Evaluation of the anti-diabetic properties of Mucuna pruriens seed extract

Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011 Aug;4(8):632-6. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(11)60161-2.


Objective: To explore the antidiabetic properties of Mucuna pruriens(M. pruriens).

Methods: Diabetes was induced in Wistar rats by single intravenous injection of 120 mg/kg of alloxan monohydrate and different doses of the extract were administered to diabetic rats. The blood glucose level was determined using a glucometer and results were compared with normal and untreated diabetic rats. The acute toxicity was also determined in albino mice.

Results: Results showed that the administration of 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 100 mg/kg of the crude ethanolic extract of M. pruriens seeds to alloxan-induced diabetic rats (plasma glucose > 450 mg/dL) resulted in 18.6%, 24.9%, 30.8%, 41.4%, 49.7%, 53.1% and 55.4% reduction, respectively in blood glucose level of the diabetic rats after 8h of treatment while the administration of glibenclamide (5 mg/kg/day) resulted in 59.7% reduction. Chronic administration of the extract resulted in a significant dose dependent reduction in the blood glucose level (P<0.001). It also showed that the antidiabetic activity of M. pruriens seeds resides in the methanolic and ethanolic fractions of the extract. Acute toxicity studies indicated that the extract was relatively safe at low doses, although some adverse reactions were observed at higher doses (8-32 mg/kg body weight), no death was recorded. Furthermore, oral administration of M. pruriens seed extract also significantly reduced the weight loss associated with diabetes.

Conclusions: The study clearly supports the traditional use of M. pruriens for the treatment of diabetes and indicates that the plant could be a good source of potent antidiabetic drug.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Alloxan / adverse effects
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / mortality
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / pathology
  • Glyburide / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mucuna / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seeds / chemistry


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Alloxan
  • Glyburide