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West African Plants - A Photo Guide - Cassia sieberiana DC.





Diabetes mellitus is chronic metabolic disorders that affect human body in terms of physical, psychological and social health. It is defined as a group of disorders characterized by hyperglycemia, altered metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins (Patel DK et.,2011). It is becoming the third “killer” of the health of mankind along with cancer, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases (Chauhan A et.,2010). The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is expected to reach up to 4.4% in 2030, and the occurrence was found to be high in India, China, and USA. Studies reveal that as early as 200 BC, diabetes mellitus was well recognized disease in India even as distinguished in two types: a genetically based disorder and a dietary related disorder (Grover JK, Yadav S, Vats V,2002). Among all the cases of diabetes, type 2 diabetes was found to be more prevalent (Balaraman AK, Singh J, Dash S, Maity TK, 2010). The pernicious effects of diabetes over the body, such as in sweat, mucus, breath, and blood. It was recommended that the low carbohydrate diet and almost total withdrawal of animal fats should be taken by the patients suffering from Madhumeha, whereas obese adults should live on low calorie diet.

There are two types of Diabetes mellitus: Type 1, “Juvenile diabetes mellitus” (Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus), which is hereditary and is treated by insulin, and Type 2, “Adult type” (Noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus), which occurs in elderly people and is treated by controlling the diet and oral hypoglycemic drugs. The drugs which lower the blood sugar level or treat the symptoms of diabetes mellitus are known as hypoglycemic drugs. It can be categorized into insulin and insulin preparation, which are employed only parenterally, and oral hypoglycemic drug which can be administered orally (Chauhan A et.,2010).

Since ages, man has used plants to treat common infectious diseases even long before mankind discovered the existence of microbes. 80% of population in the non-developed countries depends on traditional medicine for their primary health care (WHO, 2002: WHO, 2008). According to International Development Research Centre (IDRC), 85% of Africans use herbal remedies in their routine health care in Sub-Sahara Africa (Stanley, 2004). Although herbal medicine has been perceived by the public as relatively low risk, there has been more recognition of the potential risks associated with them as the use of (NPs) increase. Potential harm can occur via inherent toxicity of herbs, as well as from contamination, plant misidentification, and interactions with other herbal products or pharmaceutical drugs. Regulatory safety assessment for NPs relies on both the assessment of cases of adverse reactions and the review of published toxicity information effects (De Smet, 1995). The regulation of herbal medicine practice in Africa is still a major challenge (Madiba, 2010).

Plant compounds exhibit enormous structural diversity, unfortunately only a small proportion of that diversity has been seriously explored for pharmacological potential. Traditional medicine has a great potential of promoting livelihood and the priority focus is on safety/efficacy, conservation, domestication, production and commercialization. The global increase in demand for ethno herbals is attributed to dissatisfaction with conventional medicine in terms of effectiveness, safety and accessibility. Photochemical, pharmacological and toxicological standardization for medicinal plants need be instituted so that dosage levels can be described in an informed way.

Cassia sieberiana DC belongs to the family Fabaceae. It is called “drumstick” in English and its indigenous names in Nigeria include “marga” in Hausa, “margaje” in Fulani, “kiskatigrai” in Kanuri and “ifo” or “aridantooro.” in Yoruba. It grows up to 10 – 20 m high with drooping branches and bright yellow flowers (Toma I, Karumi Y, Geidam MA, 2009). The fruit (pods) is cylindrical, smooth, 40 – 60 cm long and about 1.5 cm in diameter; indehiscent and dark brown. The plant is an open savannah tree found in drier areas of forest and thickets. The plant is widely distributed in the southern sahel and sudan savanna from Senegal to Cameroun, as far as Sudan and the Republic of Congo (Gledhill S, 1991; Michael A, 2004). It is also found in most parts of Nigeria. Various parts of the plants are used for the treatment of fever, jaundice, stomach ache, gonorrhea, piles and ulcers in traditional medicine. The extract from various parts of the plant have been shown to possess some pharmacological activities like; antioxidant, anti-ulcer, antidiabetic, laxative, wound healing and anti malarial (Aliyu Z, Yusha’u M, Aliyu BS,2013; Nartey ET, Ofosuhene M, Kudzi W, Agbale CM,2012). The present study was aimed at investigating the hepatoprotective effect of methanolic extract of Cassia sieberiana (CSE) leaves in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.


