Plant drugs play an important role in the development of single chemical entities for therapeutic purposes. The economically developed countries are evincing keen interest in the so called alternative systems, in which remedies based on herbal drugs are playing an important role. The role of herbal medicine in the management of lifestyle diseases, including diabetes has become the focus of experimental and clinical research globally.The new breed of plant- derived products are produced, standardised and clinically evaluated just like the conventional pharmaceuticals. During last three decades the herbs mentioned in Ayurvedic materia medica were subjected to preclinical and clinical screening for their antidiabetic activity. In this paper experimental evidence collected about 38 Ayurvedic medicinal plants are reviewed. Among these Azadirachta indica, Eugenia jambolana, Ficus benghalensis, Gymnema sylvestris, Inula racemosa, Momordica charantia, Ocimum sanctum, Pterocarpus marsupium, Trigonella foenum graecum and Withania somnifera are found to have significant role in reducing hyperglycemia. In India these herbs are frequently prescribed for controlling diabetes.