Preliminary Phytochemical Screening and Scientific Validation of the Anti-Diabetic Effect of the Dried Husk of Zea mays L. (Corn, Poaceae)

Abena Amponsaa Brobbey, Sandra Somuah-Asante, Samuel Asare-Nkansah, Francis Osei Boateng, Isaac Ayensu


The dried husk of Zea mays L.(Poaceae) also known as corn husk (CH) has been used as traditional remedies in some cultures including Ghana for the management/treatment of Diabetes Mellitus (DM, Type 2). However, there is no evident documentation on the phytoconstituents of CH and the scientific validation of the antidiabetic properties of CH. Therefore, the methanolic and aqueous extracts of CH were phytochemically screened, and the decoction of CH was administered to human subjects (type 2 diabetic patients with uncontrolled blood glucose level). The fasting blood glucose levels of subjects on regularly prescribed oral antidiabetic agents were determined over a period of three weeks. In addition to the regular oral antidiabetic medications, decoctions of CH were administered to the subjects for a further period of three weeks, and the fasting blood glucose levels were again determined. The fasting blood glucose level of the control group was however monitored continuously for a period of six weeks. The phytochemical analyses of the CH extracts revealed the presence of flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids and glycosides as common constituents of the aqueous and methanolic extracts, whereas tannins and phenols were found exclusively in the methanolic extract. The decoction of CH demonstrated a significant anti-diabetic property, attesting to the traditional use of CH as antidiabetic therapy.


Corn Husk, Diabetes Mellitus, Fasting Blood Glucose Test, flavonoids, Zea mays.

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