Int J Curr Pharm Res, Vol 8, Issue 3, 108-111Original Article



Department of Botany, Goa University, Goa 403206, India

Received: 12 Mar 2016, Revised and Accepted: 10 Jun 2016


Objective: The chief phytoconstituents in ten Strobilanthes species of both leaf and stem were identified in order to relate the presence of biological and pharmacological activities.

Methods: Strobilanthes species were collected from Northern Western Ghats of India and phytochemicals such as alkaloids, carbohydrates, glycosides, saponins, proteins, phytosterols, terpenoids, fixed oils, phenolics and flavonoids were analyzed using standard methods.

Results: Strobilanthes species of both leaf and stem showed the presence of terpenoids, flavonoids, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, fixed oils and carbohydrates. Terpenoids and phytosterols are also present in all species of Strobilanthes. On the other hand, phenolics, carbohydrates, flavonoids are found in most of the species of Strobilanthes. In addition, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, proteins, fixed oils are found in some species of Strobilanthes. Among the species studied, the stem of S. integrifolius, S. ixiocephalus, S. reticulatus var. reticulatus, Strobilanthes Blume sp. and leaf of S. lupulinus, S. barbatus showed the absence of alkaloids. Glycosides were present only in S. ciliatus (leaf), S. callosus (stem) and S. heyneanus (stem). Saponins were found in S. ciliatus (leaf), S. ixiocephalus (leaf, stem), S. callosus (leaf) and leaf and stem of S. heyneanus. Proteins were found only in the stem of S. callosus and S. sessilis var. ritchei. Fixed oils also are known as carrier oils were moderately found in the Strobilanthes species.

Conclusion: Thus, the detection of phytochemical constituents in ten Strobilanthes species is important in interpreting the medicinal properties and pharmacological value of the species.

Keywords: Pharmacological value, Phytochemical constituents, Strobilanthes species


Strobilanthes belongs to Acanthaceae and the second largest genus of this family. It comprises of approximately 300 species in tropical Asia. The Indian subcontinent has nearly 150 species, out of which 59 are seen in peninsular India. The genus is not greatly explored for economic utility. Strobilanthes ciliatus is one of the endemic and potential medicinal plants. It is widely used in Ayurveda as a source of the drug ‘Sahacharya’ [1]. Western Ghats of India serves as a rich repository of medicinal plants. Strobilanthes species are known for its several medicinal properties.

Extraction of phytochemicals using the standardized solvent based system provides the list of wide range of chemical constituents in medicinal plants. This can also help in the comparative analysis of compounds present in the different plant organ and also in the related species. The traditional utilization of medicines directly from the plant organ is not advisable because other than the bioactive compounds, it also contains a mixture of several other compounds. Understanding the purity and stability of the active compound is very essential in pharmacognostic studies [2]. Hence, the present study was undertaken to analyze the phytochemical constituents in ten Strobilanthes species from Northern Western Ghats of India.


Plant materials

A total of 10 species of Strobilanthes were collected from different parts of Northern Western Ghats of India. The scientific name, common name, and place of the collection are provided table 1.

Preparation of extracts

Plant material collected from the field were washed under the tap water 2-3 times until the soil particles are removed. Fresh and healthy leaf and stem material were put for drying under the shade. After, two weeks when the samples are fully dried, they were powdered using a grinder. One gram of leaf and stem powder of each Strobilanthes species were weighed using an electronic balance. The sample was then extracted with 10 ml of methanol. The extracts were condensed to 1/10th of volume by heating at 50-60°C in a water bath and then it was filtered using Whatman filter paper no.1. The filtrate was centrifuged at 2500 rpm for 15 min and the supernatant was collected in sterile bottles [3].

Phytochemical tests

Phytochemical analysis of 10 species of Strobilanthes for various chemical constituents was carried out using standard methods, and detailed protocol is given below [3-4].

Test for alkaloids

Small aliquots of methanolic extract were stirred separately with few drops of dilute HCl and filtered. The presence of alkaloids was detected by treating the filtrate with Wagner’s reagent to confirm the presence of alkaloids in the sample with reddish-brown precipitate.

Test for carbohydrates

To 2 ml of filtrate, two drops of an alcoholic solution of alpha-naphthol are added, the mixture is shaken well, and 1 ml of concentrated sulphuric acid is added slowly along the sides of the test tube and allowed to stand. A violet ring indicates the presence of carbohydrates.

Test for glycosides

50 mg of the extract is hydrolyzed with concentrated hydrochloric acid for 2h on a water bath, filtered. 2 ml of filtered hydrolysate, 3 ml of chloroform is added and shaken, chloroform layer is separated and 10% ammonia solution is added to it. Pink colour indicates the presence of glycosides.

Test for saponins

2 ml of filtrate is diluted with 5 ml distilled water. The suspension is shaken in a graduated cylinder for 15 min. A two cm layer of foam indicates the presence of saponins.

