Pharmacognostic Investigations and Phytochemical Screening of Argyreia speciosa Linn

Dr. Balbir Singh


Context: Argyreia speciosa has multifarious biological activities and used traditionally to treat various diseases. A. speciosa regarded as a “Rasayan” drug in the Ayurvedic system of medicine to cure diseases of nervous system. Due to its high demand, there are chances of adulteration of this important drug. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate its pharmacognostic characters for its standardization. Materials and Methods: Macroscopic, microscopic, and physiochemical evaluation of A. speciosa was done using standardized procedures mentioned in the WHO guidelines. Thin-layer chromatography was done to check the purity and identification of drug. Results: Morphology of A. speciosa showed that the outer surface of stem was light brown and inner surface was cream white in color, having sweet taste and odorless. The presence of octahedral calcium oxalate crystal, parquetry layer, thin long fibers, cylindrical trichome, and hexagonal cork cells was observed in powder microscopy. Scanning electron microscopy showed the arrangement of vascular tissue in transverse section of stem. Physicochemical parameters showed that the total ash value was 3.95%, acid-insoluble ash was 1.25%, water-soluble ash was 2.33%, ether-soluble extractive was 0.24%, chloroform-soluble extractive was 0.88%, alcohol-soluble extractive was 2.12%, water-soluble extractive was 5.8%, and loss on drying was 10.3%. Discussion: Phytochemical analysis of crude extracts indicated the presence of lipids and steroids in hexane extract and alkaloids in chloroform extract. Methanol extract gave positive tests for alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, and flavonoids. Aqueous extract was reported to contain carbohydrates and proteins. Thin-layer chromatography of hexane extract, chloroform extract, and methanol extracts showed 5, 8, and 6 spots. Conclusion: All the above pharmacognostic parameters could be useful for the authentication and preparation of monograph for A. speciosa.

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