Validation of pharmacopoeial characters of marketed samples of Embelia species (Vidanga)

Dr. Shreshtha Kaushik


Introduction: Embelia ribes Burm. f., Myrsinaceae is a promising medicinal herb valued for its digestive, carminative, anthelmintic, and laxative property since Vedic period. Due to its excessive harvesting, it is reported in red list data book as vulnerable. Hence, in markets, E. ribes is generally found adulterated with E. robusta due to its close morphological similarity with ribes. Thus, the present study attempts to validate and compare physicochemical parameters and chromatographic profile of fruits of two species of Vidanga, that is, E. ribes and E. robusta for proper identification of the drug in dry form and to check adulteration. Materials and Methods: Evaluation of macroscopic characters, physicochemical parameters such as organoleptic, loss on drying, total ash, acid insoluble ash, water soluble ash, alcohol, and water soluble extractives as well as high performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) analysis were performed for fruits of both the species of Vidanga, namely, E. ribes and E. robusta as per standard guidelines. Results: The macroscopic study section revealed that the fruits of both the species vary in color, size, and presence of beak such as projection and membrane over the pericarp. The distinct character of E. ribes is the presence of whitish spots on its seeds (Chitratandula) which is found to be absent in robusta seeds. All the physicochemical parameters of E. ribes were found in compliance with the official standards laid down by Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India. These findings accomplished the chief objective of validating the pharmacopoeial characters. Moreover, it was observed that there are no significant differences in the physicochemical constants of both the species except one parameter, that is, water soluble extractives. Apart, HPTLC proffered some identical as well as some dissimilar Rf . Discussion: As no remarkable differences were observed in conventional quality control assays for possible phyto and physicochemical variations between the samples, it is concluded that the spotless vidanga, that is, E. robusta can also be utilized in pharmaceutics. Moreover, extended studies with multiple samples from different market sources can be carried out to generate further evidences on analytical and therapeutic ground.

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