Background: In Ethiopian traditional medicine, the leaves of H. abyssinica (Rosaceae) have been used to treat diabetes mellitus. However, the anti-diabetic efficacy of H. abyssinica leaves crude extract has not been properly examined. The goal of this study was to see if the crude extract of H. abyssinica on might prevent diabetes in normoglycemic, oral glucose-loaded, and STZ-induced diabetic mice.

Methods: Successive maceration was used as a method of extraction using solvents of increasing polarity: methanol and water. After extraction of the leaves with 80% hydro methanol, the crude extract was evaluated for its anti diabetic activities using oral glucose loaded, normoglycemic, and single dose-treated diabetic mice model. The extract was evaluated at 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg doses. One-way ANOVA followed by Tukey’s post hoc test was used for data analysis, and p < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.

Results: The acute toxicity study of H. abyssinica leaf extract did not show mortality in the animals at the limit dose of 2000 mg/kg during the observation period. In normoglycemic model, the percentage reduction of baseline blood glucose level (BGL) was 26.08%, 32.90%, 35.24%, and 53.61% for Hagenia abyssinica crude extract (HAC) 100 mg/kg, HAC 200 mg/kg, 400 mg/kg, and glibenclamide (GLC) 5 mg/kg, respectively when compared to the negative control. The extract at the dose of 200 mg/kg, 400 mg/kg, and GLC treated groups demonstrated significant BGL reduction from peak levels in the OGTT model. In STZ-induced diabetic mice, all doses of the crude extract showed a significant reduction in the fasting BGL. At the 8th hour, the highest percent reductions in blood glucose level (BGL) were recorded in HAC100, HAC200, HAC400 and GL5 with 26.78%, 31.27%, 43.53% and 51.72% reduction respectively compared to their respective baseline fasting BGL levels.

Conclusion: H. abyssinica leaf extract displays antidiabetic activity in normal and STZ-induced diabetic mice, which justifies the claimed traditional use of H. abyssinica in managing DM in Ethiopian folk medicine.

Keywords: Antidiabetic; Diabetes Mellitus; Hagenia abyssinica; Hypoglycemia and Strep

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