Pharmacognostic evaluation of Latakaranja (Caesalpinia bonduc [L.] Roxb.)

Bhavana Mehra


Background: Latakaranja [Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb. (Caesalpiniaceae)] is a prickly shrub used to cure number of diseases in Ayurveda. Method: The present study has been carried for pharmacognostical and phytochemical standardization of plant material as per WHO guidelines. Result: Seeds of C. bonduc are greenish- grey to bluish grey in color, globous or rounded, smooth, shiny, 1.2 o 2.5 cm in diameter. Powdered seed showed the presence of columnar palisade cells, bone-shaped thick-walled, parenchymatous cells with resinous contents and roundish to polygonal bearer cells. TLC of the seed alcoholic extract was also performed in the present study. Physicochemical standards quantified includes foreign organic matter (1.0% w/w), loss on drying (2.88% w/w), total ash (10.4% w/w), water soluble ash (10.2% w/w), acid insoluble ash (3.2% w/w), water soluble extractive (14.6% w/w), alcohol soluble extractive (26.68% w/w). Phytochemical screening of aqueous extracts showed the presence of alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, triterpenoids, proteins, saponins, steroids, tannins and glycosides. Safety profile of plant material was established by quantify microbial load, pesticide residue content and heavy metals (Hg, Zn, Cd and Pb) analysis. Total aerobic organisams (cfu/g) was found to be 1.75 x 103 but no visible microbial growths were observed in seed sample. Pesticide residue content and heavy metals were found to be present within the permissible limits. Conclusion: In conclusion, the diagnostic characters obtained from the seed of C. bonduc will provide necessary information in identifying the crude drugs and comparing this plant from other closely related Caesalpinia species.

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