Indian researchers at Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal and Tezpur University in neighbouring Assam have collaborated to derive natural extracts from a hibiscus plant’s sub-species, which has immense potential to cure diabetes once and for all, instead of taking allopathic medicine that can temporarily work on controlling blood sugar level in the body.
The samples of hibiscus leaves collected from the North-East region were tested on diabetes-induced rats and the results showed an amazing restoration of insulin level in the body. The samples of a phytochemical or plant-derived compound from the leaves of Sthalpadma or land-lotus (scientific name Hibiscus mutabilis), which is commonly called Confederate rose helped the researchers find restoring insulin levels than artificially inducing them to control diabetes.
Prof Samir Bhattacharya of Visva-Bharati in Shantiniketan said, “We found that ferulic acid (FRL), belonging to the polyphenols, extracted from leaves of the plant, has the potential to be a better therapeutic agent for diabetes”. Ferulic acid, a phytochemical derived from the leaves of hibiscus mutabilis, in fact, restored insulin sensitivity in diabetic rat, within two weeks of the experiment, he said.
The findings, published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications journal in its August 26 edition showed the experiment and the results obtained by the teams in both Visva Bharati and Tezpur University.
Land Lotus is a magnificent edible flower and the plant grows as big as 8 feet, with light and fragile branches. Pink in the morning, the color of the flower changes and by sunset it turns into red. Traditional ayurvedic practitioners often advise to eat the edible flower for many medical conditions. One method is to pluck the petals, dip them in a batter of rice powder with a pinch of salt and fry in a pan. It leaves are used to stop loose motions.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) figures show that there are about 346 million people worldwide suffering from diabetes, while India alone constitutes 63 millions, owing to Indian sedentary life style and less exercise awareness among the aged people.
Moreover, the city life style has become one of the biggest reasons behind the increasing incidence of diabetes affecting the younger population who are confined to office atmosphere and a sedentary lifestyle within the four walls of the office or home. The computer-centric job style is another major reason for the prevalence of the diabetes in India and many western nations.
A study by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) warned recently that the number of Indians with diabetes will cross the 100-million mark by 2030.