Antidiabetic Activity of Samma (Urtica simensis Hochst. ex. A. Rich.) in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice
Diabetes mellitus is a major public health problem in the world. According to WHO, the number of diabetics in Ethiopia, is expected to increase from about 800,000 cases in the year 2000 to 1.8 million by 2030. In the traditional health care system of Ethiopia, “Samma” (the leaves of Urtica simensis Hochst. ex. A. Rich., Urticaceae), are used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus and various other ailments. This study reports the antidiabetic activity of the total hydroalcoholic and aqueous extracts and the various solvent fractions of U. simensis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. The results revealed that the total hydroalcoholic extract as well as the methanol and aqueous fractions possess significant antidiabetic activity. Blood glucose levels were reduced by 17.9% and 29.9% after oral administration of 300 mg/kg of each of the methanol and aqueous fractions, respectively. At a concentration of 40 ;g/kg, the standard antidiabetic drug glibenclamide displayed a 57.8% reduction in blood glucose level. The aqueous fraction of U. simensis showed antidiabetic activity in a dose dependant manner. However, the petroleum ether, chloroform and acetone fractions did not exhibit any antidiabetic activity. In light of the results obtained from the current study, it could be concluded that the leaves of U. simensis have genuine antidiabetic activity, and their use in traditional medicine to control diabetis mellitus may be justified.
Keywords: Urtica simensis, Urticaceae, antidiabetic activity, hydroalcoholic extract, solvent fractions