Pharmacognostic standardization and phytochemical investigation of Cajanus scarabaeoides (L.) Thouars
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The study was designed to investigate the pharmacognostic characters and phytochemical profile of crude drugs obtained from different parts of Cajanus scarabaeoides (L.) Thouars (Leguminosae), an important ethnomedicinal twining herb.
The macroscopic, microscopic, physicochemical and fluorescence studies of dried crude drugs have been carried out. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of therapeutically important selected phytochemical groups have also been done here.
The stomata are of strictly paracytic type and leaf is amphistomatic. Stomatal indices were of 12.06 and 37.60 in upper and lower leaf surfaces, respectively. Palisade ratio was 8.2. Only non-glandular, horn-shaped, unicellular type of trichomes was found on both surfaces of the leaf. Moisture contents for the leaf, stem and fruit parts were of 10.75%, 7.5% and 9%, respectively. Ash values of the leaf, stem and fruit were 14.29%, 7.30% and 4.40%, respectively. Phytochemical groups like alkaloids, anthraquinones, tannins, glycosides, etc. have been detected in methanolic extracts of different parts of this herb. Total phenolic content was found highest in stem part (194.57 mg GAE/g), followed by leaf (176.92 mg GAE/g) and fruit (142.83 mg GAE/g). Similar trend also observed here in case of total flavonoid contents which were 41 mg/g CE (in stem), 31.98 mg/g CE (in leaf) and 9.78 mg/g CE (in fruit). Highest content of tannins was found in the fruits (63.81 mg of GAE/g) and leaf part was observed as the richest source of alkaloids (5.86 mg of PE/g) among the three parts of the herb investigated.
Some of the pharmacognostic characters obtained through present study will be used as marker in proper identification of the genuine crude drugs of Cajanus scarabaeoides and they will also be helpful in detection of its adulterants. A good content of therapeutically important phytochemicals from different parts of this medicinal plant also highlight its immense medicinal potential. Further scientific investigation has to be carried out to standardize potent bioactive compounds for their various biological activities.
Cajanus scarabaeoides (L.) Thouars, ethnomedicinal herb, pharmacognostic characters, phytochemical contents.