Antidiabetic activity and safety of aloe volkensii, acacia nilotica, euclea divinorum, rhoicissus tridentata, cynanchum viminale and urtica dioica in mice.
Mwangi, John Mukundi
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Diabetes is increasingly affecting a growing number of patients and seriously reducing their quality of life. Use of conventional drugs in diabetes management is expensive, thus, unaffordable to most patients. Furthermore most of these conventional drugs are associated with undesirable side effects. Incorporation of herbal medicine into conventional healthcare system may significantly improve the overall management of Diabetes. Evaluation of efficacy and safety by scientific method is necessary to validate herbal medicine utilization. In most cases even where efficacy of the plants has been established the standard dosage required to bring about healing is not clear. This study evaluated six plants for their efficacy and toxicity using aqueous extracts in alloxan induced diabetic mice. Both the Intraperitoneal and oral routes were used in the administration of the extracts. Stem bark extracts of Euclea divinorum (Olkinyei) and Acacia nilotica (Olkiloriti), whole stem extracts of Rhoicissus tridentata (Orkilenyai) and Cynanchum viminale (Oleilei), leaf extracts of Aloe volkensii (Osuguroi) and Urtica dioica (Entamejoi) were used. In the evaluation for efficacy, mice were divided into seven groups, diabetes was induced using alloxan and each group was treated with a specified dose of the plant extract. The results were compared to those obtained from the group treated with conventional drug Insulin through the intraperitoneal route and glibeclamide administered by using the oral route. Standard procedures were used in determination of phytochemical content of the plant extracts, while TXRF and AAS methods were used to determine the minerals present in the extacts. Toxicity studies involved administration of a high dose of the extracts at 1000mg/kgbw through the intraperitoneal and oral routes. Phytochemical analysis was done by use of standard procedures. Results revealed antidiabetic activity of all the plants at varyng levels, Urtica dioica was the most effective with blood sugar lowering ability being comparable to that of conventional drugs. Cynanchum viminale and Euclea divinorum showed the lowest hypoglycemic activity. Intraperitoneal route showed greater hypoglycemic activity than oral route. Toxicity studies confirmed the safety of most of the plant extracts in both intraperitoneal and oral routes. Quantitative and qualitative phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of Alkaloids, Tannins, Saponins, Phenols, Flavonoids and Phylobatanins. Determination of the levels of mineral constituents demonstrated the present of K+, Ca2+, Cr6+, Cd2+, V3+, Mn2+, Fe2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+, Se2+, Ni2+, As5+, Cl-, Rb2+, Br2+ and Pb+. In conclusion, the results showed that all the six plant extracts except Euclea divinorum and Cynanchum viminale were effective in reducing blood sugar levels. Euclea divinorum was the only plant extract that showed high levels of toxicity the other plant extracts did not reveal significant toxicity effects.These results validates the use of the plant extracts in phytomedicine. Consideration should be made to carry out similar studies using higher animal models for confirmatory purposes.