Diabetes is one of the ailments that traditional healers had claimed cure capabilities by the use of some medicinal plants. Sweet potato ( Ipomea batatas
) is one of such plants in which much claims had been made. However, this claim has not previously been scientifically validated and experimentally assessed.
In this investigation, alcoholic extract of sweet potato was investigated for its oral anti- diabetic activity. This attempt was supported by a phytochemical study of the extract which revealed the presence of glucosides, glucosinolates, and alkaloids. Results obtained from the investigation showed alcoholic extract of sweet potato to exhibit potent oral anti-diabetic property. The activity was comparatively higher than that of diabenese - standard drug in use presently in clinics for treating diabetes. The mechanism of action and the active principle of that extract was discussed.