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Mary Karen T.

Beato March 29, 2019

2015-00857 CAS/BS Biology

Toxicity study of Insulin plant (Costus igneus) Ethanolic Extract on Cardiac

Muscle of Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Mice


Background of the Study

The prevalence and incidence of Diabetes is rapidly increasing in the world, even in the

Philippines. According to the World Health Organization (2018), Diabetes is among the leading

causes of death in the world along with Ischemic heart disease, Stroke and Chronic obstructive

pulmonary disease. In the Philippines, Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death based on the

data from the Philippines Health Statistics in 2013(DOH, 2017). Diabetes is a chronic metabolic

disease that can be caused by inheritance of defective insulin or insufficient production of insulin

resulting to hyperglycemia or high concentration of glucose in the blood (WHO, 2015). This

increase in glucose level in the blood can cause damage in the body especially in the eyes,

kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels (American Diabetes Association, 2013). There are two

principal type of Diabetes: type 1 and type 2. The type 1 diabetes, there is insufficient production

of insulin or the insulin produced in the body are defective due to the destruction of insulin

producing cells. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is due to the resistance of the body to insulin

even though there is enough insulin is produced (WHO, 2015). Different types of diabetes

require an appropriate treatment which can also vary in the condition of the body. Patients with

type 1 diabetes take insulin several times a day through injection or insulin pump while patients
with type 2 diabetes can improve their lifestyle but may need to take insulin or medications

depending on the body’s need (American Diabetes Association, 2013).

Constant need for insulin and other medication increases the cost to treat diabetes which

is a huge problem for patients earning minimum wage especially in developing country like the

Philippines. Other treatment such as bariatric surgery, artificial pancreas and pancreatic islet

transplantation are also available, but these treatments are expensive and relatively new. In

addition, these currently available treatments have been proven to have side effects after long

term use. Due to these, people use herbal and natural remedies for treatment. Some plants used

as an herbal medicine are Aloe vera, Bilberry, Ginger and insulin plant (Subramoniam, 2016).

Among the known herbal remedies, insulin plant is one of the most popular. It is used as

a treatment by boiling leaves in the water and drinking it twice a day or directly consuming two

to three leaves daily. The insulin plant (Costus igneus) is proven to have effective anti-

hyperglycemic property by reducing the blood glucose level to normal and its effectivity is

comparable to that of a known treatment for diabetes which Glibenclamide (Shetty et al., 2010).

However according to Rao, Rao & Hegde (2014), a species belonging to the same family, Costus

Pictus, possess a similar anti-hyperglycemic property is found to have palmitic acid. Palmitic

acid increases the Low-Density Lipoprotein to High-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol ratio which

induces degeneration of cardiac tissues.

Statement of the Problem

Patients with diabetes resort to using natural and herbal remedies for treatment due to the

increasing cost and side effects after long-term use of currently available treatments. The insulin

plant (Costus igneus) is proven to have an effective antihyperglycemic properties. However,

Phytochemical analysis of species Costus pictus, which belongs in the same family, shows that

the plant contains palmitic acid which increases the lipoproteins ratio. Increase in Lipoproteins

cholesterol ratio can have destructive effect on cardiac tissues by. People also take Costus igneus

by ingesting leaves or boiling the rhizome in water. This form of consuming the plant does not

ensure the proper dosage of treatment are received by the body. It is important to properly

determine the dosage especially that there is possible adverse effect of the plant extract on the

cardiac tissues.

Objectives of the Study

The study aims to investigate the possible toxic effects of ethanolic extract of insulin

plant (Costus igneus) stem on alloxan-induced diabetic mice (Mus musculus) specifically:

1. to see if insulin plant extract has possible deteriorating effect on cardiac tissues of

alloxan-induced diabetic mice;

2. to determine if the possible adverse effect of plant extract can also be observed in

metabolically important organ such as liver ang pancreas; and

3. to determine the concentration of the plant extract that can induce adverse effect on the

cardiac tissues of alloxan-induced diabetic mice.

Significance of the Study

This study will determine if the herbal medicine taken is safe and will help the diabetic

patients that don’t have enough resources to access the commercially available treatment for

diabetes. This will also help the patients to know the dosage appropriate for consumption for the
treatment to be effective without increasing the possibility of obtaining the possible adverse

effect of the plant extract.

This study also that will help increase the currently available knowledge on the less

explored part of insulin plant which are the stem. Additional knowledge for the insulin plant will

help the scientific community to formulate medication for diabetes which can be more effective

and safer than the commercially available treatment for diabetes.

Scope and Limitations

This study will mainly focus on the toxic effect of ethanolic extract of insulin plant

(Costus igneus) on Cardiac tissues. This study will specifically investigate the adverse effect of

various concentration of insulin plant extraction on cardiac tissues. This study will also make use

of tissues that perform important metabolic functions such as liver and pancreas for increase

precision of the toxicity of the insulin plant extract. Lastly, the study will only focus on the

adverse effect of the insulin plant on alloxan-induced diabetic mice.


American Diabetes Association. (2013). Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus.

Diabetes Care, 37(Supplement_1), S81-S90. doi: 10.2337/dc14-s081


Health website. (2017). Retrieved 29 March 2019, from

Rao, H., Rao, P., & Hegde, P. (2014). A review on Insulin plant (Costus igneus Nak).

Pharmacognosy Reviews, 8(15), 67. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.125536

Shetty, A., Choudhury, D., Rejeesh, Nair, V., Kuruvilla, M., & Kotian, S. (2010). Effect of the

insulin plant (Costus igneus) leaves on dexamethasone-induced hyperglycemia.

International Journal Of Ayurveda Research, 1(2), 100. doi: 10.4103/0974-7788.64396

Subramoniam, A. (2016). Plants with anti-diabetes mellitus properties. CRC Press.

World Health Organization. (2015). WHO | Diabetes mellitus. Retrieved from

World Health Organization. (2018). The top 10 causes of death. Retrieved from