Solomon O Rotimi, Omolola E Omotosho, Oluwakemi A Rotimi
Pharmacognosy Magazine 2011 7(25):25-30
Background: Diabetes mellitus is gradually becoming a global health burden leading to an increase in the search for herbal hypoglycemic agents as alternatives to synthetic ones. Asystasia gangetica is one of the herbs used in folklore system of medicine for managing hypoglycaemia associated with diabetes. Materials and Methods: The influence of the juice of A. gangetica leaf on alloxan-induced diabetic rats was assessed by treating diabetic rats with 25%, 50% and 75% fresh juice and glibenclamide for 5 weeks. Afterwards, the plasma concentrations of glucose, triacylglycerols, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and bicarbonate were assayed spectrophotometrically. Results: Treatment of the diabetic rats with the juice significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the elevated plasma levels of glucose to a level not significantly (P > 0.05) different from that of glibenclamide. The juice also significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the plasma lipid peroxidation and improved the lipid profile, as indicated by a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in the total cholesterol: HDL cholesterol ratio. However, there was a significant (P < 0.05) rise in the level of bicarbonate as result of the juice treatment from 28.15 ± 2.82 mmol/l in normal control to 60.83 ± 17.46 mmol/l in diabetic control and to 122.20 ± 34.68 mmol/l, 120.95 ± 35.09 mmol/l and 115.85 ± 11.79 mmol/l in 25%, 50% and 75% juice, respectively. Conclusion: Therefore, this inability of A. gangetica to prevent acidosis detracts from the potential of its usefulness in managing diabetes.