About Authors:
Sanober Parveen*, Maju Vyas Singh
Delhi institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences & research University (DIPSAR), Delhi.

The present study was aimed Pharmacognostic and preliminary phytochemical study of the fresh fruits of Alstonia scholaris, belonging to family Apocynaceae.The pharmacognostic investigation were carried out in terms of macroscopic, microscopic and physical parameters. The extract obtained after successive Soxhlet extraction of dried fruit using n-hexane, chloroform, methanol and water were subjected to a preliminary phytochemical screening which revealed the presence of alkaloids, carbohydrate, glycoside, terpenoids and flavanoids.

Reference Id: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1452

Alstonia scholaris
which is popularly known as the “Saptaparni” or “Devil’s tree” belonging to the family Apocynaceae.  It is widely distributed in dried forests of India, western Himalayas and in the Southern region. The whole plant is medicinally useful. It is a well known remedy for the treatment of various types of disorders in the Ayurvedic, homeopathic and folklore system of medicine in india. The plant is a constituent of Ayurvedic preparation Ayush-64 which is found effective in microfilaraemia.(1)

Previous investigation revealed that the various part (leaves, bark, flowers) of this plant Alstonia scholaris have antibacterial activity, anti-malarial, anti-amoebic, anti-plasmodial, anxiolytic activity, antiinflamatory,  analgesic,  anti-ulcerogenic activity, anti-fertility, anticancer activity. Analysis of phytochemical constituents (Chakravarti et al., 1955, 1956; Talapatra et al., 1967, 1968; Banerji and Banerji, 1975; Dhar et al., 1977; Banerji and Chakrabarti, 1984; Banerjee et al., 1984; Arambewela and Ratnayake, 1991; Varshney and Goyal, 1995; Mahajan and Badgujar, 2008; Deepthi et al., 2008; Khyade and Vaikos, 2009a; Thenmozhi et al., 2010; Dutta et al., 2010;

Thankamani, 2011) and pharmacognosy (Datta and Datta, 1984; Upadhye et al., 2006; Ansari et al., 2006; Hemalatha et al., 2008; Dutta and Laskar, 2009; Khyade and Vaikos, 2009b) of the species have been reported by many authors.  Alkaloids are one of the major constituents of the speciesEchitamine chloride (Kamarajan et al., 1991; Saraswathi et al., 1997,1998,1999); Rhazine (Chatterjee et al., 1969); Nareline (Morita et al., 1977); Pseudo Akuammigine (Banerji and Banerje, 1977); Scholarine (Banerji and Siddhanta, 1981); Scholaricine (Banerji, 1981; Rahman et al., 1985); Dihydrocondylocarpine, (Rahman et al., 1986); 19, 20-Z-Vallesamine and 19, 20-EVallesamine (Rahman et al., 1987); Picrinine (Ghosh et al., 1988); Alschomine and Isoalschomine, (Abe et al., 1989); Mataranine A and B (Hadi, 2009); monoterpenoid indole alkaloids (Cai et al., 2007; 2008a; Feng et al., 2009); Picralinal of picralima group (Rastogi et al., 1970); Picrinine-type alkaloids (Cai et al., 2008b); N1-methoxymethyl Picrinine (Wang et al., 2009) etc. have been reported. Constituents have been reported from different parts of the plant such as bark (Manohar and Ramaseshan, 1961; Yamauchi et al., 1990b; Gupta et al., 2002; Salim et al., 2004; Feng et al., 2009); leaves (Chatterjee et al., 1965; Banerji and Banerje, 1977; Rahman et al., 1986; Yamauchi et al., 1990a,b; Zhou et al., 2005; Macabeo et al., 2005; Cai et al., 2008b; Hirasawa et al., 2009); roots (Boonchuay and Court, 1976b); flowers (Dutta et al., 1976) and fruits (Wongseripipatana et al., 2004) Among the other constituents, Isookanin-7-o-alpha-lrhamnopyranoside, a new flavanone glycoside (Chauhan et al., 1985) and Alstonoside, a secoiridoid glucoside (Thomas et al., 2008) have been recorded. Iridoids, coumarins, flavonoids, leucoanthocyanins, reducing sugars, simple phenolics, steroids, saponins and tannins were also found in the plant (Khyade and Vaikos, 2009a).

However, very little is understood about the Pharmacognostic study of the fruit of alstonia scholaris. Taking the same in view, attempts have been made toPharmacognostic and Phytochemical study of the plant.

Material and Method
Collection of plant material

The fresh Fruits of Alstonia scholaris  (L.) R. Br. were collected from the campus of DIPSAR, Pushp Vihar, sec-3, India, in the month of March 2011. The Plant sample was authenticated and Voucher specimen has been deposited at the NISCAIR, new Delhi-12, with the reference No. NISCAIR/RHMD/Consult/-2011-12/1732/32.

Pharmacognostic studies
1. Macroscopic study

Macroscopic characters shape, size, color, odor, texture etc. of the plant material were studied.

2. Microscopic study
a. Preparation of sections          

A piece of the plant material was selected. Thin and fine transverse sections were prepared by cutting with razor blade. Satisfactory sections were selected, cleared by using a solution of chloral hydrate and stained with Phoroglucinol and conc. HCl. Stained section was mounted in glycerine and examined under the microscope.

b. Powder Microscopy
A small amount of powder was cleared using chloral hydrate solution and stained with phloroglucinol and conc. HCl. It was mounted in glycerine and examined under microscope.

3. Fluorescence Analysis
The  powdered drug was treated with different reagents ( 1N HCl, 1N NaOH, 50% H2SO4, 50% HNO3 ), and examined under Day light and UV-light (at 254nm & 366nm). The results were recorded in Table 2.



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