Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 281-92. 2009.
A Study of Phytochemical Composition of a Few Tribal Medicinal Plants from Sriharikota
*R. Bharath Kumar and **B. Suryanarayana
Professor, Dept.Biotechnology, Vignan’s
Professor (Retd.), # 8-307,
SRIHARIKOTA acquired importance botanically because of rich
Yanadies an aboriginal tribe are in
Until the establishment of SHAR Centre at Sriharikota, yanadies used to live in forests and near sea coast in traditional way, drifted from the natural way of life due to agro-rural developmental activities a few aged tribal men are able to furnish ‘ethno-medicinal data’ pertaining to their traditional practices and healings. With the help of local tribal men, 300 ethnomedicinal plants are recorded. Based on their pharmaceutical uses they are classified into 16 – categories [Annexure II ].
Out of 300 species surveyed 21 samples falling under 6 –categories are selected for phytochemical screening. Out of them 14 species are endemic/rare. The results are discussed in detail in this article.
Materials and Methods
Intensive medico-ethnobotanical survey is conducted in Sriharikota Island for 3 years since 1996-99.Field tours at regular intervals were conducted covering all the seasons so as not to miss seasonal elements having pharmaceutical value. Plants are selected for phytochemical screening are popularly used by tribals for their general ailments [Annexure 1].
Phytochemical screening was done by the standard procedures prescribed by Bhattacharya (1956), later modified by Chhabra et.al (1984) and Harborne (1973, 1977).
Preparation of Extracts
The plant parts (root bark, stem, leaf and whole plant etc.) were washed with water, chopped into small fragments and shade dried. The dried samples were ground to power (each 200 gr.) and stored in polythene containers at room temperature. These samples are used for screening to detect the different classes of chemical constituents.
Extracts of sample are prepared by taking of 20 gr. of sample in 200 ml. methanol. Each sample is tested for 11 components Results are given in Annexure I.
16 Field tours of 5-7 days duration of each tour are conducted for three years during 1996-99. with the assistance of local tribal men. 300 species having medicinal uses and ample field notes also are collected regarding flowering, fruiting, flower colour and smell etc; phenological data. Further data pertaining to ethnomedicinal information of each species also recorded. 21 plant samples are choosen for phytochemical screening based on their popular pharmaceutical importance, coupled with their endemic or rare in occurrence.
Active constituents present in the plant species in different plant parts (root bark, stem, whole plant, leaves etc.) are responsible for their therapeutic effects. A preliminary phytochemical analysis is conducted to detect the presence of alkaloids, saponins, tannins, carbohydrates, proteins, steroids, trterpinoids, amino acids etc., which act as possible curing agent during folk therapy.
Tests are conducted for 11 components as detailed in the Annexure-I. Their occurrence in noted with symbol (+)in the table given total number of components present in each sample is given in the last column (17) in parenthesis. The table also contains tribal medicinal uses and other folklore medicinal uses, so as to relate medicinal properties with the components of positive occurrence. Further these samples also grouped into 6 broad pharmaceutical categories as given in Annexure-II. Results of the tests for chemical constituents of each of the pharmaceutical group are discussed in detail, here under.
P.C. No. 5: RHEUMATISM
Seven test samples have PC 5 property based on their tribal /folklore medicinal use.
Upon chemical analysis five components viz. alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, amino acids, steroidal nucleus are positive in variable combinations in 7 samples. Saponins occur in 4 samples, tannins occur in 2 samples.
Presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, amino acids, steroidal nucleus in the samples consistently in variable combinations and minimum of two components positive for any 2 samples is indicative of having curative effect for PC 5 either individually or cumulatively
PC No. 7: SEXUAL PROBLEMS
4 samples positive for alkaloids (t 6)
Flavonoids (t 7), phenols (t 8), saponins (t 9) and steroidal nucleus (t 15) are positive for 3 samples out of 4 tested samples variably.
Thus alkaloids seems to have curative effect in combination with flavonoids, phenols, saponins and steroidal nucleus for PC 7.
PC No. 8: SKIN & DERMATITIS
2 samples when tested, out 11 components resulted positive for four tests i.e., t 7, 8, 9, and 15 viz. flavonoids, phenols, steroids/triterpinoids and steroidal nucleus.
PC NO. 9: OPTHALMIC &
5 samples are reported for PC 9
All the 5samples are positive for flavonoids (t7) where as 3 samples are positive in variable order for alkaloids (t 6), phenols (t 8), saponins (t 9) and tannins (t 10).
All the 5 components occur in 1 sample i.e., Eugenia bracteata.
Thus flavonoids (t7) seem to be curative component either indivially as in Capparis brevispina or cumulatively in other samples.
