MICROSCOPICAL AUTHENTICATION OF URGINEA INDICA KUNTH – A POISONOUS PLANT WITH HEALING POTENTIAL
*Kiran Negi and Ghazala Javed
The widespread belief that herbal drugs are perfectly safe and devoid of any adverse effects is false and misleading. Herbs can cause a wide range of undesirable or adverse reactions, some of which can result in severe injuries, life-threatening conditions, and even death if used beyond a prescribed dose. Urginea indica Kunth is one of such plant which is used from many scenarios in the form of pills, powders, decoctions, ointments, poultice, plant juice, infusions and lotions etc. to treat various ailments like asthma, rheumatism, paralytic affections, leprosy and skin diseases. It is reported that in small doses it acts as an expectorant, cardiac, stimulant, diuretic, deobstruent and emmenagogue but in excessive doses it is a narcotic acrid poison causing nausea, strangury and bloody urine, often suppression of urine, gastro-entritis followed by convulsion and paralysis of heart and death. Due to its narrow therapeutic index, present investigation was undertaken to microscopically authenticate this plant so as to provide a set of diagnostic characters for easy identification of genuine drug sample from the local market.
Keywords: Urginea indica Kunth narrow therapeutic index; microscopy; identification.
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