Background: Buxus sempervirens L. (Boxwood) is a medicinal plant used in Moroccan
traditional medicine for diabetes treatment in Morocco. However; there is no experimental support
of this ethnopharmacological use.
Methods: The present investigation is aimed at studying the antidiabetic and the preliminary phytochemical
of the aqueous extract of the leaves of Buxus sempervirens (AELBS). AELBS (5 mg/kg)
was administered by gavage to normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and blood glucose
levels were measured for 6 hours (acute study) and 15 days (chronic study). Oral glucose test
tolerance (OGTT) and histopathological examination of liver and pancreas were carried out
using standard methods. Furthermore, preliminary phytochemical screening and quantification of
phenolic and flavonoid contents were also realized.
Results: AELBS reduced the blood glucose of both healthy and diabetic rats. This extract was also
able to improve oral glucose tolerance in diabetic rats and it ameliorated hepatic histology, however,
no enhancement was noticed in pancreatic histology. Preliminary phytochemical study revealed
that AELBS possesses many chemical compounds such as alkaloids, phenolic compounds
(flavonoids, tannins, and cyanidins), carbohydrates, reducing sugars and mucilage. Additionally,
this extract is rich in phenolic compounds including flavonoids.
Conclusion: According to all these findings, we conclude that AELBS at a low dose demonstrated
a potent antihyperglycemic effect in streptozotocin rats and further investigations should be necessary
for supporting the use of this plant in the management of diabetes by the Moroccan population.