Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Results

: 2010  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 58--60

Insignificant antidiabetic activity of rhizome of Zingiber zerumbet

VK Lal1, A Pandey2, P Tripathi2, RD Pandey2,  
1 Sagar Institute of Technology and Management, Barabanki, India
2 Institute of Technology and Management, Gorakhpur, India

Correspondence Address:
A Pandey
Institute of Technology & Management, AL-1 Sector-7, GIDA, Gorakhpur 273 209, Uttar Pradesh


Objective: To investigate the antidiabetic activity of Z. zerumbet in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Materials and Methods: The diabetic rats were given aqueous extract of Z. zerumbet (200 mg/kg) and glibenclamide (10 mg/kg) for 21 days, and their hypoglycemic activity and effect on body weight were assessed. Result: The treatment with aqueous extract of Z. zerumbet and glibenclamide both showed hypoglycemic activity but efficacy of Z. zerumbet is not as significant as glibenclamide. Glibenclamide maintain the body weight of rats throughout the study period, whereas the body weight of Z. zerumbet-treated rats significantly falls. Conclusion: This study suggests that aqueous extract of Z. zerumbet shows no significant activity in STZ-induced diabetic rats.

How to cite this article:
Lal V K, Pandey A, Tripathi P, Pandey R D. Insignificant antidiabetic activity of rhizome of Zingiber zerumbet.J Pharm Negative Results 2010;1:58-60

How to cite this URL:
Lal V K, Pandey A, Tripathi P, Pandey R D. Insignificant antidiabetic activity of rhizome of Zingiber zerumbet. J Pharm Negative Results [serial online] 2010 [cited 2020 May 26 ];1:58-60
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Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders with different underlying etiologies, each characterized by hyperglycemia due to under utilization of glucose. [1] The pharmacological agents currently used for treatment of type-2 diabetes include sulphonylureas, biguanide, thiazolidinediones, and acarbose. These agents however have restricted usage due to several undesirable side effects and fail to significantly alter the course of diabetic complications. [2] The limitation of currently available oral antidiabetic agents either in terms of efficacy or safety coupled with emergenic of the disease into a global epidemic have encouraged a concerted effort to discover drugs that can manage type-2 diabetes more efficiently.[3] Also with increasing incidence of diabetes in rural population throughout the world and due to adverse effects of synthetic medicine, there is a clear need for development of indigenous, inexpensive new source for antidiabetic crude or purified drugs. [4]

Because ancient time plants have been exemplary sources of medicine, Ayurveda and other Indian literature mention the use of plants in treatment of various human ailments. India has about 45, 000 plants species and among them, several thousands have been claimed to possess medicinal properties. Research conducted in last few decades on plants mentioned in ancient literature or used traditionally for diabetes has shown antidiabetic property.

The recommendation of the WHO committee on diabetes mellitus encouraging research on hypoglycemic agents of plant origin used in traditional medicine has greatly motivated research in this area. [5]

Currently, several hundred plants have been reported to have beneficial effects in the treatment of diabetes. [6],[7],[8] In the present study, we selected Zingiber zerumbet to examine its hypoglycemic activity because it is mentioned as antidiabetic herbs in Indian traditional system of medicine [9] and other plants like Zingiber officinale of the family Zingiberaceae have proved antidiabetic activity. [10]

Z. zerumbet (L) smith, a member of the family Zingiberaceae is well known as Van Adrak. The plant is widely cultivated in village garden in the tropics for its medicinal properties and as a marketable spice. [11] It grows in the edge of the forest, village thickest in the partial shade. It is distributed in India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. [12]

It has been reported that plants from this family have anti-inflammatory, anti-ulceration, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. The volatile oil of the rhizome has been shown to contain zerumbone and camphene. The rhizome of Z. zerumbet has been subject of many studies, especially in India. Only a very few scientific studies have been conducted so for on medicinal aspect of this plant. These include inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, antipyretic and analgesic activity. [13]

The purpose of this research was to experimentally assess the antidiabetic effect of aqueous extract of rhizome of Z. zerumbet in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats and compare it with glibenclamide as a reference standard.

 Materials and Methods

Collection of plant

Rhizome of Z. zerumbet was collected from their natural habitats in and around Munderwa (Basti). The plants were authenticated by comparison with the herbarium and voucher specimen (Voucher specimen No.-97769) was lodged in the departmental herbarium of National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow.

