Diabetes is a systemic disease affecting a large proportion of the population worldwide. Hyperglycemia, the
major factor responsible for its development, is known to cause both microvascular and macrovascular complications if
not controlled in time. Retinopathy is one such microvascular complication of the eye and has been studied extensively.
There are biochemical pathways that lead to its progression and are common to other complications, viz. the formation of
advanced glycation end products, the activation of protein kinase C, increase in oxidative stress and the polyol pathway.
Though there are standard treatments available to manage diabetic retinopathy, there remains a need to explore herbal
medicine as an alternative for its treatment. Many herbal preparations alleviating hyperglycemia that are used to treat diabetes
or have insulin sensitizing effects are available in the market. These may help managing diabetic retinopathy, too.
Many plants are known to produce inhibitors of advanced glycation end products, the aldose reductase (polyol) pathway,
and protein kinase C (PKC). Hence, there is a necessity to evaluate the potential of these plants, focussing on individual
phytoconstituents like phenolic compounds.