AYU (An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda)

: 2012  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 274--278

Pharmacognostical and analytical study of Tulsi-Amla-Yasti Ghrita

Debdas Datta1, Harimohan Chandola2, SK Agarwal3, Vinay J Shukla4, Preeti N Pandya5,  
1 Reader, Rajib Gandhi Memorial Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Kushdanga, West Bengal, India
2 Professor and Head, Department of Kaya Chikitsa, Institute for Postgraduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
3 Professor and Head, Department of Radiotherapy, MP Shah Medical College, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
4 Head, Pharmaceutical Chemistry Laboratory, Institute for Postgraduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
5 Ph.D. Scholar, Pharmacognosy Laboratory, Institute for Postgraduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Debdas Datta
Gangpur, P.O.- Joteram, Dist. -Burdwan, West Bengal


Tulasi Amla Yashti Ghrita is an Ayurvedic formulation, which is beneficial in the management of the side effects of Head and Neck Malignancies induced by Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. A pharmacognostical study involving both the macroscopic and powder microscopy of raw drugs of Tulasi Amla Yashti Ghrita and a physicochemical analysis of the finished product were carried out, to evaluate the quality of the formulation. The specific gravity of the formulation was 0.9130 and pH was 3.5. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) were carried out after organizing the appropriate solvent system, in which five spots were distinguished in TLC and nine spots in HPTLC. Most of the R f values for the spots observed were identical. The observations could be considered to be the reference standards in future studies.

How to cite this article:
Datta D, Chandola H, Agarwal S K, Shukla VJ, Pandya PN. Pharmacognostical and analytical study of Tulsi-Amla-Yasti Ghrita.AYU 2012;33:274-278

How to cite this URL:
Datta D, Chandola H, Agarwal S K, Shukla VJ, Pandya PN. Pharmacognostical and analytical study of Tulsi-Amla-Yasti Ghrita. AYU [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Mar 24 ];33:274-278
Available from: https://www.ayujournal.org/text.asp?2012/33/2/274/105251

Full Text


The vital responsibility of herbal medicine in serving the therapeutic requirements of the human populace worldwide has been identified from ancient times to the modern era. However, a key obstacle that has hindered the acceptance of alternative medicines in developed countries is the lack of documentation and rigorous quality control. A need is always felt for the proper documentation of research studies carried out on traditional systems of medicine. Keeping this in mind, it becomes extremely important to develop the standards of plant-based medicines.

For accurate identification, authentication, and standardization of herbal medicines, pharmacognosy is important and necessary. Tulasi Amla Yashti Ghrita (TAYG) is one of the most potential formulations, with some modification in the previous Anubhuta Yoga, which is claimed to be effective in the management of complications induced by Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. [1]

Cancer is the most dreaded disease spreading with continuance and increasing in the twenty-first century. It is becoming the most common cause of death in the world. [2] In India, Head and Neck Cancers (HNCA) account for 30-40% of the cancers of all sites. [3] Tobacco- and smoking-related oral cancer accounts for about 33%. Ayurveda, the Indian traditional system of medicine, has many options in this regard, and thousands of combinations remain unexplored. TAYG is one among them. The formulation taken is an Anubhuta Yoga. The objective of the study is to develop possible quality control parameters of the drug.

 Materials and Methods

The dried fruits of Amalaki (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) were collected from the local market of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and Tulasi (Occimum sanctum Linn.), Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn.), and Goghrita (Cow ghee) were procured from the local market of Jamnagar, Gujarat. The herbal material was identified for its genuinity in the Pharmacognosy Laboratory of the Institute. The physical impurities were removed from the herbal drugs, and they were dried below 45 ° C, and made into a coarse powder to use for the pharmacognostical study. Tulasi Amla Yashti Ghrita [Table 1] was prepared as per the classical reference. A physicochemical analysis of the final product was carried out in the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Laboratory of the institute.{Table 1}


The raw drugs and powders were separately studied by organoleptic and morphological characters like Rupa (Color), Rasa (Taste), Gandha (Odor), Sparsha (Touch), and so on.


The powders of the drugs were studied microscopically and the characters were observed after proper mounting and staining with Phloroglucinol and HCl (used for identification of Lignified elements). [4] Photographs of the miocroscopical powder characters were taken using a Canon digital camera attached to a Zeiss microscope, in the Pharmacognosy Laboratory.

Physicochemical parameters and phytochemical analysis

Tulasi Amla Yashti Ghrita was subjected to an examination of the physicochemical parameters, to evaluate the possible analytical profile.

