Pharmacognostic Standardizations of Traditionally used Hepatoprotective Plant Fraxinus Micrantha

Balbir Singh


Aim: In recent scenario, there is a renewed interest in herbal remedies because they are supposed to be safe and are considered as green medicine. The wrong identification and adulteration of a plant material lead to its ineffectiveness. This problem is solved by evaluation the pharmacognostic parameters of medicinal plants. Fraxinus micrantha is one of the ashes of olive family Oleaceae, found in Asia mainly in India and Nepal. It has been traditionally used in the treatment of liver disorders. Material and Methods: The present study was designed to evaluate the pharmacognostic parameters and to develop a monograph for the authentication of this plant. Pharmacognostic parameters of F. micrantha bark (macroscopy, microscopy, physicochemical parameters, phytochemical screening, and development of thin-layer chromatograms) were evaluated. Results and Discussion: Macroscopy showed that the outer surface of bark was grayish brown with patches, inner surface light brown in color, odor is characteristic, having a sweet taste and splintery fracture. Transverse section of the bark under scanning electron microscope showed long vessels with embedded starch grains and a thin long fiber. Clusters of prismatic calcium oxalate crystals, thick-walled cork cells, long thin fiber, and vessels embedded with starch grains were detected in powder microscopy. Physicochemical characters represented total ash 6.34%, acid insoluble ash 1.4%, water-soluble ash 2.2%, ether soluble extractive 0.14%, chloroform soluble extractive 0.36%, alcohol-soluble extractive 1.3%, water-soluble extractive 2.2%, and loss on drying was 5.6%. Preliminary phytochemical screening of extracts (successive extraction) showed the presence of lipids and steroids in hexane extract, alkaloids in chloroform extract. Methanol extract gave positive tests for alkaloids, glycosides, and flavonoids. Aqueous extract showed the presence of carbohydrates. The thin-layer chromatography of F. micrantha showed the presence of one spot in hexane extract, seven spots in chloroform extract and also seven spots in methanol extract. These studies are helpful in the authentication of F. micrantha and maintaining its therapeutic efficacy. Conclusion: All the above parameters can be employed for the authentication and identification of traditionally used medicinal plant F. micrantha and will help to minimize the chances of adulteration. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind on F. micrantha, and therefore, it is of much importance for further research on this plant.

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