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Pharmacognostical and Physicochemical Evaluation on Vata (Ficus benghalensis linn.) Jata (Aerial Roots)


1 Phd Scholer, Departement of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Guajrat, India
2 Head Pharmacognocy, IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Guajrat, India
3 Head Pharmaceutical Lab, IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Guajrat, India
4 HOD Departement of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Guajrat, India
5 Scientific Advisory Board Member, CCRAS, New Delhi, Vice-Chancellor (Ex)-Gujarat Ayurved University; Professor and Head, Department of Rasa Shastra, RA Podar Ayurvedic Medical College, Worli Mumbai, India

Date of Submission28-Mar-2019
Date of Decision16-Mar-2021
Date of Acceptance16-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Pravin Jawanjal,
Department of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_90_19

  Abstract 


Introduction: Vata (Ficus benghalensis Linn.) is a sacred medicinal plant since Vedic times. It spread all over by its hanging or supporting roots, hence called as Vata. Aims: The aim was to study the macro- and microscopic characters, physiochemical and high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) profile of Vata (F. benghalensis Linn.) Jata (aerial roots). Materials and Methods: Experiments were performed on authenticated plant materials, following standard procedures. Macroscopic and microscopic pharmacognostical characters of aerial roots and histochemical studies were noted. Results: Externally, the aerial root is gray and rough along with transverse rows of lenticels. Inner part of the aerial root is reddishbrown fibrous nature in bark portion. The powder microscopy study revealed the presence of fragment of simple fiber without lumen, stone cells with tannin, simple starch grain with hilum, compound starch grain, fiber with denim contents, latex contents, tannin contents rhomboidal crystal 2, rhomboidal crystal 3, group of stone cell with tannin, and fiber passing through medullary rays. Discussion: Transverse section of aerial root showed outer interesting exodermis followed by cork and cortex. Cortex region abundantly enriched by calcium oxalate crystal and tannin content are the diagnostic characters. Conclusion: Results of pharmacognostical and physiochemical analysis including HPTLC on aerial roots will help in further standardization.



How to cite this URL:
Jawanjal P, Harisha C R, Shukla V J, Patgiri B J, Savrikar S S. Pharmacognostical and Physicochemical Evaluation on Vata (Ficus benghalensis linn.) Jata (Aerial Roots). Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2021 Nov 30]. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=321827




  Introduction Top


Vata (Ficus benghalensis Linn.)[1] is a medicinal plant and dedicated to a religious purpose since Vedic times. Vata also known as the Banyan tree which can be grown on exposed weathered rocks and belongs to the family Moraceae.[2] It spread all over by its hanging or supporting roots, hence called as Vata.[3],[4] Jata means fibrous roots, or matted and twisted locks together hair or root.[4],[5] Jatal synonyms used for Vata[3],[4] because it has fibrous, twisted-like aerial roots. Vata has also synonyms Skandhaja, Jati due to its aerial root structure.[6] These structures arise from a single point on stem or branches, growing down toward earth as a tip and which support to the plant is called as Vata (F. benghalensis Linn.) Jata (aerial roots).[7] Arial root may be small fibrous in group which are hanging or a large spreading numerous which enter the ground and form trunk. The whole plant is astringent, refrigerant, anodyne, vulnerary, depurative, anti-inflammatory ophthalmic, styptic, antiarthritic, diaphoretic, anti-diarrheal, antiemetic, tonic, and possess pharmacological activities hypoglycemic, hypotensive, antifertility, antidiabetic, antioxidant, and hypocholesterolemic. The aerial roots are useful in obstinate vomiting, leucorrhoea, and osteomalacia of the limb.[8] It supports in dropping ambient temperature and noise pollution. An aqueous extract of the aerial roots along with salt is used in diabetes.[9]

Vata is a large long live tree attainment a height of 21 m or extra with a thick body width attaining 7–9 m. Tender buds are pubescent; large number of aerial roots develop from the branches. Leaves are in bunches, alternate, stipulate, and rounded at the base. Vata is usually distributed throughout India, grows wild on the lower slopes of the Deccan hills, sub-Himalayan tracts, and Malabar coasts forests.[2],[10] Vata (F. benghalensis Linn.) Jata (aerial roots) is used in various Kalpa (formulation) preparation such as Abhraka Bhasma (incinerated Mica),[11] Svarna Sindhura (herbomineral formulation),[12] Trivanga bhasma (incinerated Tin, Lead, Zinc).[13] Review of literature reveals that few works have been reported on F. benghalensis Linn. which includes review on ethnobotanical claims, chemical constituents, and pharmacology biological activities[14],[15],[16] and characterization of fungal antagonistic bacilli isolated from aerial roots.[17]Although various parts of Vata (F. benghalensis Linn.) are used ethnobotanically, the aerial root is yet to be evaluated, in a scientific way, for its anatomical characters and physicochemical evaluation. Hence, in the present study, the aerial roots of F. benghalensis Linn. are explored to bring insight on the aerial root anatomy, physicochemical evaluation, and high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) profile.


