Ethnopharmacological relevance: In Indian traditional system of medicine, Moringa oleifera Lam. Syn. Moringa pterygosperma Gaerth (Moringaceae) is commonly used as healing herb to treat diabetes.
Aim of the study: The purpose of the present study was to assess the effect of M. oleifera leaves aqueous extract therapy on glycemic control, haemoglobin, total protein, urine sugar, urine protein and body weight.
Materials and methods: Variable doses of 100, 200 and 300 mg kg(-1) of aqueous extract were administered orally by gavage for evaluating their hypoglycemic and antidiabetic effects on fasting blood glucose (FBG), oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and post prandial glucose (PPG) of normal and streptozotocin (STZ) induced sub, mild and severely diabetic rats.
Results: The dose of 200 mg kg(-1) decreases blood glucose level (BGL) of normal animals by 26.7 and 29.9% during FBG and OGTT studies respectively. In sub and mild diabetic animals the same dose produced a maximum fall of 31.1 and 32.8% respectively, during OGTT. In case of severely diabetic animals FBG and PPG levels were reduced by 69.2 and 51.2% whereas, total protein, body weight and haemoglobin were increased by 11.3, 10.5 and 10.9% respectively after 21 days of treatment. Significant reduction was found in urine sugar and urine protein levels from +4 and +2 to nil and trace, respectively.
Conclusion: The study validates scientifically the widely claimed use of M. oleifera as an ethnomedicine to treat diabetes mellitus.