There is a lack of reliable hepatoprotective drugs in modern medicine to prevent and treat drug-induced liver damage. Many people believe that natural products or traditional medicine are safer than the conventional modern medicine. Due to their easy access and low cost, these products have increasingly become popular. However, inappropriate use of herbal medicines can cause harmful, adverse reactions. These reactions could be acute and sometimes chronically manifested. Scientific evidence of tests done to evaluate safety of natural products is limited and hence these remedies are used in ignorance due to lack of appropriate information. Medicinal foods are prescribed widely even when their biologically active compounds are unknown, because of their safety, effectiveness, and availability. This study examines the nephroprotective effect of aqueous extract of cassia sieberiana on alloxan induced diabetic rats.


The aim of the present review is to focus on the role of traditional therapeutics and natural medicines from traditional medicinal system for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in rats. The major objectives is to;

  1. To determine the phytochemical composition of the crude extracts of Cassia sieberiana.
  2. To determine the nephroprotective effects of aqueous extracts of Cassia sieberiana on alloxan induced diabetic rats.
  3. To evaluate the biochemical effects of alloxan induced diabetic rats.
  4. To proffer ways to control the problems and challenges related to diabetic rats.


HO: Cassia sieberiana (CSE) leaves in carbon tetrachloride does not induced hepatotoxicity in rats.

H1: Cassia sieberiana (CSE) leaves in carbon tetrachloride induces hepatotoxicity in rats.

HO: There is no nephroprotective effects of aqueous extracts of Cassia sieberiana on alloxan induced diabetic rats.

H2: There is a nephroprotective effect of aqueous extracts of Cassia sieberiana on alloxan induced diabetic rats.


The increase in prevalence of the disease is a global phenomenon and this has led to the reason why the disease is being described as one of the main threats to human health. Ideal oral treatment and management of diabetes is a drug that controls the glycemic level, as well as preventing the development of complications of diabetes. In spite of the presence of antidiabetic medicine in the pharmaceutical market, remedies from medicinal plants are used with success to treat this disease. Many traditional plant treatments for diabetes are used throughout the world, WHO recommends. From the above, the findings of this study will be of great benefit to;

  1. Veterinary doctors, students from biology and chemical science department.
  2. To the government and the public on the need to take adequate measures to eradicate the existence of diabetic rats.


Since the topic nephroprotective effect of aqueous extract of cassia sieberiana on alloxan induced diabetic rats is broad in nature, and as such it’s difficult to gather information from relevant source within the state. The researcher hereby limits his research to Department of Veterinary Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State.


This research experienced limitations such as:

Finance: The finance at the disposal of the researcher in the course of the study could not permit wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research materials available to the researcher at the time of this study were insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

Time: the time at the disposal of the researcher which was allocated for the study was a major limitation as the researcher had to combine other


Effect: effect is defined as a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

Neproprotective: serving to protect nerve cells against damage, degeneration, or impairment of function.

Cassia sieberiana: Cassia sieberiana, drumstick tree, is a tree in the Fabaceae family native to Africa. It ranges from 10–20 metres in height and has very bright yellow flowers.

Carbon tetrachloride: Carbon tetrachloride, also known by many other names is an organic compound with the chemical formula CCl₄. It was formerly widely used in fire extinguishers, as a precursor to refrigerants and as a cleaning agent

Catalase: Catalase is a common enzyme found in nearly all living organisms exposed to oxygen. It catalyzes the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen

Hepatoprotective activity: Hepatoprotection or antihepatotoxicity is the ability to prevent damage to the liver. 

Alloxan: Alloxan, sometimes referred to as alloxan hydrate, refers to the organic compound with the formula OC(N(H)CO)₂C(OH)₂. It is classified as a derivative of pyrimidine. The anhydrous derivative ₂CO is also known as well as a dimeric derivative.

Induced : Labor induction is the process or treatment that stimulates childbirth and delivery. Inducing labor can be accomplished with pharmaceutical or non-pharmaceutical methods.

Diabetic rats: simply defined as a rat infected by diabetic mellitus.



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Account Name: Emmanuel Idorenyin Samuel.