1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Throughout the world, many cultures still rely on indigenous medicinal plants for their primary health care needs (Farnsworth et al., 1985). 25% of modern medicines to date, are derived from plants that have been used by traditional medical practitioners, (Cragg et al., 2005). It is a fact that traditional systems of medicine have become a topic of global importance. Although modern medicine may be available in many developed countries, people are still turning to alternative or complementary therapies including medicinal herbs. Yet, few plant species that provide medicinal herbs have been scientifically evaluated for their possible medical applications. The safety and efficacy data are available for even fewer herbs, their extracts and active ingredients and the preparation containing them. Tropical and subtropical Africa contains between 40–45,000 species of plant with a potential for development and out of which 5,000 species are used medicinally (Van Wyk, 2008). Still there is a paradox, in spite of this huge potential and diversity, the African continent has only contributed 83 of the 1100 classic drugs globally (Van Wyk, 2008). African countries are at a stage where traditional medicine is considered more for its capacity to generate other medicine than for its own sake. In many cases research undertakings and the commercial use stemming from that research have always relied on information provided by the local communities and, in many instances, have hardly benefited from the research results (Rukangira, 2004). In Africa, traditional healers and remedies made from plants play an important role in the health of millions of people. The relative ratios of traditional practitioners and university-trained doctors in relation to the whole population in African countries are revealing. In Ghana, for example, in the Kwahu district, there are 224 people for every traditional practitioner, compared to nearly 21,000 people for one university-trained doctor (Rukangira, 2004).
1.2 JUSTIFICATION OF STUDY
The medicinal value of plants have assumed a more important dimension in the past few decades owing largely to the discovery that extracts from plants contain not only minerals and primary metabolites but also a diverse array of secondary metabolites with antioxidant potential. Antioxidant substances block the action of free radicals which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases including atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and in the aging process (Aruoma, 2003; Dasgu- pta and De, 2004; Coruh et al., 2007).
Typically, studies on the medicinal plants such as Alstonia boonei have focused on the bioactivity of its chemical constituents, ethnobotany, pharmacology, and taxonomy.
To evaluate some biological parameters in alloxan-induced diabetic rabbitstreated with extracts of Alstonia boonei.
1.4 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
- To determine the Uric acid content of the Plasma
- To determine the Bilirubin and proteins in plasma
- To determine the above mentioned parameters in the control group
- To compare the results of both test and control subjects.
1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY
To examine the extracts (leaf, stem and roots) of Alstonia boonei on the alloxan-induced diabetic mellitus.