Toddalia is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the citrus family containing the single species Toddalia asiatica, which is known by the English common name orange climber.
It is native to many countries in Africa and Asia. Examples include South Africa where in Afrikaans it is called ranklemoentjie, and in Venda, gwambadzi. It is very popular among the Kikuyus of Central Kenya, where it is known as mururue.
It grows in forested riparian habitat with high rainfall. The destruction of forest habitat in Africa threatens the species' survival.
This is a liana with woody, corky, thorny stems that climb on trees, reaching up to 10 m in length. It has shiny green citrus-scented leaves, yellow-green flowers, and orange fruits about half a cm wide that taste like orange peel. The seeds are dispersed by birds and monkeys that eat the fruits. In particular, the scaly-breasted munia prefers to nest in these trees.
The plant is used medicinally by many African peoples, including the Maasai, who use it for malaria, cough, and influenza. The roots contain coumarins that have antiplasmodial activity. Extracts of the plant have demonstrated antiviral activity against H1N1 influenza in the laboratory. The harvest of this slow-growing plant from the wild for medicinal use may cause its populations to decline.
Protocols for domestication or propagation of the tree are being researched.
The leaves of Toddalia asiatica (L.) Lam. have been utilized traditionally for the cure of diabetes.
Aim of the study
The present study was aimed to assess the antidiabetic and antioxidant effects of T. asiatica leaves in Streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats.
Materials and methods
The phytochemical screening, total phenolic content, HPLC analysis, acute toxicity study and oral glucose tolerance test were carried out. Glucose lowering effect of the hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of T. asiatica leaves was studied in STZ-induced diabetic rats. The antidiabetic and antioxidant activities were studied for the ethyl acetate extract. The effects of extracts on blood glucose, body weight, plasma insulin, total protein, liver glycogen, plasma enzymes (SGOT, SGPT and ALP) and activities of SOD, CAT and GPx were analyzed.
T. asiatica leaves ethyl acetate extract (TALEe) showed highly significant blood glucose lowering effect. Phytochemical evaluation of TALEe showed the presence of alkaloids, terpenoids, cumarins, flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The total phenolic content of TALEe was 126 mg of gallic acid equivalents/g extract. HPLC analysis revealed the presence of flindersine and ulopterol. Acute toxicity study of TALEe revealed no death or toxicity. The oral glucose tolerance test showed lowered area under curve (AUCglucose) values in TALEe treated rats. After treatment with TALEe (250 and 500 mg/kg) for 28 days there was a significant decrease in blood glucose, plasma enzymes (SGOT, SGPT and ALP) and significant increase in body weight, total protein, serum insulin and liver glycogen levels in treated diabetic rats. The activities of antioxidant enzymes SOD, CAT and GPx were reversed to near normal in treated diabetic rats. Histopathology of pancreas in TALEe treated groups showed regeneration of β-cells.
The results of the experiments showed that TALEe exerted significant antidiabetic and antioxidant effects in STZ-induced diabetic rats justifying its traditional use.