Ficus microcarpa L. fil. (Syn: Ficus retusa) (Moraceae) is well-known traditional medicinal plant. The bark is used for diverse health ailments in traditional and folklore remedies.
The present study was undertaken to lay down pharmacognostical and phytochemical standards.
Materials and Methods:
Pharmacognostic studies on fresh, dried and powdered bark was carried out to determine it's morphological, anatomical, and phytochemical diagnostic features. Furthermore, major phytoconstituents were identified from the extracts with the help of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) study.
The morphology showed to be soft, brittle, rough, shallow vertical, irregularly oriented fissures, curved surface; with splintering, laminated fracture. Microscopically F. microcarpa showed all general characteristics of bark with some distinct differentiation. The phellem is thin and even, phelloderm few cell and rectangular and followed by smaller sclerides, the phloem rays are broad, multi-serrate and showed the scattered bundles of sclerides. The fluorescence and physicochemical standards for bark were established. HPLC analysis showed the predominant presence of therapeutically important phytoconstituents such as oleanolic, betulinic acid, lupeol, β-sitosterol, catechin, and gallic acid.
The bark of F. microcarpa considered equivalent to other Ficus species, such as Ficus virens, Ficus infectoria, Ficus arnottiana, Ficus lacor, and Ficus talboti. However, there is no pharmacognostical and phytochemical reports on F. microcarpa to authenticate and differentiate it from similar species. Present work has described pharmacognostical and phytochemical characteristics of F. microcarpa and diagnostic features to differentiate it.