PC No. 13: Cooling and Alterative
1 sample – Colubrina asiatica shown positive for t 7, t 9, t 13, and t 15.
PC No.16: Diabetes
1 sample tested for 11 components. Interestingly it is positive for 9 components. T 12 and t 16 are negative. Out of nine components which of them is specific curative is not certain for PC 16.
PC Category No.
Pharmaceutical Category [P.C.]
No. of Species Used
Respiratory and Bronchial problems
Urinary and Kidney
Piles and Constipation
Arthritis and Rheumatism
Skin and Dermatitis
Opthalmic and E.N.T
Psychoactive and Nervous
Jaundice and Liver disorders
Digestive and Stomachic
Cooling and Alterative
Antipyretic, Anthelmintic and Antiperiodic
Antidotes and Antivenom
21 Phyto-samples falling under 6 pharmaceutical categories are investigated for 11- chemical components. Results obtained are analysed to note that the presence of specific classes of chemical constituents are in confirmity with the tribal medico-therapy, given in Annexure –II.
Further it is interesting to note that 14 samples out of 21 belong to endemic/ rare species. In view of Endemism/Rarity of the species chosen for phytochemical analysis, these specimens need further investigation to detect specific active principles of curative effect.
Authors are thankful to the Principal,
Anonymous, 1948-76… The Wealth of
Medicinal plants 1. J. Ethno pharmacology 11 : 157-179.
Chopra, R.N., S.L.Nayar & I.C.Chopra, 1956… Glossary of Indian Medicinal plants.
Harborne, J.B. 1984... Phytochemical methods : A guide to Modern
Techniques of plant Analysis. 1 -
278 P. Chapman and Hall,
Nagaraju, N and Rao, K.N. 1994…Plant Phenolics of some Indegenous medicinal pants of Apocynaceae. Higher Plants of Indian subcontinent.(Addit. Series of Indian Jour. of Forestry No. VI). 211-215.
Rameshwar Dayal 1997… Chemical Investigation of Medicinal Plants. Indian Forester, ( 1 ) : 249-255.
Saiprasad Goud, P.
1995… Ethno-medico-Botanical studies in
Sudarsanam, G. and N.S. Balaji Rao.
1994… Medicinal Plants used by the Yanadi tribe of
Suryanarayana, B., A.S.Rao, A.M.Rao
and V.Veerraju. 1998. Flora of
Ullah, N, Ahmed, Z, Anis, F. and Malik, A. 1997…Phytochemical Investigation of Daphne oleoides. Fitoterapia. Vol. 1.XIX, No.3.280.
Presented at Indian
Science Congress (
Presented at Indian
Science Congress (
PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING OF SOME SELECTED TRIBAL MEDICINAL PLANTS
Tribal Medicinal Plant species is about 19 no., with their crude drug samples 21 (leaf, Root, Root bark, stem, stem bark and fruit etc.)were tested against for 11 Phytoactive components (Phytochemical screening), which are widely present in various plant species their respective results are also given here. (*with their Phytoactive sample nos.)
S.No. Bn., Ln., Family Part Tribal uses in Reported other
used island uses
NO.5 ; ARTHRITIS
1. Breynia vitis-idea Lf. Warmed with Leaves smoked
Adavimunaga Dalbergia paniculata like tobacco in
EUPHORBIACEAE leaves and applied in swelled uvula
rheumatic pains. and tonsils
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 1(+), 2(+),5(+), 6(+), 7(+),8(+), 9(+), 10(+), 11(+) ,Total : 9.
2.Clerodendrum Lf. Warmed and applied Leaf juice given
phlomidis for filarial and in neglected
Peddanelli/ Takkeda rheumatic syphilitic
VERBENACEAE swellings. complaints.
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 1(+), 2(+), 5(+), 7(+),8(+), 9(+), 10(+), 11(+) Total : 8.
3.Crotalaria Lf. Leaf paste with Infusion of
laburnifolia coconut oil applied the Wh.plant for
FABACEAE. inflammation of
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 2(+), 3(+), 4(+), 6(+), 7(+), 9(+), 10(+), 11(+), Total : 8.
4. Dalbergia Lf. Warmed, applied for ¾
paniculata rheumatic swellings
Pacchari and painful parts.
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 1(+), 2(+), 3(+), 6(+), 8(+),9(+),10(+),11(+) Total : 8.
r5.Garcinia spicata Rt.B Paste applied for ¾
Pidatha / pains and rheumatic
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 1(+), 2(+), 3(+), 4(+), 6(+), 7(+),8(+), 9(+), 10(+), 11(+) Total: 8.
