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Keywords:

  • Galega officinalis;
  • metformin;
  • antidiabetic

Abstract

This article traces the roots of the antihyperglycaemic biguanide metformin from the use of Galega officinalis (goat's rue or French lilac) as a herbal treatment for the symptoms of diabetes. G. officinalis was found to be rich in guanidine, a substance with blood glucose-lowering activity that formed the chemical basis of metformin. This insulin sensitising drug was introduced in 1957. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.