Ethnobotanical Leaflets 14: 599-609, 2010.
Pharmacognostic and Phytochemical Investigation of
Ficus carica Linn.
Kalaskar M. G.1, Shah D. R.1, Raja N. M.1, Surana S. J.1 and Gond N. Y.2
1R. C. Patel
carica Linn. (Syn: Ficus sycomorous; family: Moraceae)
is grows in tropical and subtropical regions of
Key words: Ficus carica, Morphoanatomy, Phytochemical studies.
Ficus carica Linn.
(Syn: Ficus sycomorous; family: Moraceae), which is commonly
referred as "Fig", grows in tropical and subtropical regions of
In addition, several therapeutic effects have been shown for different parts of Ficus carica, such as hypoglycemia[Serraclara et al; 1998], cancer suppressive[Rubnov et al; 2000.], anthelmintic [De-Amorin et al; 1999], hypotriglyceridemia [Asadi et al; 2006, Perez et al; 1999a,] hypocholestrolemia[Perez et al; 1999b] and bovine papilomatosis [Hemmatzadeh et al; 2003]. The chloroform extract obtained from a decoction of Ficus carica leaves improved the blood cholesterol status in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats[Canal et al; 2002].
This study was aimed at providing the pharmacognostical standards of F. carica (figs) which will be helpful for distinguish it from other species of Ficus.
Materials and Methods
1. Plant material collection
The plant material was collected from
The external leaf morphology was
observed and studied. Fresh mature leaves transverse and longitudinal
freehand sections were taken. Whereas dried leaf powder material was used for
the determination of ash values, extractive values, and phytochemical
constituents. All the reagents used were of analytical grade obtained from
Sigma Chemical Co,
Results and Discussion
Ficus carica (Fig. 1) has simple leaves, broadly shape, acute apex and subcordate base, more or less irrgular deeply cut into 3 – 5 palmate, coarsely irregular margin, measuring 6–18 cm long and 5–15 cm wide, petiolate. The lamina texture is rough and the venation is multiconvergent reticulate. In transection (Fig. 2A), the blade epidermis is single-layered (Fig. 2A) and coated with a thin and smooth cuticle. The epidermis shows presence of anomocytic stomata (Fig. 2B), Non-glandular trichomes occur predominantly on leaf epidermal cell surface. The mesophyll is dorsiventral, consisting of about two layers of palisade parenchyma and four strata of spongy parenchyma, prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate are seen The midrib (Fig. 3A and B), in transverse section, is biconvex. The epidermis is uniseriate and has non-glandular trichomes similar to the blade. They are seldom unicellular and uniserrate. The trichome apex is acute and pointed (Fig. 3B). Adjacent to the epidermis, angular collenchyma occur, comprising approximately eight to ten rows on the dorsal side and twelve to fourteen on the ventral one. Embedded in the ground parenchyma, one to two collateral vascular bundles arranged nearly as a closed arc are present. The calcium oxalate prisms are found in spongy parenchymatous tissue.
Fig 1. Vegetative apical branches of Ficus carica Linn.
Fig 2. (A) Transverse section
shows leaf is dorsiventral cu: cuticle, ep: epidermis, pl: palisade, sp.
Fig 3. midrib structure of Ficus carica Linn. (A) Transection of the midrib, showing collateral vascular bundles arranged as closed arc; (B) trichomes in the midrib; co: collenchyma; ep: epidermis; para: ground parenchyma; ph: phloem; tr: trichome, ph: phloem ; xy: xylem.
a) Unicellular, uniserrate covering trichomes are abundant, pointed toward the apex and broader at base, thin measure 240 - 415 microns in length. (fig 2, i).
b) Fragments of paranchyamatous tissue containing spiral vascular strands measures 25 – 48 micron in diameter. (fig 3, ii).
c) Numerous anomocytic stomata meaning thereby that the cells surrounding the stomatal pores are irregularly arranged. (fig 3, iii).
d) The prismatic calcium oxalate of 7 – 10 microns in diameter are less abundant and observed as free or in fragments of parenchymatous cells. (fig 2, iv).
Fig 4. Powder analysis (i) unicellular uniserratenon-glandualr trichomes (ii) spiral lignified xylem vessel (iii) anomocytic stomata (iv) prismatic calcium oxalate crystals.
The different histo-chemical color reactions were performed on the leaf transverse sections to differentiate the different cell compositions and identification (Trease and Evans, 1986) and results were given in Table 1.
Table 1. Histochemical color reactions of Ficus carica leaf powder.
+++ High, ++ Moderate, + Slight, - Negative.
Behavior of leaf powder with different chemical reagents was studied to detect the presence of phytoconstituents with color changes under daylight by reported method (Pratt and Chase, 1949) and the results were shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Behavior of Ficus carica leaf powder with different chemical reagents.
Total ash, acid-insoluble ash, water-soluble ash, and sulphated ash values of the fruit powder were done as per the reported methods (Anonymous, 1985) and the results are tabulated in Table 3.
Table 3. Ash values of Ficus carica leaf.
Extracts were prepared with various solvents by reported method (Kokashi et al;1958). Percentages of the extractive values were calculated with reference to air-dried drug (Table 5). Color and consistency of extracts (Pratt and Chase, 1949) are given in Table 4.
Table 4. Extractive value of of Ficus carica leaf.
All the leaf extracts are examined in daylight, short and long UV to detect the fluorescent compounds by the reported method (Kokashi et al; 1958). The observations are given in Table 5.
Table 5: Fluorescence analysis of Ficus carica leaf.
Freshly prepared leaf extracts were tested for the presence of phytoconstituents using reported methods (Farnsworth, 1966) and the results are given in Table 6.
Table 6. Qualitative phytochemical analysis of of Ficus carica leaf extract.
+ present - absent
Anonymous, Indian Pharmacopoeia, 1985. 3(II), Government of
The wealth of
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