Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences

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Pharmacognostic profile of leaf, stem and root of Spathodea Campanulata P. Beauv (Bignoniaceae)

UE Odoh, CO Ezugwu, NG Ugwoke


To ensure quality of herbal products, proper control of starting material is of utmost importance. The first step towards ensuring quality of starting material is authentication. Thus, in recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the standardization of selected medicinal plants of potential therapeutic significance. Despite the modern techniques, identification of plant drugs by pharmacognostic studies is more reliable. Spathodea campanulata commonly known as African tulip tree or Flame of the forest is an important medicinal plant used for treatment of different ailments in various forms. In the present study, pharmacognostic investigation of fresh and powdered as well as anatomical sections of the leaf, stem and root of Spathodea campanulata were carried out to determine its macromorphological, micromorphological and chemo-micromorphological profiles for the purpose of identification and monograph preparation. Preliminary phytochemical analysis of these parts was also carried out. The result of microscopy shows presence of waxy cuticle, prisms of calcium oxalate, diacytic stomata, pollen grains, reticulate vessels, covering trichomes, palisade and part of spongy mesophyll, epidermal cells in the leaf; bundle of fibres, bordered pitted vessels, prisms of calcium oxalate crystals, sclereids, single fibre associated with parenchyma and those associated with thin lumen in the stem, while bundle of fibres with prisms of calcium oxalate, starch grains, bordered pitted vessels, parenchyma cell and cork cells in the root. Chemomicroscopical investigation of the leaf, stem and root revealed the presence of lignin, starch, suberized cell walls, calcium oxalate, fibres and tannins. Analytical studies showed total ash values of 14.0, 15.0, and 12.5 %; acid – insoluble ash of 8.5, 9.5, and 7.5 %; water soluble ash of 4.0, 3.0, and 2.0 %;,sulphated ash - 1.0, 1.5, 2.5 %; alcohol – soluble extractive of 15.0, 11.0, 21.0 % as well as water – soluble extractives of 4.0, 3.50, 2.0 %, for the leaf, stem and root respectively. Qualitative studies of the leaf, stem and root indicated the presence of carbohydrates, reducing sugars, alkaloids, glycoside, saponins, tannins, steroids, resins, and terpenoids, while flavonoids, proteins and fats and oil were totally absent. These findings will be useful in establishing pharmacognostic standards on identification, purity, quality and classification of the plant.

Keywords: Spathodea campanulata, chemomicroscopy, macromorphology, phytochemical analysis

Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences Vol. 9 No. 3 (2012)

AJOL African Journals Online