AYU (An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda)

: 2013  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 229--232

Pharmacognostical and preliminary phytochemical evaluation of Alysicarpus longifolius W. and A. Prodr

Bhavesh Patil1, Bhupesh Patel2, Preeti Pandya3, CR Harisha4,  
1 PhD Scholar, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Dravyaguna, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
3 Lab Assistant, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
4 Head, Pharmacognosy Laboratory, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Bhavesh Patil
Room No. 94, PG Gents Hostel, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar - 361 008, Gujarat


Ayurveda , the science of life, deals with the drugs of animal, herbal, or mineral origin. Drugs of plant origin occupy more than 90% of the constituents of the Ayurvedic formulations used during treatment. Due to over exploitation and non-availability of medicinal plants, certain classical drugs are being substituted by locally available ethnomedicinal plants that are being claimed to possess similar activity by the tribal and local practitioners. The authentic source of Prishniparni is Uraria picta Desv. (Fabaceae) and is being substituted by Alysicarpus longifolius W. and A. Prodr. (Fabaceae) by some traditional healers of Gujarat (Saurashtra region). Both the plants are locally known by the names Samervo or Pithvan and both have similar characteristics with reference to leaves and flowers (inflorescence type). Pharmacognostical and Phytochemical evaluation of Alysicarpus longifolius W. and A. Prodr has been carried out and results are reported.

How to cite this article:
Patil B, Patel B, Pandya P, Harisha C R. Pharmacognostical and preliminary phytochemical evaluation of Alysicarpus longifolius W. and A. Prodr.AYU 2013;34:229-232

How to cite this URL:
Patil B, Patel B, Pandya P, Harisha C R. Pharmacognostical and preliminary phytochemical evaluation of Alysicarpus longifolius W. and A. Prodr. AYU [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Mar 24 ];34:229-232
Available from: https://www.ayujournal.org/text.asp?2013/34/2/229/119689

Full Text


Plant resources, particularly medicinal plants are disappearing at an alarming rate and not enough attention is being given to seek alternate sources or substitutes for many of these plants. Most important medicinal plant species have been enlisted under endangered species. [1] India is blessed with the richest flora having many medicinal plant species which can be used as substitute for endangered species.

Alysicarpus longifolius W. and A. Prodr. (Fabaceae) is a slender, erect, 25-150 cm tall, glabrous herb found throughout, along the margins of cultivated fields, among grasses in wastelands, and in the hedges in Gujarat state. It is locally known as motosamervo/ubhosamervo. [2] Some traditional healers of Saurashtra region are using this plant in the place of Uraria picta (Prishniparni). But no scientific data is available on this plant till date; hence, the present study was designed to determine the macroscopic and microscopic characters, powder microscopy and preliminary phytochemical profile of A. longifolius.

 Materials and Methods


The root and root powder of A. longifolius were used in this study. Photomicrographs were taken by using Canon digital camera attached to Zeiss microscope in Pharmacognosy department, I. P. G. T. and R. A., Jamnagar.

Collection of sample

Roots of A. longifolius were collected from Dhinchada village, Jamnagar on 28 September 2009. The village is located approximately 10 km west of Jamnagar, between 22°47" latitude and 70°07" longitude, at an altitude of 65 m above mean sea level (MSL). [3]

From 1.76 kg of the collected roots, 640 g of dried material was obtained. The authenticity of these samples was confirmed by comparing their characters with various floras, and standard herbarium sample available at the Pharmacognosy Laboratory, I. P. G. T. and R. A., G. A. U., Jamnagar with the help of subject experts. The roots were pulverized to prepare fine powder (mesh 120) and preserved in airtight containers.

Preservation of sample

The root samples were preserved in a solution prepared from glacial acetic acid, alcohol, formalin, and distilled water. [4]

Pharmacognostical study

Organoleptic study

Roots and their powder were individually evaluated through relevant organoleptic characters like taste, odor, color, and touch.

