The hypoglycaemic effect of chard leaves (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits was investigated. Blood glucose levels were determined after oral administration of various doses of aqueous and methanolic extracts of chard. In normal rabbits, 2 g kg-1 aqueous chard extract significantly (P < 0.01) reduced blood glucose levels 4 h after administration. In diabetic rabbits, 2, 4 and 8 g kg-1 aqueous chard extract had a significant (P < 0.1) antihyperglycaemic effect. Methanolic extracts of chard had no significant effect on blood glucose in either group.