keywords: Ficus benghalensis Linn., Moraceae, pharmacognostic studies, preliminary phytochemical screening
Pharmacognostic studies of fresh and powdered leaves of F. benghalensis (Linn.) was carried out to determine the macroscopical features, preliminary phytochemical diagnostic features, physico-chemical properties, quantitativeand qualitative microscopical features and chemo-microscopical measures were established.The morphology of the leaves revealed they are simple, alternate, glossy, leathery and glabrous when mature, oval, ovate or elliptical to oblong, base cordate or rounded, thickly coriaceous, obtusely cuspidate, quite entire, basal veins strong. The microscopy reveals the dorsiventral type of leave, with actinocytic stomata, crystal sheath type of calcium oxalate. The quantitative microscopy features such as stomatal number, stomatal index, veinlet termination number, veinislet number and palisade ratio were measured. The physico-chemical properties such as moisture content, total ash value, water soluble ash value, acid soluble ash value, alcohol soluble extractive value, water soluble extractive value were established. The chemo-microscopical analysis revealed the presence of Cellulose, lignin, Suberin/Cutin, aleurone grains, Calcium carbonate, calcium oxalate crystals, Inulin, tannins and the absence of Mucilage and starch. Phytochemical diagnostic features were also established.The results of the study could be useful in setting some diagnostic indices for the identification and preparation of a monograph of the plant.
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