Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3835

Full Length Research Paper

Screening of African traditional vegetables for their alpha-amylase inhibitory effect

Bharti Odhav1*, Thangaraj Kandasamy1, 2, Nonhlanhla Khumalo1 and Himansu Baijnath1
1Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Durban University of Technology, Durban 4000, South Africa. 2Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore – 641 003, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 July 2010
  •  Published: 30 September 2013


Diabetes is a syndrome of disordered metabolism resulting in abnormally high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). The one possibility of lowering postprandial glucose levels is by the inhibition of α-amylase activity. In this study, aqueous extracts from leaves, fruits and flowers, stems and roots of twenty African traditional vegetable plants were tested for their inhibitory effect on α-amylase. The results showed that leaves of Centella asiatica (3 and 5 mg/ml) and Ceratotheca triloba (5 mg/ml), roots of Cleome monophylla (5 mg/ml), fruits and flowers ofAmaranthus hybridus (3 mg/ml), Justicia flava (3 mg/ml) and Chenopodium album(3 mg/ml), stem parts of J. flava (3 mg/ml), Portulaca oleracea (3 mg/ml) andCleome monophylla (3 mg/ml) showed significant (more than 70%) reduction in α-amylase activity. Though results from this study showed significant α-amylase inhibition at higher concentrations (3 and 5 mg/ml), traditionally used anti-diabetic medicinal plants are found to have α-amylase inhibition at very low concentrations, mostly less than 1 mg/ml. These traditional plant species regularly consumed as vegetables by rural people, will not only give dietary nutritional benefits, but also play vital role in inhibiting α-amylase activity, thereby reducing the blood glucose level and benefiting diabetic patients.


Key words: African leafy vegetables, anti-diabetic, α-amylase, inhibitory effects.