Pharmacognostic, physicochemical, and phytochemical analysis of Sarasvata Churna - An antiepileptic Ayurvedic formulation

Rahul Kaushik


Background: Standardization of herbal medicines is essential to establish its identity, purity, quality, safety, and efficacy. This study reports on standardization of Sarasvata Churna an Ayurvedic formulation for long-term management of epilepsy and other mental disorders. Objective: This study aimed to prepare the Sarasvata Churna using authentic herbs and establishing pharmacognostical, physicochemical, and phytochemical standards for the formulation. Materials and Methods: Sarasvata Churna was prepared as per the formula and procedure mentioned in traditional texts and Ayurvedic Formulary of India. The prepared formulation was evaluated for pharmacognostical, physicochemical, and phytochemical parameters using guidelines of the World Health Organization and Pharmacopoeial Laboratory for Indian Medicines for quality control of herbal drugs. Results: Sarasvata Churna was obtained as a soft, fine, light brown, aromatic powder with salty bitter taste. Maximum extractive value of 38.67 ± 0.011% and minimum extractive value of 7.31 ± 0.01% were obtained in hydroalcoholic and petroleum ether, respectively. Ash values (total ash - 14.18 ± 0.005%, acid insoluble ash - 7.58 ± 0.055%, and water soluble ash - 4.42 ± 0.01%), foreign matter - 0.021 ± 0.02, loss on drying - 6.18 ± 0.01%, bitterness value - 2.6, swelling index - 2.17 ± 0.01, foaming index - below 100, and a volatile oil content - 2.40% were observed. No microbial load was detected in the formulation. Microscopic studies revealed the presence of various characteristic entities. Preliminary phytochemical screening confirms the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, fatty acids, terpenoids, sterols, tannins, proteins, and phenolic compounds. Conclusion: The various pharmacognostical, physicochemical, and phytochemical standards will help in quality control/quality assurance and maintaining batch to batch consistency in herbal drug industries so that maximum therapeutic efficacy can be achieved.

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