Pharmacognostic Evaluation and Pharmacological Validation of Sphaeranthus indicus DC


Sphaeranthus indicus is an important medicinal plant in Ayurveda which grows as weed in rice fields throughout India, Sri Lanka, Australia and Africa. The present study aimed for the pharmacognostical evaluation and pharmacological validation of this high-value medicinal species. All the pharmacognostical parameters were done as per the API guideline. A simple, rapid, sensitive and reproducible method was also developed for simultaneous HPTLC quantification of two bioactive compounds eugenol and β-sitosterol in S. indicus. The HPTLC was performed on silica gel 60 F254 by using toluene/ethyl acetate/glacial acetic acid (8:2:0.2) as a mobile phase for eugenol and β-sitosterol at Rf value 0.64 and 0.48, respectively. The content of eugenol (0.03%) and β-sitosterol (0.013%) was detected in dry weight per gram. In vitro activities viz. antioxidant, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory were done to evaluate the pharmacological potential of S. indicus. Four antioxidant models viz. DPPH, ferric reducing power, 2-deoxyribose assay and antioxidant capacity were used to determine the free radical scanning. Antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory potential were determined by using starch–iodine colour assay and inhibition of protein denaturation model. IC50 value of S. indicus extract in DPPH and 2-deoxyribose assay was found (328.96 ± 0.003 µg/ml) and (30.36 ± 0.004 µg/ml), respectively. The present study will be helpful for quality check of the raw material and monitoring batch-to-batch consistency of herbal drugs, wherein S. indicus is used as an ingredient.

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The authors are thankful to the Director, CSIR-NBRI, India, for providing the facilities to conduct this research work.

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Correspondence to Sharad Srivastava.

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The authors do not have any conflict of interest to publish this manuscript.

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Significance statement

The present study establishes pharmacognostical and phytochemical standards of Sphaeranthus indicus for quality assurance of the bioactive contents which can be utilized for the health benefits.

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Tiwari, S., Shukla, P.K., Srivastava, A. et al. Pharmacognostic Evaluation and Pharmacological Validation of Sphaeranthus indicus DC. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., India, Sect. B Biol. Sci. 89, 1429–1438 (2019).

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  • Sphaeranthus indicus
  • Eugenol
  • β-sitosterol
  • Antioxidant
  • Antidiabetic