In traditional practice, Senna Occidentalis medicinal plant is used in many countries to control diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder resulting from insulin deficiency, characterized by hyperglycemia, altered metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and lipids, and an increased risk of vascular complication.
Diabetes mellitus has recently been identified by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as one of the refractory diseases for which satisfactory treatment is not available in modern allopathic system of medicine.. A large number of plant preparations have been reported to possess antidiabetic activity over the last several decades. Researchers in India have documented the use of over 150 plants in various families with hypoglycemic activity.
Cassia occidentalis Linn. (COL) Family Caesalpiniaceae is a common weed scattered from the foothills of Himalayas to West Bengal, South India, Burma, and Sri Lanka and Africa. The plant is a diffuse (usually annual) under shrub with loosely spreading branches 60–150 cm long, found throughout India and Africa, up to an altitude of 1500 m. Different parts of this plant have been reported to possess anti-inflammatory, antihepatotoxic, antibacterial and antiplasmodial activities. They possess purgative, tonic, febrifugal, expectorant and diuretic properties. The plant is also used to heal sore eyes, hematuria, rheumatism, typhoid, asthma and disorder of hemoglobin and is also reported to heal leprosy. An infusion of the bark is given in diabetes.
A wide range of chemical constituents isolated from C. occidentalis including sennoside, anthraquinone glycoside, fatty oils, flavonoids, glycosides, gallactomannan, polysaccharides and tannins. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antidiabetic potential of ethanolic extract of C. occidentalis (COL) on fasting blood sugar levels and biochemical parameters such as serum cholesterol, total protein and triglyceride. Histologic examination was also carried out on hematoxylin-eosin stained sections of pancreatic tissue.
It can be concluded that ethanolic extract of S. occidentalis exhibited significant antidiabetic activity in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The extract also resulted in improvement in parameters like body weight and lipid profile as well as regeneration of β-cells of pancreas and so it valuable in the treatment of diabetes.