Table 1: List of Strobilanthes Blume species with their common name and place of collection

Scientific name Common name Place of collection
Strobilanthes ciliatus Nees Karim Kurinji (Malyalum) Bondla, Goa
Strobilanthes integrifolius (Dalzell) Kuntze Waiti (Konkani) Bondla, Goa
Strobilanthes ixiocephalus Benth Pitkarvi (Kannada) Bondla, Goa
Strobilanthes callosus Nees Karvi (Marathi) Ambolim, Maharashtra
Strobilanthes reticulatus Stapf var. reticulatus Gulla karva (Marathi) Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
Strobilanthes sessilis Nees var. ritchei Bukra (Marathi) Ambolim, Maharashtra
Strobilanthes heyneanus Nees Akra (Marathi) Ambolim, Maharashtra
Strobilanthes Blume sp. - Ambolim, Maharashtra
Strobilanthes lupulinus Nees - Ambolim, Maharashtra
Strobilanthes barbatus Nees Suruli mammuni (Malyalum) Nagargao, Goa

Test for proteins

2 ml of filtrate is treated with one drop of 2% copper sulphate solution. To this, 1 ml of ethanol (95%) is added, followed by an excess of potassium hydroxide pellets. Pink color in the ethanolic layer indicates the presence of Proteins.

Test for phytosterols

The extract (50 mg) is dissolved in 2 ml acetic anhydride. To this, one or two drops of concentrated sulphuric acid are added slowly along the sides of the test tube. An array of color changes shows the presence of phytosterols.

Test for terpenoids

1 ml of extract, to this 2 ml of chloroform is added, and the content is shaken well. Now, an equal volume of concentrated sulphuric acid is added to the test tube. Yellow to brick red color indicates the presence of terpenoids.

Test for fixed oils

A small quantity of extract is pressed between two filter papers. Oil stain on the paper indicates the presence of fixed oils.

Test for phenolic compounds

2 ml extract, to this few drops of neutral 5% ferric chloride solution is added. A dark green color indicates the presence of phenolic compounds.

Test for flavonoids

The extract is treated with 10% ammonium hydroxide solution. Yellow fluorescence indicates the presence of flavonoids.


The phytochemical analysis often Strobilanthes species have been carried out, and the results of the same is summarized in table 2, 3. The study revealed the presence of phytochemicals, which are known to possess the active medicinal chemical constituents. The predominant medicinal phytochemical constituents are terpenoids, flavonoids, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, fixed oils and carbohydrates in Strobilanthes species.

S. ciliatus stem and S. integrifolius leaf extract showed the presence of similar phytoconstituents i.e. terpenoids, flavonoids, phytosterols, fixed oils, phenolics, carbohydrates and alkaloids. S. ciliatus leaf and S. heyneanus stem showed the absence of proteins in the extract. The leaf extract of S. lupulinus and S. barbatus tested the similar phytoconstituents exhibited the presence of carbohydrates, phytosterols, terpenoids, fixed oils, phenolics and flavonoids. Similarly, S. lupulinus stem and S. barbatus stem extract showed a related group of phytoconstituents.

The study revealed the substantial amount of phytochemicals like terpenoids, phytosterols, flavonoids and some percent of alkaloids are present in both leaf and stem of Strobilanthes species. The research work was carried out in the 10 species of Strobilanthes, having varied phytochemicals present in them i.e. terpenoids, flavonoids, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, fixed oils, carbohydrates. These secondary metabolites contribute significantly towards the biological activities such as anti-inflammatory anti-oxidant, anti-osteoartritic, analgesic activities, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial and hepatoprotective [5-6].

Leaf and stem of all the 10 species of Strobilanthes possess terpenoids. The elements of terpenoids, like triterpenoids are involved in the healing of inflammatory disorders, treat arthritis, anti-tumour properties and antimicrobial activities. Traditionally over the ages, the tribal’s have used the plant for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. This confirms its use in folk medicine as a valid anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial herbal drug [7-8]. Flavonoids are also present in all Strobilanthes species as a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger, prevent oxidative cell damage, have strong osteoarthritic activity and analgesic activity [5-6]. In addition, triterpenoids like ‘Lupeol’ are pharmacologically active and are having potential medicinal properties. It is having a complex pharmacology and has anti-protozoal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antitumour and chemopreventive properties [9] and lupeol is reported to be present in Strobilanthes ciliatus and Strobilanthes callosus [10, 11].

Interestingly, terpenoids were present in all Strobilanthes i.e. both leaf and stem indicating thereby its high medicinal value. Dietary phytosterol are known to direct oxidation and serum lipids and thus effective against cancer [12]. Surprisingly, phytosterols are being found in the extract of Strobilanthes of both leaves as well as in stem.

