Objectives: Seed of Cucumis sativus Linn. is one of the herbal remedies has been traditionally used for diabetes mellitus treatment. We studied the effect of hydroalcoholic and buthanolic extract obtained from C. sativus seeds in a model of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic (type I) rats.
Materials and methods: Normal and diabetic male Wistar rats (STZ, 60 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) were treated daily with vehicle (5 ml/kg), hydroalcoholic (0.2, 0.4, 0.8 g/kg) and buthanolic extract (0.2, 0.4, 0.8 g/kg) and glibenclamide (1 & 3 mg/kg) separately and treatment was continued for 9 days. Blood samples were taken at 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 hr of the first day and the day 9 (216 hr) of treatments for measuring the blood glucose levels.
Results: Our findings indicated that C. sativus seeds extracts were not effective on reducing blood glucose levels (BGL) in normal and diabetic rats for initial phase of treatments. However, both hydroalcoholic (22.5-33.8 %) and buthanolic (26.6- 45.0 %) extracts were effective on diminishing BGL and controling the loss of body weight in diabetic rats compared to controls after 9 days of continued daily therapy. Glibenclamide on the other hand, had hypoglycemic action in normal (27.8-31.0 %) and diabetic rats (36.0-50.0 %) after acute and prolonged treatments.
Conclusion: It is concluded that C. sativus seeds extracts (hydroalcoholic and buthanolic) had a role in diabetes control probably through a mechanism similar to euglycemic agents. Further studies are warranted to clarify the mechanisms and the exact role of this herbal medicine in control of metabolic disorders.
Keywords: Animal model; Blood Glucose; Diabetes mellitus; Hypoglycemic agents; Plant extract.