HYPOGLYCEMIC POTENTIAL AND SAFETY OF AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF Aspilia mossambicensis IN ALLOXINISED DIABETIC MICE
Aspilia mossambicensis (Oliv.) Wild is ethnomedically used in management of numerous maladies, including diabetes mellitus. In spite of this, its efficacy and safety has not been scientifically validated. The aim of this study was to determine in vivo hypoglycemic activity and safety of the aqueous whole stem and leaf extracts of Aspilia mossambicensis (Oliv.) Wild in alloxanised diabetic swiss albino mice. The extract was assayed for hypoglycemic activity through oral administration at four doses of 50, 100, 200 and 300mg/kg body weight. The safety of the extract was evaluated by oral administration of the extract at doses of 450, 670 and 1000mg/kg body weight for twenty eight days and subsequently determining the body weights, normalized percent organ to body weight, hematological and biochemistry parameters. Phytochemicals composition was assayed through standard procedures. The extract showed strong dose independent hypoglycemic activity from the first to the sixth hour, after which diminishing activity was noted through to the 24th hour. Following oral administration of the extract in normal mice for 28 days, to assay for the safety of the extract, significantly lower rate of weekly weight gain was observed. Moreover, a significant increase in normalized percent organ to body weight of the liver and kidney was noted. A profile of hematological parameters revealed significant elevation in the level of packed cell volume and mean cell volume, lymphocytes and neutrophils count relevant to the normal control. Significant elevation in the level of AST, ALP, GGT and LDH were also noted, at higher doses of the extract. Hypoglycemic activity and the mild toxicity demonstrated by this plant at elevated doses may be due to the phytochemical composition of the plant extract. The study recommended continued use of the extract at the tested therapeutic doses.