Study Shows Narra Tree Extract Has Potential to Treat Diabetes

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MANILA, Philippines – Narra (Pterocarpus indicus) has shown great potential in treating various illnesses – diabetes included – according to a study conducted by the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas College of Pharmacy.

The study showed that the Narra’s branch and bark contain the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scores in the country, which is the unit measure of antioxidants – the body’s natural defense against harmful compounds.

The De La Salle-Medical and Health Sciences Institute’s Narra Extract Research Report also pointed to the presence of two potent antioxidants in the Philippines’ national tree: pterocarpin and pterostilbene.

Melandrew T. Velasco, president and executive director of the Million Trees Foundation, Inc., correlated this to a 2006 study by Pari and Satheesh on diabetic rats, which showed that pterostilbene could improve blood sugar levels more than 10 times as effectively as metformin.

Dr. Glenn Soriano, a US-licensed medical doctor and advocate of natural medicine, gave more details about the experiment.

“A significant decrease in glucose, and significant increase in plasma insulin levels were observed in normal and diabetic rats treated with pterostilbene. The effects of pterostilbene were comparable to the experimental effects of 500mg/kg oral metformin,” Soriano said.

Velasco further expounded on Narra’s vast medicinal uses: the decoction of the bark is used for diarrhea; its young leaves are used to treat boils, skin ulcers, and prickly heat; a light infusion of the leaves is used to control fever; its root extract is used on syphilitic sores; its wood has diuretic, antidysenteric, antithermic, and antimalarial properties; and the fruit kernel is given as emetic.

Soriano urged the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to fund the human clinical trials of the study, which aims to test the Narra extract’s effectivity for treating diabetes, saying a major sponsor like DOST is needed to back a very costly project.

“Should the human clinical trials push through with positive findings, there is hope that millions of lives and millions of pesos spent in drugs for the treatment of diabetes will be saved,” Soriano said.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, diabetes mellitus is the fourth leading cause of mortality from January to June 2022.

Based on a report by The Philippine News Agency

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