AUTHENTICATION AND QUALITY EVALUATION OF AN IMPORTANT AYURVEDIC DRUG AVERRHOA CARAMBOLA LINN LEAVES.
Objective: To evaluate the pharmacognostical and physico-chemical characters of Averrhoa carambola Linn. an important medicinal plant in the Indian system of medicine. Methods: The pharmacognostic studies out in terms of various investigations like organoleptic or morphological characters, microscopical or anatomical studies, physico-chemical evaluations (loss on drying, ash values, extractive values), preliminary phytochemical screening, TLC finger print profiling and fluorescence analysis of powdered crude drug as per WHO recommended guidelines for standardizations. Results: Macroscopically, the leaves are observed to be compound, pinnate, leaflets are ovate to ovate lanceolate in shape and soft. It shows glabrous surface, acute apex, entire margin and oblique base. Microscopically, the leaf showed the presence of single layered epidermis covered with striated cuticle. Some of the epidermal cells elongate to form covering trichomes. The characteristic microscopic features of leaves were observed as trichomes, multicellular trichomes, xylem cells, phloem cells, collenchyma and vascular bundles. Physiochemical parameters such as percentage of foreign matters, ash values, loss on drying, swelling index extractive values were determined. Preliminary phytochemical screening showed the presence of carbohydrates, terpenoids, glycosides, Flavonoids and phenolic compounds. Conclusions: The results of the study can serve as a valuable source of information and provide suitable standards for identification of this plant material in future investigations and applications. These information will also be helpful to differentiate A. carambola L from the closely related other species.
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