Using red betel (Piper Crocatum) extract water as innovative oral anti-diabetes medicine in a form of syrup with hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (CMC) as thickener and sorbitol as sweetener made Gadjah Mada University (GMU) team won first prize lsmafarsi Award in Indonesians Pharmacy Students Scientific Week (PIMFI) that was held in Tanjungpura University, Pontianak, Indonesia.
GMU team was considered successful in doing new innovation to create new diabetes medicine based on herbal with the advantages like easy making process and low production cost. This team was consisted from Fera Amelia, Erni Wijayanyi and Ellsya Angelin Rawar.
Fera, one of team members, explained that this red betel extract syrup was hoped to be produced by local pharmacy industries in large quantities with affordable price. “We hope that this anti-diabetes based on herbal can be bought by society,” she said to Suara Merdeka in Pharmacy Faculty, GMU recently.
According to the record of International Diabetes Federation, until 2012 people with diabetes aged 20-79 in the world are 371 million. While in Indonesia, there are 7.551 millions of people aged 20-79 years who suffer diabetes. Indonesia is on the seventh rank in the world.
There wasn’t any phytopharmacy in Indonesia that has benefit to cure diabetes. One natural ingredient that has been used to treat diabetes empirically in society is red betel.
“To treat diabetes, people boil 3 leaves of red betel, and then they refine the juice and drink it. That’s why we decided to use this plant,” she said.
One substance in red betel extract that has been known as anti-diabetes is flavonoid. To reduce blood sugar, flavonoid has action mechanisms such as hampers enzyme a-glucosidase activity, hampers fatty acid oxidation and catches free radical.
That’s why; red betel has huge potency to be developed into phytopharmacy especially in Indonesia where there is no phytopharmacy for diabetes.
“Preclinical test showed that red betel extract could reduce blood glucose level. Besides that, it wasn’t toxic so it was safe to consume in long-term. The advantage of this innovation compared with other anti-diabetes medicine is that the red betel syrup wouldn’t damage liver and kidney, while other diabetes drugs that often to be used in therapy have the effect to damage them,” she added.