Pharmacognosy Journal, 2010; 2(8):190-197
Pharmacognostical And Phytochemical Studies Of Strychnos Potatorum Linn Seeds
Introduction: Strychnos potatorum Linn (Fam: Loganiaceae) is a moderate sized tree found in southern and central parts of India, Sri Lanka and Burma. In traditional system of medicine the seeds are used for the treatment of various ailments like jaundice, bronchitis, diabetes, conjunctivitis, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc. They are also used to clear muddy water by its coagulant action. Although the seeds are useful in various treatments, its pharmacognostic features and phytochemical analysis were not studied.
Methods: The pharmacognosy of the seed was studied by evaluating the macroscopic and microscopic characters, whereas the phytochemistry was studied by fractionation and HPTLC fingerprinting. Results: Microscopic evaluation of the seed revealed the presence of testa with tangentially elongated shrunken parenchyma in the outer zone and trichome zone in the inner layer. Calcium oxalate crystals were seen on the surface of the seed. Endosperm tissue consists of palisade like epidermal cells, thick and prominent cuticle on the surface of the epidermis. Physiochemical constants of the seed powder showed 7.65% moisture, 4.39% alcohol soluble extractive, 12.25% water soluble extractive, 1.43% total ash, and 0.09% acid insoluble ash. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of carbohydrates, alkaloids, steroids/triterpenes, polyphenolics, reducing sugars, saponins and anthocyanins. HPTLC screening of the ether fraction of SPP showed seven peaks, unsaponifiable fraction showed five peaks and alkaloidal fraction showed eight peaks at 260 nm.
Conclusion: The pharmacognostical features and physiochemical constants of Strychnos potatorum reported here will be useful to identify the seeds from its adulterants.