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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 929074, 8 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Antidiabetic Activity and Associated Toxicity of Artemisia afra Aqueous Extract in Wistar Rats

Research Center for Phytomedicine, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa

Received 31 March 2013; Revised 15 May 2013; Accepted 20 May 2013

Academic Editor: Mohamed Eddouks

Copyright © 2013 Taofik O. Sunmonu and Anthony J. Afolayan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Artemisia afra Jacq. ex Willd. is a widely used medicinal plant in South Africa for the treatment of diabetes. This study aimed to evaluate the hypoglycemic activity and possible toxicity effect of aqueous leaf extract of the herb administered at different dosages for 15 days in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Administration of the extract at 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body weight significantly ( ) increased body weight, decreased blood glucose levels, increased glucose tolerance, and improved imbalance in lipid metabolism in diabetic rats. These are indications of antidiabetic property of A. afra with 200 mg/kg body weight of the extract showing the best hypoglycemic action by comparing favourably well with glibenclamide, a standard hypoglycemic drug. The extract at all dosages tested also restored liver function indices and haematological parameters to normal control levels in the diabetic rats, whereas the kidney function indices were only normalized in the diabetic animals administered with 50 mg/kg body weight of the extract. This investigation clearly showed that in addition to its hypoglycemic activity, A. afra may also protect the liver and blood against impairment due to diabetes. However, some kidney functions may be compromised at high dosages of the extract.