6.Holoptelia St.B Warmed and applied Juice of boiled
integrifolia on rheumatic bark applied on
Peddamanu/ swellings. rheumatic swellings.
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 2(+), 5(+), 6(+), 10(+) Total: 4.
7.Pisonea aculeata Rt.B Leaves+Rt.B war- Bark and leaves
Peetrinchi med and applied for used for swellings
NYCTAGINACEAE rheumatic swellings. & rheumatic pains
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 1(+), 3(+), 4(+), 5(+), 6(+),
10(+) Total: 6.
PC.No.7 ; SEXUAL PROBLEMS :
8. Capparis Rt.B Used for treatment Cholera,
zeylanica for janni (Post natal stomachic and
Aridonda complications of cholagogue.
CAPPARACEAE. ladies: fever accom-
panied with chillness).
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s:1(+), 2(+), 5(+), 10(+)
9.Crinum defixum Bul. Scale leaves warmed Emetic, diapho-
Porla gadda/ and applied for retic used for
Chembu gadda swellings of testis. treatment of the
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s:1(+),4(+)5(+), 6(+) Total: 4.
10.Hybanthus Lf. Powder with turmeric Plant tonic,
enneaspermus powder taken orally diuretic; leaves
Ratnapurusha for general debility and tender sta-
VIOLACEAE and vigor. lks demulcent.
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s:1(+),2(+),3(+),4(+),9(+),
11.Linociera Rt. Paste taken orally in ¾
zeylanica case of sexual diseases
Punagani (syphilis, gonorrhoea)
OLEACEAE and menstrual problems.
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s:1(+), 2(+),3(+),10(+)Total:4.
PC.No.8 ; SKIN
12.Pisonea Lf. Leaf curry orally Juice mixed with
aculeata given to children pepper administe-
Peetrinchi for mumps and red for pulmonary
NYCTAGINACEAE leprosy. complaints of children.
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 2(+),3(+),8(+),10(+)Total:4.
r13.Ventilago Rt.B. Paste applied for Juice remedy for
madaraspatana skin deseases. pains, and
Churidi/Surudu malarial fever.
Phytoactive components are present in the
drug sample/s: 1(+),2(+),3(+), 4(+), 6(+),
14.Capparis Rt. Paste used in ¾
brevispina tooth ache and
Palasuri infected gums.
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 2(+) Total: 1.
r15.C. rotundifolia Rt. Paste applied ¾
Nagetimullu / incase of head
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 1(+), 2(+), 3(+), 4(+), 5(+)
r16.Cymbidium Lf. Juice warmed and Emetic, purgative
aloifolium administered nutrient and
Thatisaga incase of earache. demulcent.
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s:2(+),4(+),5(+),8(+) Total:4.
*17.Eugenia Lf. Smoke used as ¾
bracteata mosquito repellent.
Phytoactive components are present in
the drug sample/s: 1(+),2(+)3(+),4(+),5(+),
*18.E. bracteata Rt. Paste mixed with ¾
Kundanedu / goat milk and
Kundaneredu applied for mumps.
Phytoactive components are
present in the drug sample/s:1(+),2(+)3(+),4(+),5(+),
acidum dren to get relief bitter, cooling.
Pulla teegalu from cold, Latex
ASCLEPIADACEAE dropped in eyes in
case of cataracht
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s:1(+), 2(+),
PC.No.13 ; COOLING
*20.Colubrina Lf. Juice taken as tonic. ¾
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s:2(+), 4(+),8(+),10(+) Total:4.
PC.No.16 ; DIABETES :
*21.Casearia Rt. Decoction effective Promotes action
esculenta remedy for diabetes of liver. Decoc-
Kunda jungeru tion used in
SAMYDACEAE. diabetes and piles.
Phytoactive components are present in the drug sample/s: 1(+),2(+), 3(+), 4(+),5(+),
6(+), 8(+), 9(+),10(+)Total:9.
ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE TEXT:
8.Stero. /Triter.: Steroids/Triterpinoids
9.Amino.: Amino acids
10.Ster.Nuc. : Steroidal nucleus
11.Leu.antho.: Leuco anthocyanins
PLANT SPECIES : 19.
CRUDE DRUG SAMPLES : 21.
bark, Lf.: Leaf, Fr.: Fruit and
PC.No.: Pharmaceutical category number
Bn : Botanical name , Ln : Local name and
Fy : Family.
*: Endemic; r: Rare
COLOUR APPEARENCE : R: Red, Y: Yellow, B: Blue, G: Green, P: Pink
(or) Rose, M: Majanta (or) Crimson & V: Violet.
Plant samples extracts are prepared with methanol. (Universal solvent).