Morphological and phytochemical characteristics of Haloxylon scoparium Pomel
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Haloxylon scoparium Pomel (fam: Amaranthaceae) is a xero-halophytic plant of desert pastures. It is known in traditional medicine for the treatment of diabetes. It has shown a revival of interest with its use by cancer patients. Patients can find this desert plant in herbal shops, where unauthorized practices and cases of confusion have often been reported. The authentication of herbal material is necessary. Therefore, this study aimed to describe morphological, microscopic, and phytochemical characters of the herbal plant. Botanical description, microscopic study of the cross-section of stem, leaf, and microscopic examination of powder were performed to identify morphological and anatomical characters. Ash and heavy metal content were also evaluated. Phytochemical tests, thin layer chromatography, and determination of the total phenolic, flavonoids, and saponins contents, were done for phytochemical standardization. The plant was having halophytic and xerophytic characters. The main morphological features were the presence of an articulated branched stem blacked on dryness, and a leafy sheath with two teeth covering the internodes. The microscopic study revealed the presence of palisade tissue in the stem, a high quantity of calcium oxalate druses, and internal secondary structures. Thin layer chromatographic profile was characterized by the presence of compounds with different polarities. The herb-drug material presented a content of 3.8% of phenols, 3.0% of flavonoids, and 0.8% of saponins.
Haloxylon scoparium, Authentication, Micro-morphological identification, Phytochemical.