J Acupunct Meridian Stud, 2013 Feb;6(1):31-40.
PMID: 23433053 DOI: 10.1016/j.jams.2013.01.005


Orthosiphon stamineus is a popular folk medicine widely used to treat many diseases including diabetes. Previous studies have shown that the sub-fraction of chloroform extract was able to inhibit the rise of blood glucose levels in a glucose tolerance test. This study was carried out to evaluate the chronic effect and possible mechanism of action of the bioactive chloroform sub-fraction of O. stamineus using streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and in vitro methods. Administration of the chloroform extract sub-fraction 2 (Cƒ2-b) at a dose of 1 g/kg twice daily on diabetic rats for 14 days showed a significant lowering (p < 0.05) of the final blood glucose level compared to the pretreatment level. However, there were no significant differences in the plasma insulin levels post-treatment compared to the pretreatment levels for all doses of Cƒ2-b. Conversely, Cƒ2-b at a concentration of 2 mg/mL significantly increased (p < 0.001) the glucose uptake by the rat diaphragm muscle. The increase in glucose uptake was also shown when the muscle was incubated in a solution containing 1 IU/mL of insulin or 1 mg/mL of metformin. Furthermore, the effect of this sub-fraction on glucose absorption in the everted rat jejunum showed that Cƒ2-b at concentrations of 0.5 mg/mL, 1 mg/mL and, 2 mg/mL significantly reduced the glucose absorption of the jejunum (p < 0.05-0.001). Similarly, the absorption of glucose was also inhibited by 1 mg/mL and 2 mg/mL of metformin (p < 0.001). These results suggest that the effect of Cƒ2-b may be due to extra-pancreatic mechanisms. There was no evidence that the plant extract stimulated the release of insulin in order to lower the blood glucose level.

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