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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 441-443

Comparative powder microscopy of Alpinia calcarata Roscoe and Alpinia galanga (Linn.) Willd

1 Senior Research Scientist, Herbal Technology Section, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 Director, Industrial Technology Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Chandima Wijayasiriwardena
Industral Technology Institute, No 363, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo - 07
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8520.108863

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Medicinal plant materials are being adulterated in commerce due to many reasons such as similar morphological features, same name as written in classical text, presence of similar active principles in the substituted plant etc., that may badly affect the therapeutic activity of the finished products. Therefore, systematic identification is becoming essential in order to produce standardized finished herbal products. The present study includes two medicinal plant rhizomes; Alpinia calcarata Roscoe (Heenaratta) and A. galanga (Linn.) Willd (Aratta) whose microscopical build up was different from each other and was assessed by standard Pharmacognostical methods. Diagnostic identification characters of A. calcarata were compound starch grins, triangular-shaped starch grains, and plenty of simple starch grains in one parenchyma cell compared to that of A. galanga. Diamond-shaped silica crystals were found only on A. galanga rhizome powder. Present study has revealed an easy technique to identify two similar medicinal plant materials microscopically and this method can also be employed to detect the degree of adulteration in powdered raw medicinal plant materials as well.

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