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Phytochemical and pharmacognostic investigation were carried out on the stem of Naringi crenulata (Roxb.) Nicols. The pharmacognostic analysis revealed total ash of 9.65%, water soluble ash of 48.0%, alcohol soluble extractive value of 13.0% and acid insoluble ash of 48.0%. The quantitative and qualitative analysis is very essential for identifying the compounds present in the medicinal plants. The phytochemical screening revealed the presence of protein, lipid, carbohydrate, reducing sugar, phenol, tannin, flavonoid, saponin, and alkaloid, while triterpenoid, anthraquinone and quinone were absent. The present paper deals with the standardization of its aerial part of plant on the basis of various pharmacognostic parameters. The determination of these characters will aid future investigators in their pharmacological analysis of this species.
New drug discoveries have shifted attention from synthetic models and compounds to natural products of plants origin. This is because scientists now believe that drug leads\hit molecule discovery would be more probable in plant and other natural sources like marine and animals which are yet to be fully explored. This drift has promoted, in recent time, researches in plants considered to be of little or no economic or ecological significance (Ibrahim et al., 2010). Naringi crenulata is a member of Rutaceae family Naringi crenulata (Roxb.) Nicols. (Tamil-Mahavilvam) tree of 8-12m tall; trunk with branched thorns; bark dark grey, smooth; blaze yellowish; young branchlets terete, glabrous, thorny; leaves compound, imparipinnate to 15cm long, alternate, rachis with oblonceolate wings, leaflets 5-9, opposite, sessile, elliptic-obovate, apex emarginated or obtuse, base acute, margin crenulate or irregularly serrulate, glandular, glabrous; Flowers in axillary recemose, white, fragrant flowers, Fruit globose berry, 1-4 seeded (Gamble 1935, Sald. & Nicols.1976, Sasidharan 2004, Saldanha 1996). All parts of this tree viz. root, stem, bark, leaf and fruit are used in several ailments. Root is used as remedy for cobrabite Sekhar et al 2011) bodypain (Chiranjibi Pattanaik 2008), colic (Senthil Kumar 2006), vomiting and dysentery (Ramachandran 2010). Stem powder prevents acne and anti aging (Mayuree Kanlayavattanakul 2009). Bark is used as a remedy for puerperal fever (Prayaga murty 2010) and pitta (Ramalingam Ramani 2010). Leaves are used for curing dysentery (Prayaga murty 2010) and epilepsy (Ramalingam Ramani 2010).
The present paper deals with the standardization of leaves on the basis of various Pharmacognostic parameters and the determination of these characters will aid future investigators in their Pharmacological analysis of this species.
The plant specimen was collected from the natural habitat of Tiruvannamlai, Tamilnadu, India. The taxonomic identification of the plant was confirmed by Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Coimbatore. Tamilnadu, India. (Certificate No. BSI/SRC/5/23/10-11/Tech.1134) and the voucher specimen of the plant were deposited in the Department of Botany, Government Arts College (Autonomous), Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu, India. For further reference.
All reagents and chemicals used for testing were analytical grade obtained from Ranbaxy Fine Chemicals Ltd., New Delhi and Loba Chemie, Mumbai, India.
The physico-chemical analysis like total ash, acid insoluble ash, water soluble ash, ethanol soluble extractive and crude fibre content values were performed according to the methods prescribed in Indian Pharmacopoeia (Anonymous 1996).
The dried and powdered stem was subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening for qualitative detection of phyto constituents.
Preliminary phytochemical screening of ethanol extract of Naringi crenulata was carried out by using standard procedures described by (Kokate 1994 and Khandelwal 2005).
The of the stem powder with various chemical reagents was analyzed to detect the presence of phyto constituents with colour changes (Pratt and Chase 1949).
Fluorescence analysis of dried and powdered stem was carried out according to the procedure described by (Kirtikar et al., 2005) by using the reagents and viewed in day light and ultraviolet radiations. The colours and fluorescence (if any) observed by application of different reagents in different radiations were recorded.
The stem collected from the plant was given in Fig. 1.
The physicochemical parameters were investigated and reported in Table 1. The above studies enable the identification of the plant material for future investigation and form an important aspect of drug studies.
Freshly prepared stem extracts were tested for the presence of phytoconstituents and the results are given Table 4.
Behaviour of stem powder with different chemical reagents was studied to detect the presence of phytoconstituents with color changes under daylight and the results were shown in Table 7.
Standardization is an important tool for herbal drugs in order to establish their identity, purity, safety and quality. In order to standardize a drug, various macroscopic, physicochemical analyses, phytochemical analysis, fluorescence analysis are done. The quantitative determination of some pharmacognostical parameters is useful for setting standards for crude drugs.
The phytochemical screening revealed the presence of protein, lipid, carbohydrate, reducing sugar, phenol, tannin, flavonoid, saponin and alkaloids. The presence of these secondary metabolites suggests that the plant might be medicinal importance. The physico-chemical evaluation of drugs is an important parameter in detecting adulteration or improper handling of drugs. It can serve as a valuable source of information and provide appropriate standards to establish the quality of this plant material in future study or application.
To ensure reproducible quality of herbal products, proper control of starting material is utmost essential. Thus in recent years there have been an emphasis in standardization of medicinal plants of therapeutic potential. According to World Health Organization (WHO) the macroscopic and microscopic description of a medicinal plant is the first step towards establishing its identity and purity and should be carried out before any tests are undertaken (Anonymous 1996).
After present investigation it can be concluded that the physico-chemical and phytochemical studies of Naringi crenulata stem yielded a set of qualitative and quantitative pharmaco-botanical parameters or standards that can serve as an important source of information to ascertain the identity and to determine the quality and purity of the plant material in future studies.