Pharmacognostic and phytochemical investigation of Heracleum persicum Desf. ex Fischer

Document Type : Original paper


1 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

2 Department of Chemistry, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


Background and objectives: Heracleum persicum aerial parts have been used in Iranian folk medicine for their therapeutic activities and as a spice and flavoring agent in Iranian foods and pickles. The present research was conducted to evaluate the pharmacognostic profile of H. persicum which will be useful in standardization for quality, purity, and sample identification.
Methods: For quality control, phytochemical and physicochemical parameters such as macroscopic and microscopic evaluations, loss on drying, total ash value, acid insoluble ash, fluorescence standards of the drug and other tests were carried out using the flowers, fruits, stems and leaves of the plant.
Results: Light microscopic studies showed various characteristic features including, collateral vascular bundle, oil ducts (vittae) and uniseriate, unicellular trichomes in leaf; collateral and closed vascular bundles, vittae and kidney shaped strands of collenchymatous tissue in stem; parenchymatous cells, commissural and solitary vittae in fruit; and tapetum tissue, pollen grains and fragments of stamens and styles in flower. Phytochemical screening of the aerial plant parts revealed the presence of flavonoids, tannins and steroids.
Conclusion: The pharmacognostic characters observed in this study will be helpful in correct identification and characterization of H.persicum. Preliminary phytochemical studies may be helpful in further isolation and purification of lead compounds.


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