  Materials and Methods Top


Collection and authentication

Samples:

Samples were aerial roots of F. benghalensis Linn.

Aerial roots samples were collected by the first author from Botanical Garden of GAU, Jamnagar in the month of March 2018. Age of the Vata Jata was 2–3 months old, not much old, nor new aerial root. Middle portion of the aerial root was considered for the present study and the thickness of the part 0.5 cm. Samples were submitted to pharmacognosy laboratory authenticated by the pharmacognosist of the IPGT and RA, Jamnagar.

Site of study

Authentication of aerial roots of F. benghalensis Linn. was done in pharmacognosy laboratory of IPGT and RA, Jamnagar. Physicochemical study of aerial roots of F. benghalensis Linn. was conducted in laboratory of Pharmaceutical Chemistry of IPGT and RA, Jamnagar.

Pharmacognostical analysis

Identification and authentication of aerial roots of F. benghalensis Linn. was done based on morphological features, organoleptic characters, study of transverse section, and powder microscopy of F. benghalensis Linn. as mentioned in Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India[18] and textbook of pharmacognosy.[19],[20],[21]

Macroscopic study

Macroscopic characters of sample were studied systematically by observing specimen with naked eyes and centimeter scale was used to measure aerial roots.[22]

Microscopic study

The cut pieces of aerial roots were washed and transverse sections were taken cleared with chloral hydrate to observe the anatomy aerial roots with help of Quasmo binocular compound microscope. For histochemical tests, the thick transverse sections of the aerial root were exposed to iodine, phloroglucinol, and HCl for observation of starch grain and lignified tissue.

For powder microscopy, to obtain powder, the cut pieces of aerial roots were shade dried under natural condition for 8–10 days. After that, the cut pieces of aerial roots were grounded by mechanical grinder and sieved through 80#.[19]

Organoleptic study: evaluation of sample was done by various organoleptic characters such as color, texture, odor, taste, and so forth of its powder. Observations were done directly by sensory organs.

Physicochemical parameters and qualitative analysis

The powder of aerial roots was exposed to physicochemical parameters, i.e., pH, loss on drying, total ash value, acid insoluble ash value, water-soluble extractive value, and alcohol soluble extractive value; protocols followed as recommended by active pharmaceutical ingredient. For qualitative analysis, the presence of various secondary metabolites dissolved in alcohol extract was done.[18],[20]

High-performance thin-layer chromatography

Methanol extract of F. benghalensis Linn. was used for HPTLC study. Methanol extract was spotted on aerial roots of F. benghalensis Linn. precoated silica gel GL60254 aluminium plate as 10 mm bands by means of a CAMAG Linomate V sample applicator fitted with a 100 μL Hamilton syringe. Toluene (9 ml) and ethyl acetate (1 ml) were used for aerial roots of F. benghalensis Linn. as a mobile phase. The development time was 30 min. After development, densitometry scanning was performed with a CAMAG TLC scanner III in reflectance absorbance mode at 254 nm and 366 nm under control of Win CATS software (V1.2.1. CAMAG).[23],[24]


  Results and Observations Top


Pharmacognostic study

The initial purpose of the study was to confirm the authenticity of the drugs. For that, aerial roots of F. benghalensis Linn. were subjected to macroscopic and microscopic evaluation.

Macroscopy of aerial root

Aerial roots are cylindrical, new 2–3 months, not much old, nor new, branched or unbranched. Length width of roots (cut pieces) ranges from 15 cm to 20 cm × 0.5–1 cm (diameter). Externally, the aerial root is gray and rough along with transverse rows of lenticels. Inner part of the aerial root is reddishbrown fibrous nature in bark portion.

Microscopic evaluation

Transverse section of aerial root

Diagrammatic section of the aerial root shows that outer exoderm-like tissue followed by cork, cortex, vascular bundle, and central false pith.

Outer exodermis made up of single-layered collapsed parenchyma cells with brown content followed by wide range of rounded to uneven shaped parenchyma cells which are lignified and devoid of chemical constituents. Later on, the exodermal part peels out and the cork exists in the developed aerial roots.

Inner to the exodermis 3–5 layered of tangentially elongated lignified cork cells filled with brown content. Cortex region is composed of compactly arranged one or two layers of collenchyma cells followed by loosely arranged 5–7 layers of parenchyma cells, which are embedded with ample amount of simple starch grains, rosette crystals of calcium oxalate, and tannin content. Continuous bands of pericyclic fibers distributed in circular manner. Vascular bundles are open collateral type and radially arranged. Phloem is situated above the xylem, made of sieve elements and phloem fibers. Xylems consists of xylem parenchyma and fibers. Some xylem vessels are filled with yellowishbrown content. Medullary rays consist of rectangular to oblong-shaped multiseriate arising from the central region and extended up to inner layers of the cortical loaded with some starch grains and brown content. Centrally Locatel false pith adjacent to the vascular bundle are thick,pitted and lignified where as central cells are simpleParenchyma cells loaded by starch grains. [Figure 1]a, [Figure 1]b, [Figure 1]c, [Figure 1]d, [Figure 1]e, [Figure 1]f, [Figure 1]g, [Figure 1]h, [Figure 1]i, [Figure 1]j.

