Herbals have been proven to be offering a wide number of medicinal uses and are having multiple benefits when considered as a complete system of medicine. Benincasa plant is rich in phytoconstituents, present almost in every part of the plant. Roots are the parts on which minimum work has been done.
An effort has been done for the complete pharmacognostic study of roots of Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn., belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae.
Materials and Methods:
The roots of Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn. were powdered and used for further pharmacognostic study. The study was conducted as per the guidelines of the World Health Organization which includes macroscopy, microscopy,physicochemical, phytochemical and fluorescence studies.
The roots are brownish yellow and exfoliating or striated with longitudinal striations. Microscopy showed the presence of plenty of starch grains, fragments of cork, prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate, a few xylem vessels with reticulate thickening and phloem fibres. The total ash was found to be 7.5% w/w. Moisture content was not more than 1%.The preliminary phytochemical studies showed the presence of alkaloids, tannins and glycosides.
The results of the study could be useful in setting quality parameters for the identification of crude drug and preparation of the monograph.
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