Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Pers., commonly known as Agasti, is widely used in Ayurveda for the treatment of diseases and for processing of various formulations in Rasashastra. It is used for its astringent, antihistaminic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsive and febrifugal activities. Moreover, because of its edible nature, the leaves and pods are used as flavoring items in the cuisine of South India. A detailed investigation of fresh and powder of leaves of Agasti was carried out. The diagnostic characters of this plant include stomatal characters, presence of resins, oil globules, appressed epidermal hair and mucilage cells. Physicochemical studies revealed loss on drying (0.6%), total ash (10.75%), acid insoluble ash (0.045%), alcohol-soluble extractive (21.7%), and water-soluble extractive (30.72%). Preliminary analysis for the presence of various functional groups revealed the presence of alkaloids, saponins, phenols and proteins. Thin layer chromatographic study of the alcoholic extract showed the presence of five, six and seven spots in short UV, long UV and after spraying developing reagent, respectively. The information generated by this particular study will provide relevant pharmacognostical and physicochemical data needed for proper identification and authentication of leaves of this particular species.
Keywords: Pharmacognostical study, physicochemical study, thin layer chromatography