Pharmacognostic study of roots and aerial parts of less explored Heracleum candicans Wall. ex DC.from Betaab Valley, Pahalgam, Kashmir, India
Plant derived products have sparked considerable attention due to their versatile applications. The plants are among the richest bio-resource of drugs for traditional and modern medicines and leads for synthetic drug development and various pharmaceutical intermediates. Heracleum candicans Wall. ex DC. is reported as a medicinal herb of Apiaceae family. It is also known as White-leaf Hogweed and traditionally reported to be effective in various disease conditions like skin diseases, sunburn, and external tumours. The present work deals with the pharmacognostic evaluations of root and aerial parts of H. candicans. Macroscopic and microscopic analysis was carried out along with various physicochemical analysis, phytochemical screening as well as thin layer chromatography studies. Moreover, the presence of heavy toxic metals by ICP-OES method was also evaluated. The pharmacognostic studies of H. candicans showed the presence of prismatic calcium oxalate crystals, anomocytic stomata, reticulate and spiral xylem vessels along with lignified fibres with two types of covering trichomes. Preliminary phytochemical studies revealed the occurrence of carbohydrates, flavonoids, phenols, tannins, saponins, phytosterols, diterpenes, coumarins, cardiac glycosides, fats and oils. The estimation of various physicochemical constants could be beneficial in determining various quality control standards for crude drug. The findings from this study would be beneficial for the identification of H. candicans.
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