Pharmacognostic studies and elemental analysis of the aerial parts of Cassytha filiformis Linn. (Family: Lauraceae)
Cassytha filiformis Linn. (family Lauraceae) a leafless and perennial vine with small scales as a replacement of the leaves is currently being used in the treatment of various disease conditions including jaundice. The aim of this work is to study the pharmacognostic characters of C. filiformis Macroscopic/organoleptic characters, microscopic, chemo-microscopic characters, numerical standards, and elemental analysis were determined from the whole plant of C. filiformis. Findings from this study revealed the presence of some diagnostic microscopical features such as paracytic stomata, unicellular covering trichomes with cystoliths, prismatic calcium oxalate crystals and annular xylem vessels. Quantitative physical constants include moisture contents (5.5 %), ash value (17 %), acid insoluble ash value (1 %), total tannins (27.3 %), swelling index (165 %), water, alcohol and oil extractive indices (20.6 %, 13.6 % and 1.6 % respectively). Trace metals detected in C. filiformis such as Fe (165.4279 ppm), Mn (14.4093 ppm) and Ni (2.7933 ppm) which are essential were higher than FAO/WHO (1984) permissible limit for edible plants. While others: Pb (0.0568 ppm) Zn (0.1094 ppm), Cd (0.0103 ppm) and Cu (0.0535 ppm) were found to be within the safety limit.
Keywords: Cassytha filiformis; Rumfar gada; Lauraceae; Pharmacognostic characters