersNative in neotropics, incl. Caribbean; naturalized and cultivated in tropics worldwide
Cissampelos pareira L.MenispermaceaepataçonrootNative range from Mexico to Argentina and incl. Caribbean
Citrus x aurantium L.Rutaceaesour orangefruit peelWidely cultivated in tropics and subtropics; hybrid (C. reticulata x C. maxima)3 originating in China
Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt.Cucurbitaceaeparwar/ wild cucumber/ ivy gourdleaf juiceNative to Asia, African tropics and Australia; naturalized in Fiji; cultivated elsewhere
Cocos nucifera L.Arecaceaecoconutshell, flowerNative to parts of tropical Asia (including South East Asian islands and South margin of India), Pacific and Australia; widely naturalized and cultivated
Cola nitida (Vent.) Schott & Endl.Malvaceaeobie seedseedNative to West African tropics; cultivated elsewhere
Colubrina arborescens (Mill.) Sarg.RhamnaceaemaubybarkNative to Central and North America (N.B. localized to south Florida), and the Caribbean
Cordia curassavica (Jacq.) Roem. & Schult.Boraginaceaeblack sagenot specifiedNative range from Mexico to Argentina and incl. Caribbean
Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) StapfPoaceaefever grassnot specifiedOriginated in SE Asia; naturalized in Argentina and Chile; cultivated elsewhere.
Eryngium foetidum L.Apiaceaebandhaniya/ fit weed/shado benileaves, rootsNative to Central and South America & the Caribbean; naturalized elsewhere including N. America (Dade county, Florida)
Gomphrena globosa L.Amaranthaceaebachelor buttonleavesWidely cultivated & naturalized, exact native range obscure; probable origin -Neotropics
Ipomoea aquatica Forssk.Convolvulaceaekharmi bhajileaves and tender stemsNative to S.E. Asia (Austin 2007) 4 ; naturalized elsewhere including the Americas and the Pacific; widely cultivated
Laportea aestuans (L.) ChewUrticaceaestinging nettleleavesNative to tropics in Africa and America, incl. Caribbean; naturalized elsewhere
Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R. Br.Lamiaceaeshandilaynot specifiedOriginated in tropical Africa; naturalized across pantropics
Momordica charantia L.Cucurbitaceaecoraillee/ caraailileaves, fruitNative to Africa, Asia and Australia; naturalized in American tropics; widely cultivated
Moringa oleifera Lam.MoringaceaesaijanleavesNative to Indian subcontinent; cultivated elsewhere
Morus alba L.Moraceaepawi bushnot specifiedNative to temperate Asia; widely naturalized and cultivated in temperate and tropical areas
Musa x paradisiaca L.Musaceaesilk figleavesIndo/Malaysian origin; widely cultivated
Neurolaena lobata (L.) R.Br. ex Cass.Asteraceaezeb-a-pik/zebapiqueleavesNative to American tropics, incl. Caribbean
Passiflora quadrangularis L.Passifloraceaebarbadine/granadillaleavesOriginated in neotropics; widely cultivated in the tropics
Persea americana Mill.Lauraceaezaboca/avocadoseedOriginated in Central America – Mexico & Guatemala; naturalized in Pacific.
Phyllanthus amarus Schumach. & Thonn.Phyllanthaceaeseed-under-leafnot specifiedNative to tropical America, incl. Caribbean; naturalized in paleotropics
Phyllanthus urinaria L.Phyllanthaceaeseed-under-leafnot specifiedNative to temperate and tropical regions in Asia as well as the western Pacific; naturalized elsewhere in the tropics
Pityrogramma calomelanos (L.) LinkPteridaceaestamp fernwhole plantNative to neotropics, incl. Caribbean; naturalized in paleotropics
Ruellia tuberosa L.Acanthaceaeminny rootroot, leavesNative to Central America; naturalized in South America & Caribbean and across paleotropics
Scoparia dulcis L.Plantaginaceaesweet broomwhole herbNeotropical origin; widely naturalized in tropics and subtropics
5 Senna fruticosa (Mill.) H.S. Irwin & BarnebyFabaceaechristmas bushflowersNative to Mexico and Central America, excl. Caribbean
5 Senna italica Mill.Fabaceaesennanot specifiedNative to Africa, tropical and temperate regions in Asia; naturalized in Venezuela
Spermacoce verticillata L.Rubiaceaewhite head broomwhole herbNative in neotropics from Mexico to Paraguay; incl. the Caribbean; naturalized elsewhere
Spiranthes acaulis (Sm.) Cogn.Orchidaceaelapsogennot specifiedNative in Central to South America and Trinidad and Tobago
Spondias mombin L.Anacardiaceaehog plumleavesNative to tropical America; obscure native range in West Indies; widely cultivated in paleotropics
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) VahlVerbenaceaevervine/ vervainnot specifiedNative to American tropics, incl. Caribbean; widely naturalized in paleotropics & Polynesia

1. Listing of Family names based on information from Stevens (2001) and The Plant List (2013)
2. Unless indicated otherwise, places of origin / distribution ranges were sourced from GRIN (2016) and Tropicos (2016)
3. IPNI (2012) entry for Citrus aurantium L. indicates probable hybrid of C. maxima x C. reticulata
4. Austin 2007, states that Ipomoea aquatica originated in S.E. Asia (includes China & India) but was introduced elsewhere.
5. Originally listed as Cassia spp, these species have been assigned to the genus Senna based on shared floral morphology as described in Irwin and Barneby 1982.

Source: Florida International University – FIU Digital Commons – FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations – University Graduate School 7-8-2016
Medicinal Plants of Trinidad and Tobago: Selection of Antidiabetic Remedies

This article is copyrighted by Ital is Vital, 2024. Want to re-post this article? Visit our guidelines.


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email