PHARMACOGNOSTIC STUDIES ON THE WHOLE PLANTS OF Ageratum conyzoides Linn. (ASTERACEAE)
Janarthanan L.*, Karthikeyan V., Jaykar B., Balakrishnan B.R., Senthilkumar K.L., Anandharaj G.
Objective: To study detailed pharmacognostic profile of whole plant of Ageratum Conyzoides. Linn (Asteraceae), known as appa grass and an important medicinal plant in the traditional medicinal system of India. Methods: Whole plants of Ageratum Conyzoides. Linn were studied by macroscopy, pharmacognostic anatomy, powder analysis, quantitative microscopy, histo-chemical characters and physico-chemical standards and other methods for standardization were performed by WHO and pharmacopeia recommended methods. Results: Macroscopically, the leaves are stalked ovate, subacute, crenate with ciliate margins and 4-10cm long and 1-5cm wide, the stem are pink or greenish yellow covered with fine white hairs and flowers are purple to white, arranged in close terminal inflorescences. Fruits (achene) are easily dispersed. Roots are yellowish brown and root base nodes and internodes. Transverse section of leaf showed the presence of spongy mesophyll, vascular bundles, multicellular glandular trichomes and diacytic stomata, pericyclic fibres and calcium oxalate crystals in stem, Phelloderm and granular secretion staining pink with iodine in the Pholem parenchyma are some of the diagnostic features noted from anatomical study. Powder microscopy of whole plant revealed the presence of parenchyma with oil cells, glandular trichome, fibres and diacytic stomata. The investigations also included leaf surface data, quantitative leaf microscopy and physico chemical parameters such as ash values, extractive values, crude fibre content and loss on drying. Conclusions: The results of the study can serve as a valuable source of information and provide suitable standards for identification of A.conyzoides in future investigations and applications.
Keywords: Ageratum conyzoides, Asteraceae, Goat weed, Appa grass.
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