Survey and In Vitro Investigation of the Plants Used by Traditional Healers in the Treatment of Diabetes in Albay Province, the Philippines

  • Dennis B. Gogola * Faculty, Nursing Department, Bicol University Tabaco Campus, Philippines
  • Maria Luisa U. Tango Faculty, Education Department, Bicol University Tabaco Campus, Philippines
Keywords: Diabetes, Alpha-glucosidase inhibition, Antioxidant, C. nucifera L., B. balsamifera (L.) DC.


Background and Aim: Diabetes is a global lifestyle disease that affects the health and economy of the affected population. It causes debilitating complications, which require expensive medications whose consumption produces side effects. Likewise, this study identified the plants used for treating diabetes by traditional healers in Albay province, Philippines. We evaluated their anti-diabetic and antioxidant activities in vitro, and determined the presence of essential phytochemicals.Materials and Methods: The anti-diabetic activity of the plant extracts was determined by α-glucosidase inhibition assay. The free radical scavenging activity of the plants was evaluated using DPPH (1, 1-Diphenyl-2 -picrylhydrazyl). Moreover, the determination of total phenolics, tannins, and flavonoids was performed using conventional methods.Results: The nine plants that were used included Annona muricata L., Blumea balsamifera (L.) DC., Moringa oleifera Lam, Cymbopogon citratus (DC.), Cocus nucifera L., Curcuma longa L., Momordica charantia L., Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench., and Citrus microcarpa Bunge. The inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase was actively exhibited by B. balsamifera (L.) DC. leaf and C. nucifera L. root extracts with IC50 (inhibition concentration at 50%) values of 4.97 and 13.36 μg/ml, respectively. Furthermore, the plant extracts exhibited free radical scavenging capacity that ranged from 38.88 to 90.36% at the concentration of 100 μg/mL. The B. balsamifera (L.) DC. exhibited the highest radical scavenging activity, with 90.36%, followed by C. nucifera L. with 88.57 %. Furthermore, the total phenolic, flavonoid, and tannin contents were found higher in C. nucifera L. with 609.5, 98.3, and 1,577.70mg GAE/g dw, respectively. Meanwhile, in B. balsamifera (L.) DC. there were 276.4mg GAE/gm phenolic, 611.1mg GAE/gm tannin and 63.3mg GAE/gm dw flavonoid contents, respectively.Conclusion: The results suggest that only two out of the nine plants displayed inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase. Furthermore, they exhibited antioxidant capacity and contained essential bioactive compounds. Hence, the results provide scientific support to the potential use of these plants in the traditional alternative medicine for treating diabetes


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