Plantains provide diabetes treatment
Plantain has always been valued in folkloric medicine, as well as for its food values. One of the traditional medical uses ascribed to it is the ability to lower blood sugar. In the South of Nigeria, for example, it is used as a readily available medicine for diabetes.
This appears to have been recently backed up by science. Scientists looking into the effectiveness of ethanol extracted from plantain in lowering blood pressure, discovered that it had similar effects to metformin – the conventional blood sugar medicine.
In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy Research, the scientists stated that fasting blood glucose level was significantly reduced by the third day of treatment with ethanol extract of plantain trunk.
At a dose of 300 mg/kg, the extract showed glucose level reduction of 30.456 per cent in alloxan induced rat while 39.584 per cent was found in Metformin after three days. Conversely, no death was found due to oral ingestion of crude extract.
It was also found that the methanolic extracts from the unripe fruit of plantain had the potential to lower blood sugar levels.
The researcher, while lending credence to the suggested folkloric use of the plant in the management and/or control of adult-onset, type-2 diabetic mellitus among the Yoruba-speaking people of South-Western, suggested that the blood-sugar lowering effect of the methanolic extract of the unripe plantain might be due to the extract at least in part stimulating insulin production and subsequent glucose utilisation.
Publication date: 5/18/2012