Table 2: Phytochemical analysis of leaf and stem of Strobilanthes species

S5 S4 S3 S2 S1 Test Phytochemicals
- + + + - + -
+ - + + + + +
- - + - - - -
- - + + + + -
- - + - - - -
+ + + + + + +
+ + + + + + +
+ + + + + - -
+ + + + - + +

L = Leaf, S = Stem, S1 = Strobilanthes ciliatus, S2 = Strobilanthes integrifolius, S3 = Strobilanthes ixiocephalus, S4 = Strobilanthes callosus, S5 = Strobilanthes reticulatus var. reticulatus. (+) = indicates presence of phytochemicals and (-) = indicates absence of phytochemicals.

Table 3: Phytochemical analysis of leaf and stem of Strobilanthes species

S10 S9 S8 S7 S6 Test Phytochemicals
+ - + - + - +
+ + + + + + +
- - - - - - +
- - - - - - +
- - - - - - -
+ + + + + + +
+ + + + + + +
+ + + + - + +
- + - + + + +
+ + + + + - +

L = Leaf, S = Stem, S6 = Strobilanthes sessilis var. ritchei, S7 = Strobilanthes heyneanus, S8 = Strobilanthes Blume sp. S9 = Strobilanthes lupulinus, S10 = Strobilanthes barbatus. (+) = indicates presence of phytochemicals and (-) = indicates absence of phytochemicals.

Local species of Strobilanthes are used by the traditional people to cure different types of diseases. In North-east India, Manipur is accumulate the inflorescence of S. auriculata and cook it in condiments or steam with indigenous small fish curry (Gnatokpo thonoba), to boost resistance towards the cardiovascular diseases. Hence, this species is a medicinally important plant for the people of Manipuris [13]. Plant polyphenolic compounds long-term utilization is known to defend against the growth of cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases [14]. Similarly, potent dietary fibers such as celluloses, hemicelluloses, non-digestible oligosaccharides protect human health from bowel disorders, decrease the risk of coronary heart disease and so on when occupied through diets [15]. In the present study, 10 Strobilanthes species screened for the secondary metabolites, phenolic compounds and carbohydrates were found in most of the species of Strobilanthes, owing its medicinal importance.

Furthermore, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, proteins, fixed oils are found varied in the species of Strobilanthes. Among all species, S. integrifolius stem, S. ixiocephalus stem, S. reticulatus var. reticulatus stem, Strobilanthes Blume sp. leaf, S. lupulinus leaf and S. barbatus leaf showed the absence of alkaloids. Plants containing glycosides are known to apply a beneficial action on the immune system by increasing body strength and therefore are valuable as dietary supplements. Glycosides were present only in S. ciliatus leaf, S. callosus stem, S. heyneanus stem. Saponins were seen in S. ciliatus leaf, S. ixiocephalus and S. callosus, leaf and both leaf and stem of S. heyneanus. They are known to promote dietary supplements and nutraceuticals. Proteins have significant allegation into unfolding and degradation activity and also in cell functioning when activating on the targets of free radicals [16]. It was found only in the stem of S. callosus and S. sessilis var. ritchei stem. Fixed oils also known as carrier oils were moderately found in the Strobilanthes species; they carry traces of vitamins and minerals. They consecutively may be involved in the anti-microbial activity. Thus, the present study provides the phytochemical constituents present in ten species of Strobilanthes, the medicinal properties and the pharmacological activities further could be explored.


Phytochemical screening of 10 species of Strobilanthes of both leaf and stem revealed the presence of phytoconstituents i.e. terpenoids, flavonoids, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, fixed oils, carbohydrates. It is reported to possess an array of biological and pharmacological activities that include anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-osteoarthritis, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, etc. These activities are due to the presence of the above mentioned secondary metabolites. The traditional people uses these species without any knowledge. However, these traditional knowledge has been passed on to several generations. These plants are also mentioned in the ethnobotanical studies, ayurveda system of medicines, but it is very much important to survey and explore the potential of the genus. Further, with regard to the development of the quality herbal medicine isolation, characterization, standardization, mechanism of action as well as the clinical trials of the compounds are needed. Considering the above facts, it is concluded that the several species of the Genus Strobilanthes can be of potential for development of pharmaceutically important drugs.


The authors are thankful to University Grants Commission, New Delhi, for the financial support under SAP-II at the level of DRS-III (No. F.3-9/2015/DRS-III (SAP-II) in the Department of Botany, Goa University, for carrying out the above research work.


Declare none


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How to cite this article

  • Maria Cineola Fernandes, Krishnan Sellappan. Phytochemical analysis of strobilanthes blume species from northern Western Ghats of India. Int J Curr Pharm Res 2016;8(3):108-111

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International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research
Vol 8, Issue 3, 2016 Page: 108-111

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Authors & Affiliations

Maria Cineola Fernandes
Department of Botany, Goa University, Goa 403206, India

Krishnan Sellappan
Department of Botany, Goa University, Goa 403206, India


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