Preparation plant extract

For extraction, 1 kg fresh rhizome of Z. zerumbet was used. Rhizome was washed with water, cut into small pieces, dried for 1 to 2 days. Aqueous extract from rhizome was prepared with distilled water in Soxhlet apparatus.

Experimental animals and streptozotocin induction of diabetes

Healthy mixed Wistar rats weighing 200 to 300 g of 3 to 4 months of age were obtained from animal house of I.T.M., GIDA, Gorakhpur. Diabetes was induced by injecting STZ to overnight-fasted rats in a dose of 55 mg/kg i. p. in 0.1M citrate buffer, pH 4.5. All animal procedures have been approved and prior permission from the Institutional Animal Ethical Committee was obtained as per the prescribed guidelines. Animals were kept in cages and fed with recommended diet, that is, 100 mg/kg pellets and water ad libitum. They were kept in this condition for three weeks before use for acclimatization to new environment.

Extract and drug administration

Extract was suspended in distilled water administered orally through oral feeding tube at a dose of 200 mg/kg body weight. The dose of the extract is determined from preliminary study in our laboratory. Glibenclamide was administered at a dose of 10 mg/kg body weight.

Experimental design

In the present experiment, 24 rats (18 diabetic, 6 normal rats) were used. These rats were divided into four groups. Six rats were used in each group. All treatments were conducted for 21 days.

Group-I - Normal control rats were administered distill water

Group-II - Diabetic control rats were administered distill water

Group-III - Diabetic rats were administered Glibenclaimide

Group- IV - Diabetic rats were administered extract of Z. zerumbet.

Determination of blood glucose

Glucometer (Accu-Chek, Roche Diagnostic, Germany) was used for determination of blood glucose level of rats. Blood samples were obtained from the cut tail-tick of conscious rats. Basal and 48 hours postinduction blood glucose level of the animal were recorded. Thereafter, the extract and drug were administered daily for 21 days. Blood glucose levels were measured on 0, 7 th , 14 th , and 21 st day. Body weights were monitored.

Statistical analysis

All the data were expressed as SEM ±. Statistical analysis was carried out using one-way ANOVA followed by Bonferroni multiple comparison test. The criterion for statistical significance was P less than 0.001.


In STZ-induced diabetic rats, there was a significant (P<0.001) increase in blood glucose level and significant (P<0.001) decrease in body weight. The effect of Z. zerumbet on blood glucose level and body weight was determined by comparison of normal, diabetic control, Z. zerumbet-treated diabetic rats and glibenclamide (Reference Standard)-treated diabetic rats. Blood glucose was measured before and during the treatment.

It is clear from the data in [Figure 1] that the blood glucose level of diabetic control rats continued to increase during the 21 days of the experiment. In contrast, the Z. zerumbet-treated diabetic rats not exhibited significantly reduced glucose levels during the experiment period when compared with the control diabetic rats. After 21 days of treatment with Z. zerumbet extract, the blood glucose level were not significantly reduced (P>0.001) in comparison with diabetic control rats.{Figure 1}

However, glibenclamide-treated rats showed significant reduction (P<0.001) in blood glucose level throughout the study period in comparison with diabetic control rats. So, in STZ-treated diabetic model, Z. zerumbet slightly reduced the blood glucose but the hypoglycemic effect is not as significant (P>0.001) as reference standard glibenclamide.

Result also showed that body weight of hyperglycemic rats treated with Z. zerumbet and also of untreated hyperglycemic rats was significantly reduced but when treated with glibenclamide, no significant reduction in body weight was observed [Table 1].{Table 1}


STZ is a valuable agent for the production of diabetes because it allows the consistent production of diabetic states with mild, moderate, or severe hyperglycemia, where animals with mild or moderate diabetes have provided an opportunity to study the influence of oral hypoglycemic agents, and STZ-induced diabetic rats have been widely used as a model for diabetes mellitus in experimental animal. [14]

Result in this study showed that antidiabetic activity was found in Z. zerumbet but it is not as significant as glibenclamide. It has been known that Z. zerumbet is mentioned in folk medicine to treat diabetes in India. [10] The result from this study does not support the usage of this plant as a beneficial practice in folk medicine in the treatment of diabetes. Result also showed significant reduction in body weight of hyperglycemic rats treated with Z. zerumbet. This suggests that extract of Z. zerumbet cannot prevent weight loss in hyperglycemic rats as observed in hyperglycemic rats treated with glibenclamide.


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