Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Mohamed H. Amri
Mamdouh R. EI-Ridi
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common endocrine diseases in the world that affects almost 6% of the world population. The treatment of diabetes mellitus takes three main forms. First, diet and exercise. Secondly, insulin therapy, and thirdly, using hypoglycaemic agents (suiphonylureas and biguanides). Many of these agents are not very effective in lowering glucose level in diabetic patients and are either too expensive or have undesirable side effects and contraindications. As a result of this, the search for effective drugs for the treatment of diabetes mellitus continues.
Before the introduction of insulin in 1922, the treatment of diabetes mellitus relied heavily on initiatives derived from folk medicine. These initiatives include the use of traditional plants therapies. Many traditional plants treatment for diabetes exist but few have received scientific or medical scrutiny.
The use of traditional plants for the treatment of diabetes mellitus is widely practiced in the Middle East. In UAE many traditional plants are used as anti-diabetic remedies, such as the leaves of Rhaza stricta (Al Harmal), Tephrosia apollinea (Dhafra), Zygophyllum simplex (Al hirm), Moringa pere grEna (Shoo), Ziziphus spina-cristi (Al seder), Citrullus colocynthis (Handal) and Teucrium mascatense (Jaadah). In spite of the wide use of these herbs to treat diabetes, no laboratory investigations have been conducted to determine the accuracy of the claims about their anti-diabetic effects.
The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of these plants in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. The aqueous extracts of these plants were incubated with pancreatic fragments to determine whether they have the ability to stimulate insulin secretion. Aqueous extracts of Citrullus colocynthis, Zygophyllum simplex and Tephrosia Apollonia stimulated insulin secretion significantly in vitro. However, only Curullus culocynthis was able to stimulate insulin release in a consistent manner.
The oral administration of aqueous extract of Citrullus colocynthis seeds was investigated for its effects on biochemical and metabolic parameters of normal and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes rats. The results of this study revealed that oral administration of the aqueous extract of the seed significantly reduced blood glucose levels in normal and diabetic rats in a dose-correlate manner. Moreover, aqueous extract of Chrullus colocynthis seeds increased plasma insulin level. In addition, C. colocynthis appeared to induce a significant increase in the number of insulin-secreting cells after induction of diabetes islets. There is strong indication that aqueous Citrullus colocynthis significantly decreased the percentage distribution of glucagon secreting cells. However, the treatments of aqueous extract of C. colocynthis did not completely normalize these parameters as the values were still significantly different from those of controls.
Al-Ghaithi, Fatma Khadem, "Effect of Some Medicinal Plants in U.A.E. on Glucose Homeostasis in Rats" (2005). Theses. 558.