Pharmacognostic, Physicochemical and Phytochemical Investigations on Aerial Parts of Argemone mexicana L.

Document Type: Original paper

Authors

1 Department of Pharmacognosy and Traditional Medicine, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria. Africa Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development (ACEPRD), University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sciences, Techniques, and Technologies of Bamako, Bamako, Mali.

2 Department of Pharmacognosy and Traditional Medicine, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria.4Department of Pharmacognosy and Drug Development, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.

3 Department of Pharmacognosy and Traditional Medicine, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria.

4 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sciences, Techniques, and Technologies of Bamako, Bamako, Mali.

5 Africa Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development (ACEPRD), University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria. Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria.

Abstract

Background and objectives: In India, Argemone mexicana is traditionally used against fever, wounds, worms and malaria. In Mali the efficacy and safety of “Sumafura Tiemoko Bengaly” an herbal tea based on A. mexicana aerial parts against malaria have been demonstrated. This study was aimed to investigate the pharmacognostic, physicochemical and phytochemical parameters of its aerial parts. Methods: Macroscopy, microscopy, chemo-microscopy, phytochemical, mineral and physicochemical analyses were performed using standard methods. Results: The macroscopy showed that A. mexicana is an herbal plant with prickly both on its greenish stem and the pinnatelobed leaves; the flower is terminal and yellow and the fruit is a capsule with thorns. The microscopy revealed the presence of epidermal cells with actinocytic stomata, calcium oxalate prism, lacticifers, palisade cells, vascular bundle, fibers and collenchyma cells in the fresh leaf and the dry aerial parts. The chemo-microscopy revealed the presence of lignins, tannins, starch, calcium oxalate, oils and proteins. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of carbohydrates, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, sterols and triterpenoids. The physicochemical parameters as observed included moisture content (8.2 %); total ash value (16.7 %); acid-insoluble ash value (2.9 %); water-soluble ash value (4.8 %); ethanol - soluble extractive value (17.2 %) and water- soluble extractive value (34.3 %). Six minerals (Fe, Cu, Mn, Mg, Pb, and Cd) have been also measured. Conclusion: These parameters help to establish the correct identity of A. mexicana and check the occurrence of adulterations. Further, they are useful for the standardization and pharmacopoeia development.

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