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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 280-286

Macromicroscopical, physicophytochemical, and high-performance thin layer chromatography-based diagnostics of an antihypertensive drug "sarpgandha" resolving adulterant/substitute

Pharmacognosy Division, CSIR- National Botanical Research Institute, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow, India

Correspondence Address:
Saba Irshad
Division of Pharmacognosy, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow - 226 001, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joa.joa_299_20

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Introduction: "Sarpgandha" or "Asrol" is the root of Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth Ex. Kurz., which belongs to the family Apocynaceae. Conventionally, it is used in the treatment of several body ailments, viz., abdominal pain, circulatory disorders, dysentery, gastrointestinal disease, hypertension, mental illness, malaria, and snakebite, and as a uterine stimulant; however, its monoterpenoid indole alkaloid reserpine extracted from the root is used for the treatment of hypertension. The problem reported that, occasionally, stem or aerial part of the same plant adulterated along with the root. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to carry out pharmacognostic evaluation of "Sarpgandha" and its adulterant/substitute for quality control. Methods: Macromicroscopy, physicochemical parameters, and high-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) profiling have been done. Results: The study showed that the root has dark vertical ridges on the surface whereas stem has no ridges but mark of nodes and internodes. Transverse section of the root shows highly sutured outer lining while that of the stem shows smooth lining. Powder microscopy showed cork cells and starch grains in the root while single and group of stone cells in the stem. All the studied physicochemical parameters present higher level in the root powder, except total moisture content. HPTLC densitometric profile shows alkaloid reserpine at retention factor 0.49 under UV254 and UV366 nm in the solvent system toluene: ethyl acetate: diethylamine (7:2:0.5) in the methanolic extract of the root. Conclusion: Quality control markers of "Sarpgandha" would be available for authentication of commercial samples.

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