Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that results in distorted insulin signaling and microvascular complications. Current antidiabetic drugs possess harmful long term side effects, necessitating the need for alternate or compliment therapy with lesser issues. Medicinal plants such as ginger have been reported to possess several beneficial activities including antidiabetic activity. The antidiabetic efficacy of microwave-assisted polyphenolic extracts of Indian ginger cultivars from Odisha (MPO) and Tamil Nadu (MPT) is reported here. MPT and MPO showed insulin stimulated glucose uptake of 1.74 ± 0.25 and 1.47 ± 0.15 fold at 6.25 µg/ml of concentrations in C2C12 cells respectively when compared to control. MPT possessed α–amylase, α–glucosidase inhibitory and anti-glycation properties. It also showed DPPH radical scavenging activity (7.69 ± 0.001%), inhibited LPS-induced nitric oxide production (1.06 ± 0.004 fold) than the latter and increased the GLUT4 protein expression by 1.4 fold. Major active compounds such as shogaol and gingerol derivatives, curcumene, zingiberone were identified through GC-ESI/MS analysis and D-pinitol (cyclitol) was identified through HPLC analysis in this variety. This is the first paper to report the presence of an antidiabetic compound, D-pinitol, in the ginger variety. Polyphenol rich, biologically potent ginger extracts can be a good food and nutraceutical supplement to address diabetes and related complications. Practical applications: Ginger is a native spice of South Asian Countries including India. Ginger extracts possess several medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and antioxidant activities. It is used to treat nausea, vomiting and commonly used as a food flavouring agent and dietary food supplement. Our study shows the antidiabetic, anti-glycation and antioxidant efficacy of polyphenol rich Indian ginger cultivars grown in different geographical regions. Variations in the biological activities between the MPT and MPO ginger variety was observed. Different environmental conditions and their corresponding metabolite accumulation can be correlated with the better activity shown by MPT variety. It showed an increased GLUT4 expression even at a lower dose of 6.25 µg/ml. Ginger cultivar, especially MPT variety can be used as an adjuvant therapy for treating diabetes. Therefore, our study indicates that polyphenols rich ginger cultivar has major application in functional food product development. © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.