The formula consists of 26 medicinal plants, and has been used as an alternative and complementary medicine for diabetes patients at Wangnamyen Hospital in Thailand.
Researchers from Mahidol University set out to find scientific evidence regarding the formula's safety and efficacy, assessing its hypoglycaemic activity, acute toxicity, and effect on serum biochemical profiles in the process.
They induced experimental type 2 diabetes in 30 male rats via intraperitoneal nicotinamide injection, followed by intravenous streptozotocin injection 15 minutes later.
The rats were then split equally into six groups, with each rat orally administered a daily dose of either distilled water, 5mg/kg of glibenclamide, 87.5mg/kg of 80% ethanol extract, 98mg/kg of 50% ethanol extract, 50mg/kg of aqueous extract, or 350mg/kg of powdered mixture suspension for two weeks.
Their two-hour postprandial plasma glucose (2h-PPG) levels were measured at the start, middle and end of the treatments, while biochemical data was taken after the rats' daily oral supplementation.
The results showed the aqueous extract to be "the most potent extract for improving glucose tolerance" after just a single dose.
Two weeks of daily treatment with the extract resulted in a dose-dependent lowering effect on glucose in the rats.
The study stated: "At doses of 12.5, 25, and 50 mg/kg, the 2h–PPG level of diabetic rats decreased by 3.32%, 15.78%, and 17.94%, respectively."
No signs or symptoms of acute toxicity were observed in the rats that had been given the extract.
The researchers said the study "confirms the efficacy and safety of the Mathurameha herbal formula used for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus".
They added that the aqueous extract's ability to lower plasma glucose after just one dose had proven its potent hypoglycaemic properties, and that its lack of negative effects on the kidney and liver meant it was 'a good candidate' for diabetes treatment.
"Hypoglycaemic activity of Mathurameha, a Thai traditional herbal formula aqueous extract, and its effect on biochemical profiles of streptozotocin-nicotinamideinduced diabetic rats"
Authors: Kullacha Chayarop, et al.