Preliminary Phytochemical and Hypoglycemic Studies on Phyllanthus Niruri (Euphorbiaceae) Leaf Extract

  • UE Odoh
  • CO Ezugwu
  • PO Osadebe
  • U Ajali


The hypoglycemic effect of the methanol leaf extract of Phyllanthus niruri (Euphorbiaceae) was evaluated on normoglycemic and hyperglycemic rats. Diabetes was induced in rats using alloxan (80 mg/kg body weight intraperitoneally). Normoglycemic and hyperglycemic rats were administered with two different doses (100 and 200 mg/kg) of the extract of Phyllanthus niruri (P. niruri), 10 mg/kg of Glibenclamide (Positive control) and 2 ml /kg of 3 % Tween 20 (Negative control). The blood sugar level was determined using a Glucometer. The classes of chemical components and the acute toxicity of P. niruri were also investigated. The leaf extract produced a dose dependent reduction (P<0.05) in blood sugar levels of both normoglycemic and hyperglycemic rats. When doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg of the extract were administered intraperitoneally to alloxan induced diabetic rats, significant decrease in blood sugar level occurred (25.49 and 52.91 % respectively) comparable to the sugar lowering effect of glibenclamide (60.71 %). In normal rats, the extract (100 and 200 mg/kg) exhibited a significant reduction of the blood sugar level of 17.28 % and 36.84 % respectively while glibenclamide caused a 42.80 % reduction. Phytochemical tests on P. niruri showed the presence of alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, glycosides, reducing sugars, resins, steroids, tannins and terpenoids. Acute toxicity test carried out in mice using Lorke’s methods showed that the extract was safe, since no death was recorded at the dose of 5000 mg/kg. The study shows that the extract of P. niruri possessed a significant and dose dependent hypoglycemic activity in normoglycemic and alloxan-induced diabetic rats and comparable to glibenclamide, the standard drug. This also supports its use in folklore management of diabetes.

Keywords: diabetes, hyperglycemic activity, Phyllanthus niruri, Euphorbiaceae, toxicity

Nigerian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 8 No 1 pp. 78 - 83 (September 2010)

Author Biographies

UE Odoh
Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
CO Ezugwu
Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
PO Osadebe
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
U Ajali
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0189-8434