A Screening Experiment on a Diabetes Mellitus Herbal Formulation
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Screening experiments are usually performed on mixtures in order to determine the experimental variables that have significant influence on the targeted response. In this study, a screening experiment was carried out on a herbal formulation prescribed by a registered Kenyan herbalist to diabetes mellitus type II patients. The herbal formulation was composed of the following six herbs: Utica dioica, Moringaoleifera, Cinnamomum verum, Azadirachta indica, Momordica charantia and Gymnema sylvestre. The targeted response was the change that had occurred in blood glucose level 2 hours after the herbal drug treatment had been administered to alloxan induced diabetic albino wistar rats. An axial mixture design with replicated centre points was adopted and a first degree mixture model fitted to the data. The axial mixture design was constructed using Design Expert® software with randomly distributed 23 design points positioned on the component axes. The analysis of the data was carried out using the R statistical software environment. The results showed that Cinnamomum verum and Azadirachta indica caused the highest change individually on the blood glucose level among the six herbs. The complete mixture of the six herbs registered the lowest reduction in the blood glucose level. We recommend that the two herbs, Cinnamomum verum and Azadirachta indica, be tested farther to find out the most optimal conditions for their extraction in terms of temperature and time so as to produce a maximum reduction on the blood glucose level. In addition, we recommend that this study be extended to higher animals to establish whether the same patterns would be observed and also obtain the appropriate dosage levels.