Scarlet colored clawed petals
The different extracts of the roots of Helicteres isora (Family-Sterculiaceae) were tested for
anti-diabetic activity, by glucose tolerance test in normal rats and alloxan induced diabetic rats.
Aqueous ethanol and butanol extracts had shown significant protection and lowered the blood
glucose levels to normal in glucose tolerance test. In alloxan induced diabetic rats the maximum
reduction in blood glucose was observed after 3h at a dose level of 250 mg/kg of body weight. The
percentage protections by aqueous ethanol and butanol extracts were 30 and 48% respectively. In
long term treatment of alloxan induced diabetic rats, the degree of protection was determined bymeasuring blood glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol and urea levels on 0,3,5,7 and 10th day. Both the
extracts showed a significant anti- diabetic activity comparable with that of glibenclamide. The
histopathological studies during the long-term treatment have shown to ameliorate the biochemical
damages caused by alloxan. These results indicate that the Helicteres isora root possess significant
anti – diabetic activity.
Diabetes mellitus is a major disease characterized by derangement in carbohydrate, fat and
protein metabolism, affecting nearly 10% of the population. In the recent past many hypoglycaemic
agents are introduced, still the diabetes and the related complications continue to be a major medical
problem not only in developed countries but also in developing countries. Many Indian medicinalplants are reported to be useful in diabetes1, 2. However, search for new anti-diabetic drugs continue.
Helicteres isora Linn. (Family – Sterculiaceae) is a shrub or small tree available in forests
from Bengal to Ceylon. In traditional the root juice is claimed to be useful in diabetes, empyema,and a favorite cure for snakebite1, 3. From the roots betulic acid, daucosterol, sitosterol, isorin4 were
isolated. Cucurbitacin B and isocucurbitacin B were isolated and reported to possess cytotoxicactivity5. The present study was undertaken to verify the claim and evaluate the anti-diabetic
property of the roots H. isora