Oraganoleptic characters

Oraganoleptic characters like Rupa (Color), Rasa (Taste), Gandha (Odor), and Sparsha (Touch) were observed.

Physicochemical parameters

Tulasi Amla Yashti Ghrita was subjected to an examination of the physicochemical parameters like refractive index, specific gravity, pH value, acid value, saponification value, and iodine value. [5]

Thin layer Chromatography

Thin Layer Chromatography and High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography [6],[7] were performed for the phase separation of the components of unsaponifiable fraction of TAYG. The spots obtained from both the extracts were examined under ultraviolet light, of wavelengths 254 nm and 366 nm.

• Sample preparation:

Track 1: Methanolic extract of TAYG Track 2: Unsaponifiable matter of TAYG

• Solvent system:

Toluene: Ethyl acetate: Formic acid: Glacial acetic acid (5:5:1:1)

• Stationary phase:

Silica gel G

• Visualization:

Under long UV (366 nm) and short UV (254 nm)

High performance thin layer Chromatography

The HPTLC study [6],[7] of the unsaponifiable fraction of TAGY was carried out by using the same solvent system of Toluene: Ethyl acetate: Formic acid: Glacial acetic acid (5:5:1:1). After completion of HPTLC; post chromatographic derivation was done with methanolic sulfuric acid.


Rupa (color), Gandha (odor), Rasa (taste), and Sparsha (texture) of the composition of the formulation can be seen in [Table 2].{Table 2}

All the ingredients of TAGY can be seen in [Figure 1], [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. Powder microscopy of Occimum sanctum (Sweta Tulasi) revealed the presence of prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate [Figure 4]a, oil globules [Figure 4]b, annular vessels [Figure 4]c, stomata [Figure 4]d, spiral vessels [Figure 4]e, group of lignified fibers [Figure 4]f, a multicellular simple trichome [Figure 4]g, and a unicellular simple trichome [Figure 4]h; whereas, microscopy of the coarse powder of the pericarp of Amalaki (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) showed a prismatic crystal with parenchyma cells [Figure 5]a, starch grains [Figure 5]b, sclereid [Figure 5]c, and a group of lignified fibers [Figure 5]d. The microscopical features seen in the powder of the rhizomes of Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn. (Yastimadhu) were cork cells [Figure 6]a, simple and compound starch grains and prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate [Figure 6]b, crystal fibres [Figure 6]c and bordered pitted vessels [Figure 6]d. The diagnostic features observed by powder microscopy were authenticated by comparing the features with the standard references. [8],[9],[10]{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}{Figure 6}

The drug TAGY is semi-solid in form, brownish chocolate in color, nonspecific in taste, with an aromatic odor. The results observed through the physicochemical parameters can be found in [Table 3]. The results of TLC can be found in [Table 4] and [Figure 7]; while the results of HPTLC can be found in [Table 5] and [Figure 8], .{Figure 7}{Figure 8}{Table 3}{Table 4}{Table 5}


The present formulation consisted of three plant ingredients, which were proved to be genuine, by assessing the organoleptic characters and powder microscopy features. Physicochemical parameters were applied for assessing the prepared formulation. The refractive index was 1.4710. The specific gravity of the sample was 0.9130, which was closer to plain Ghrita, for which it was 0.9, showing that the sample was not too dense. The pH of TAGY was found to be 3.5, showing the acidic nature of the drug. The acid value was 4.3968 w/v, indicating the amount of free fatty acid present in the Ghrita. The saponification value was found to be 209.82 w/v. It gave an idea of the molecular weight of an oil/fat, and the oil contained a long chain of fatty acids. The observed iodine value for the sample was 23.04 w/v, which indicated the consumption of the iodine molecules by free fatty acids. TLC showed five spots, when the plate was scanned at 254 nm and 366 nm. The results were the same for both the detection wavelengths, which showed that the components were sensitive to both wavelengths.


The preliminary organoleptic features and the results of powder microscopy revealed the presence of important characters like oil globules, a multicellular glandular trichome, multicellular and unicellular simple trichomes in Tulasi, prismatic crystal with parenchyma cells, and tannin content in Amalaki, and simple and compound starch grains, crystal fibers, and bordered pitted vessels in Yastimadhu. Thin layer chromatography results showed five spots when the plate was scanned at 254 nm and 366 nm. The physicochemical analysis showed specific gravity (0.913), pH (3.5), acid value (4.3968), iodine value (23.04 w/v), and saponification value (209.82 w/v). All the parameters discussed here could be used as identifying tools for the quality assessment of Tulasi Amla Yashti Ghrita.


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