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1.  Identity and pharmacognosy of Ruta graveolens Linn 
Ancient Science of Life  2012;32(1):16-19.
Ruta graveolens L., is a odoriferous herb belonging to the family Rutaceae. It is the source of Rue or Rue oil, called as Sadab or Satab in Hindi. It is distributed throughout the world and cultivated as a medicinal and ornamental herb. The ancient Greeks and Romans, held the plant in high esteem. It is used in Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani. Phytochemical constituents and pharmacological properties were studied in depth. In 14 species of genus Ruta, R. graveolens and R. chalepensis are available in India and also cultivated in gardens. Taxonomical characters to identify the Indian plants are very clear with fringed and or non-fringed petals. However, references to it are confused in the traditional literature. Due to sharing of regional language name, its identity is confused with Euphorbia dracunculoides. Morphological and anatomical characters were described. Pharmacognostic studies with microscopic characters were also published. Upon reviewing the anatomical characters and pharmacognostic characters one finds that it is highly confused and conflicting. The characters described are opposite of each other and authenticity of the market sample of R. graveolens cannot be guaranteed and able to be differentiated from R. chalepensis. Present work is to describe the pharmacognostic characters of R. graveolens to differentiate it from R. chalepensis. It is concluded that morphologically, R. graveolens can be identified with its non-fringed petals and blunted apices of fruit lobes. Whereas, in R. chalepensis petals are fringed or ciliated and apices of the fruit lobes are sharp and projected. Microscopically, in stem of R. graveolens pericyclic fibers have wide lumen. Whereas, in R. chalepensis, it is narrow. The published pharmacognosy reports do not pertain to authentic plant or some of the characteristic features like glandular trichomes are not observed in our samples.
doi:10.4103/0257-7941.113792
PMCID: PMC3733200  PMID: 23929988
Pharmacognosy; ruta chalepensis; ruta graveolens; rutaceae
2.  Botanical pharmacognosy of stem of Gmelina asiatica Linn 
Ancient Science of Life  2012;31(4):190-193.
Gmelina asiatica Linn (G. parvifolia Roxb.) is a large shrub or a small tree. Roots and aerial parts are used in Ayurvedic medicine and also have ethno-medical uses. Root is reported as adulterant to G. arborea roxb roots. Pharmacognostical characters of root were reported. Owing to the shortage of genuine drug and ever-increasing demands in market, it becomes necessary to search an alternative with equal efficacy without compromising the therapeutic value. Nowadays, it becomes a common practice of using stem. In case of roots phytochemical and pharmacological analysis of stem was reported. However, there is no report on the pharmacognostical characters of stem and to differentiate it from roots. The present report describes the botanical pharmacognostical characters of stem and a note to differentiate it from root. Hollow pith, faint annual rings in cut ends, alternatively arranged macrosclereids and bundle cap fibers, and presence of abundant starch grains and calcium oxalates in pith and in ray cells are the diagnostic microscopic characters of stem. Stem pieces can be differentiated from roots by absence of tylosis.
doi:10.4103/0257-7941.107347
PMCID: PMC3644757  PMID: 23661867
Botanical pharmacognosy; ethnobotany; Gmelina arborea; Gmelina asiatica; pharmacognosy; root; stem
3.  Pharmacognostical Studies on Balanophora fungosa - a Negative Listed Plant 
Ancient Science of Life  2011;31(1):22-25.
Balanophora fungosa Forster & Forster ssp. indica (Arn.) B. Hansen var. indica, (Balanophoraceae) syn. B. indica, is a root parasite found in hills of south India. This plant is included in the list of negative list, which are restricted and prohibited for export. Though it is not an official drug in any of the indigenous systems of medicine in India, it is used in tribal medicines in south India. However, it is found in crude drug markets as substitute/adulterant for the Ayurvedic drug Gajapippali (Scindapsus officinalis). Few phytochemical constituents were reported on this plant. However, there is no pharmacognostical report to authenticate the commercial samples of B. fungosa and to differentiate them from Scindapsus officinalis. This article describes the pharmacognostical characteristics of Balanophora fungosa and diagnostic features to differentiate it from Scindapsus officinalis.
PMCID: PMC3377038  PMID: 22736886
Balanophora fungosa Forster & Forster ssp. Indica (Arn.) B. Hansen var. Indica; B. indica (Arn.) Wallich ex Griffith; Langsdorffia indica Arn.; Balanophoraceae; root parasite; pharmacognosy; ethnobotany; indigenous systems of medicine; Gajapippali; Scindapsus officinalis; adulterant; substitute; Negative list; prohibited plants

Results 1-3 (3)