Macroscopic study

Macroscopic characters were studied systematically as mentioned in the standard textbooks. [5],[6]

Microscopic study

Photomicrography of transverse section of the root was done after proper mounting and staining. Powder microscopy was also done to evaluate the characteristics.

Microchemical tests

Microchemical tests were performed to identify starch grains, crystals, and lignified elements. [7] Tests for starch grains (treatment with a drop of iodine), crystals of calcium oxalate (addition of hydrochloric acid), and for lignified fibers were done.

Physicochemical study

Physicochemical analysis of the sample was carried out to highlight important quality parameters. [8]

Various qualitative tests were carried out to evaluate the presence of alkaloids, steroids, amino acids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, tannins, and glycosides in the root powder.[9]

 Results and Discussion

Organoleptic study

It is whitish yellow colored [Figure 1]a fine powder with bitter, astringent taste and characteristic odor [Table 1].{Figure 1}{Table 1}

Macroscopic study

They are slender, erect, 25-150-cm-tall, glabrous herbs [Figure 1]b. Tap root is hard, cylindrical, and yellowish white with many rootlets, and root nodules in branches. They measure about more than 30 cm in length [Figure 1]c. Leaves are 1.4-7.2 × 0.6-3 cm, elliptic-oblong, ovate-oblong, ovate-lanceolate, or linear lanceolate, with appressed hairy beneath [Figure 1]d. Flowers are bright reddish purple in color and germinate in 5-35-cm-long spicate racemes [Figure 1]e. Pods are 0.4-1.2 cm long, 3-6 jointed, reticulately veined, and glabrous [Figure 1]f. Seed is globose, brown, smooth, and polished.

Microscopic study

TS of the root

Cork, an outermost brownish-colored layer, consists of one to three layers of tangentially elongated parenchyma cells. Inner to the cork is cortex which is a wide zone with patches of sclerenchyma fibers and starch grains [Figure 2]a-c. Phloem tissue is found next to the cortex. Ring of phloem is made up of irregular-shaped phloem parenchyma that covers the whole of central xylem portion [Figure 2]a-c. Xylem is made up of xylem vessels, fiber, and parenchyma with medullary rays showing storage of starch grains. It also shows cell inclusions like prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate and yellowish brown content [Figure 2]c-e. Medullary rays extend from the cortex region to the wood, uniseriate to multiseriate, with simple pits and are heterogeneous. The ray cells are thin walled and also embedded with starch grains [Figure 2]d, e.{Figure 2}

Powder microscopy

Powder microscopy of A. longifolius W. and A. Prodr. showed cork cells in the surface view [Figure 3]a and tangential view [Figure 3]b, pitted vessels [Figure 3]c, starch grains with hilum [Figure 3]d, prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate [Figure 3]e, aleurone grains [Figure 3]e, and group of fibers [Figure 3]f.{Figure 3}

Microchemical tests

Addition of few drops of iodine resulted in bluish discoloration, indicating the presence of starch in the material. Addition of a drop of hydrochloric acid to the powder resulted in dissolution of calcium oxalate crystals. Powder treated with phloroglucinol and hydrochloric acid resulted in pink color, indicating the presence of sclerenchymatous fibers. These basic studies indicate the presence of starch, calcium oxalate, and fibers in the root of A. longifolius [Table 2].{Table 2}

Physicochemical analysis

Physicochemical analysis of the root powder of A. longifolius revealed loss on drying 3.81% w/w, total ash content 1.09% w/w, water-soluble extractive 10.31% w/w, alcohol-soluble extractive 7.79% w/w, and pH 5.38 [Table 3].{Table 3}

Qualitative analysis

Qualitative analysis of the root powder of A. longifolius showed presence of alkaloids, steroids, carbohydrates, Flavonoids, and tannins. Amino acids and glycosides were not present in the samples [Table 4].{Table 4}


The pharmacognostical and preliminary phytochemical evaluation of the roots of A. longifolius W. and A. Prodr. would be of great value in the identification, quality control, and formulation development. These findings may be useful to supplement existing information with regard to the identification and standardization of A. longifolius W. and A. Prodr., even in the powdered form of the plant drug.


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