Bitter leaf, scent leaf extract protects diabetics from heart, testicular damage
Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00 CHUKWUMA MUANYA Features - Natural Health
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Can increasing the intake of bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) and scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum) protect Nigerians from complications of diabetes? CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes.
DIABETES is an age long, serious metabolic disorder with complications that results in significant morbidity and mortality. Chronic hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) during diabetes has been shown to cause glycation of body protein, which in turn leads to secondary complications that affect the eyes, kidneys, nerves ...view middle of the document...
The study is titled: “Cardioprotective Potential Of Vernonia Amygdalina And Ocimum Gratissimum Against Streptozotocin (Stz) – Induced Diabetes In Wistar Rats.”
Another study published in Health Inequalities Hub concluded, “we therefore conclude that the use of the extracts of these plants should be used in combination as they exert a better improvement to combat the adverse effects of diabetes on the testes of male rats.”
The study is titled: “Ethanolic Extracts of Vernonia Amygdalina And Ocimum Gratissimum Enhance Testicular Improvement In Diabetic Wistar Rats.”
Diabetes mellitus is characterised by disordered metabolism and abnormally high blood sugar resulting from insufficient levels of insulin. It is a disease of the developed world that is gradually creeping into developing countries, especially in Africa where westernised diets are imbibed.
Vernonia amygdalina and Ocimum gratissimum are among the traditionally used herbal plants to treat different ailments. Vernonia amygdalina has been found useful in the ethno therapy of asthma, schistosomiasis, malaria, measles, diarrhoea, tuberculosis, abdominal pain and fever.
Ocimum gratissimum is commonly used in cooking due to its minty aromatic flavour. Traditionally, Ocimum gratissimum has been used for the treatment of headache, diarrhoea, wart worms and kidney infections. The leaves of the African varieties of Ocimum gratissimum are said to contain thymol oil, which has been found to be highly antiseptic and also used to prevent mosquito bite. Vernonia amygdalina and Ocimum gratissimum have been found to have anti-diabetic properties.
According to the University of Calabar study, 40 Wistar rats of an average weight of 140g were used for this study and were randomly divided into five groups of eight rats each. Groups A and B served as the normal and diabetic controls respectively and were given placebo treatment. Groups C, D and E were the experimental groups administered with 200mg/kg body weight of the extracts by gastric intubations for 28 days.
Groups C and D received extracts of Vernonia amygdalina and Ocimum gratissimum respectively. Group E received a combination of both extracts. Fasting blood glucose (FBG) level was checked on a weekly basis.
Results showed a significant lowering of FBG level of animals in the treated groups, while the diabetic control group recorded a significant increase in FBG. The normal control group had FBG level within the normal range. Histological examination revealed a normal cytoarchitecture in the group A animals.
The diabetic control group B animals showed degeneration of myocytes, loss of nuclei, loss of cross striation of the cardiac muscles and an increase in myofibre diameter. These conditions were greatly reversed in the treated groups that received the extracts. It can, therefore, be concluded that Vernonia amygdalina and Ocimum gratissimum may be effective and safe in the proper management of cardiomyopathy, one of the numerous...