The hypoglycaemic effect of aqueous extracts of Carum carvi (CC) and Capparis spinosa L. (CS) fruit were investigated in normal and streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic rats. After a single dose or 14 daily doses, oral administration of the aqueous CC and CS extracts (20 mg/kg) produced a significant decrease on blood glucose levels in STZ diabetic rats (P < 0.001); the blood glucose levels were nearly normalised 2 weeks after daily repeated oral administration of both aqueous CC and CS extracts (20 mg/kg) (P < 0.001). No highly significant changes on blood glucose levels were noticed in normal rats after both acute and chronic treatments with CS and CC. In addition, no changes were observed in basal plasma insulin concentrations after treatment with these plants in either normal or STZ diabetic rats indicating that the underlying mechanism of this pharmacological activity seems to be independent of insulin secretion. We conclude that aqueous extracts of CC and CS exhibit a potent anti-hyperglycaemic activity in STZ rats without affecting basal plasma insulin concentrations.