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Potential Anti-diabetic Effects and Safety of Aqueous Extracts of Urtica dioica Collected from Narok County, Kenya | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN : 2153-2435

Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta
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Research Article

Potential Anti-diabetic Effects and Safety of Aqueous Extracts of Urtica dioica Collected from Narok County, Kenya

Mwangi J Mukundi1,2*, Njagi EN Mwaniki1, Ngugi M Piero1, Njagi J Murugi3, Juma K Kelvin1, Abdirahman A Yusuf1, Mwonjoria K John1, Ngetich K Alex7, Agyirifo S Daniel1,4, Gathumbi K Peter5 and Muchugi N Alice6

1Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

2Department of Science, Narok Teachers Training College, Narok, Kenya

3Department of Environmental and Population Health, School of Public Health, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

4Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

5Department of Veterinary Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

6Genetic Resources Unit, World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi

7Department of Biochemistry, Technical University of Kenya, Kenya

*Corresponding Author:
Mwangi J Mukundi
Department of Science, Narok Teachers
Training College, P.O. Box 709
Narok, Kenya
Tel: +254721279669
Email: [email protected]

Received date: April 28, 2016; Accepted date: May 25, 2017; Published date: May 30, 2017

Citation: Mukundi MJ, Mwaniki NEN, Piero NM, Murugi NJ, Kelvin JK, et al. (2017) Potential Anti-diabetic Effects and Safety of Aqueous Extracts of Urtica dioica Collected from Narok County, Kenya. Pharm Anal Acta 7: 548. doi: 10.4172/2153-2435.1000548

Copyright: © 2017 Mukundi MJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Drug bio screening for potential anti-diabetics is scientifically motivated by the desire to discover newer, safer and affordable drugs that complement conventional strategies for management of diabetes. Urtica dioica grows naturally in many parts of Africa with a wide variety use in traditional medicine and diet. However, scientific validation for use of U. dioica has not been done for anti-diabetic activity. The aim of the study was to determine the antidiabetic effects of aqueous extracts of U. dioica in alloxan induced mice and the safety of U. dioica on mice models. The plant extracts were administered orally at doses of 25 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg and 300 mg/kg which is the common route used in traditional herbal medicine administration. Evaluation for toxicity was determined at a dose of 1000 mg/kg body weight aqueous extracts of U. dioica. The results from the study indicated that the plant extracts exhibited insulin mimetic anti-diabetic activity. Evaluation for toxicity also indicated that a dose of 1000 mg/kg bw preserved the integrity of liver, kidney and lipid profiles for biochemical markers. Moreover, there was no significant change in the hematological and leucocyte counts. There was no significant change in gross body weight, organ body weight and histopathological changes on tissues of the body organs in this study. Furthermore, qualitative and quantitative phytochemical screening of aqueous leaf extracts of U. dioica indicated the presence of phenols, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins and saponins. Various levels of different mineral elements were also recorded. In conclusion, this study confirmed that U. dioica at a dose of 50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg and 300 mg/kg body weights possessed anti-diabetic activity. It is also safe for use at a dose of 1000 mg/kg body weight. More studies should be explored on the potential anti-diabetic effects using other routes of administration.


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