Powder microscopy

Organoleptic evaluation

The aerial root powder is orangishbrown in color with characteristic slightly aromatic odor, astringent in taste, and fibrous rough in texture and are mentioned in [Table 1] and [Figure 2].
Table 1: Organoleptic features of powder of aerial roots of Ficus benghalensis Linn.

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Figure 2: Natural aerial roots

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Microscopic characters

Diagnostic characters of the powder show that fragment of sample fiber without lumen, stone cells with tannin, simple starch grain with hilum, compound starch grain, fiber with denim contents latex contents, tannin contents rhomboidal crystal group of stone cell with tannin, fiber passing through medullary cyst. After staining lignified death stone cell, simple stone cells, cork in surface, lignified fiber passing through stone cell, lignified scleroid with narrow lumen [Figure 3]a, [Figure 3]b, [Figure 3]c, [Figure 3]d, [Figure 3]e, [Figure 3]f, [Figure 3]g, [Figure 3]h, [Figure 3]i, [Figure 3]j.
Figure 3: Powder microscopy. (a) Aerial root powder. (b) Border pitted vessels. (b) Border pitted. (d) Stone cell with lumen. (e) Simple starch grain. (f) Compound starch grains. (g) Prismatic crystal. (h) Fiber with tannin content. (i) Stone cell filled with tannin. (j) Tannin content. (k) Rhomboidal crystal. (l) Septate fibers. (m) Pitted scleroids. (n) Pitted stone cells. (o) Parenchyma with tannin content. (p) Lignified fibers through medullary rays. (q) Cork in surface view. (r) Stone cells with tannin

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Physicochemical parameters

The results of physicochemical parameters show that foreign matter is absent in aerial root parts and other values are loss on drying of root 11.47% w/w, ash value 3.20% w/w, acid insoluble ash 31.44% w/w, water-soluble extractive 3.56% w/w, alcohol soluble extractive 2.84, and pH (5% suspension in water) 4.5–5.6 [Table 2].
Table 2: Physicochemical parameters of Vata (Ficus benghalensis Linn.) Jata (aerial roots)

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Qualitative analysis of alcohol extracts of aerial root

Qualitative analysis of methanol extract of aerial root reveals that the presence of saponin, steroid, triterpenoids, tannins, and phenols [Table 3].
Table 3: Qualitative analysis of alcohol extracts of Ficus benghalensis Linn. aerial roots

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High-performance thin-layer chromatography study

The methanol extract of the root shows two peaks and four peaks, ultraviolet visible range of 254 nm and 366 nm, respectively. The Rf values are presented in [Table 4] and the photographs and peak display are shown in [Figure 4]. The Rf values obtained at 254 nm are 0.02, 0.08, 0.52, 0.75 and at 366 nm is 0.02 and 0.52, respectively [Table 4].
Figure 4: High-performance thin-layer chromatography. (a) High-performance thin-layer chromatography. At 366 nm. (b) High-performance thin-layer chromatography at- three-dimensional

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Table 4: Plate 4 highperformance thinlayer chromatography analysis Rf values obtained at ultraviolet of aerial roots of Ficus benghalensis Linn.

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  Discussion Top


Vata is very large tree with spreading branches, roots arise from these branches which are hanging small fibrous or large spreading numerous which enter the ground, support to the plant and form trunk called as Vata Jata. Transverse section showed outer interesting exodermis followed by the internal cork and cortex. Cortex region abundantly enriched by calcium oxalate crystal and tannin content is the striking character. Arial root and Vata (F. benghalensis Linn.) Shrunga (leaf primordium) all three sections showed that large amount of prismatic rhomboidal crystal and cluster crystal of calcium oxalate and their tannin content. Transverse section of the aerial root as compare to the root, there are so many anatomical changes are notified. As in the aerial root showed outermost layer exoderm-like tissue followed by cork, cortex, vascular bundle, and central false pith then followed by internal cork, whereas in root outermost cork followed by cortex and continuously located stellar region. Qualitative analysis of methanol extract of aerial root reveals that the presence of saponin, steroid, triterpenoids, tannins, and phenols whereas leaf primordium shows that the presence of steroids, tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids.[25] The results obtained from physicochemical, qualitative, and quantitative analyzes will help in further standardization of the plant.


  Conclusion Top


The pharmacognostical and physicochemical studies carried out on aerial roots of F. benghalensis Linn. are useful in obstinate vomiting, Leukorrhea, osteomalacia of limb, diabetes and Kalpa (formulation) preparation such as Abhraka Bhasma (incinerated Mica), Svarna Sindhura (herbomineral formulation), and Trivanga bhasma (incinerated Tin, Lead, Zinc). Samples were identified and authenticated pharmacokinetically and were used for the preparation. The pharmacognostical, physicochemical, and HPTLC findings will help in further standardization and act as standards for assurance of quality.

Acknowledgment

The authors are thankful to the authorities of IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar for providing facilities to carry out research work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

 
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