Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 1145-52. 2008.
Phytochemical Investigations of some Laticiferous Plants belonging to Khandesh Region of Maharashtra
Mahajan R. T.1 and Badgujar S. B.2*
1Postgraduate Department of Biotechnology,
2 Department of Biotechnology, SSBT’s,
*Correspondent author: E – Mail: email@example.com
Analyses were carried out on latex obtained from twenty one plant
species belonging to Khandesh region of
Keywords: Laticiferous plants, Latex, Secondary metabolites, Phytochemical analysis.
Accumulated evidences indicate that the latex bearing plants used in
the management to cure various diseases such as diabetes, asthma, dysentery,
diarrhea, malaria and skin problems (Nadkarni,
1976) and allied industrial applications also (Wealth of India, 1948). Plant
latex is the milky juice, found in long branching tubes known as latex tubes.
This juice is white, yellow or pinkish in colour.
It is a viscous fluid and colloidal in nature. Known ingredients of latex are
proteins, alkaloids, tannins, terpens, starch,
sugars, oils, resins, gums and enzymes (Pandey,
2001). Ipomoea carnea Jacq.
and Euphorbia hirta L. are reported for wound healing activity and flavonoids (Ambiga et al, 2007
and Jaiprakash et al, 2006). Latex of Calotropis procera (Ait.) R.Br. was described for wormicidal
activity (Shivkar and Kumar, 2003) and larvicidal activity (Badgujar
and Mahajan, 2008). Curcain
a proteolytic enzyme isolated from latex of Jathropha curcas Linn
has been reported for wound healing activity (Nath
and Dutta, 1992). Alstonia scholaris R. Br. is well-known for
various activities viz., antimicrobial, antiamoebic, antidiarrhoeal, antiplasmodial,
anticancer, antiasthmatic, free radical scavenging,
antioxidant, analgesic, antiinflammatory, antiulcer, antifertility and
wound healing activities (Arulmozhi et al, 2007). Phytoconstituents (three different ingole
reported for cytotoxic activity, isolated from the
latex of Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham. belongs
to Euphorbiaceae family (Veluri
et al, 2003).
Ethnobotanical values of laticiferous plants used
by tribal people of Khandesh region of
All laticiferous plants were collected in rainy season from Khandesh region of Maharashtra and the corresponding voucher specimen were deposited in the Department of Zoology, Moolji Jaitha College, Jalgaon 425 001, Maharashtra (Alstonia scholaris R. Br. LAT 81, Calotropis gigantea (L.) R.Br. LAT 82, Calotropis procera (Ait.) R.Br. LAT 83, Carica papaya L. LAT 84, Euphorbia hirta L. LAT 85, Euphorbia milii Desmoul. LAT 100, Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham. LAT 87, Euphorbia prunifolia Jacq. LAT 101, Ficus carica L. LAT 90, Ficus hispida L.f. LAT 91, Ficus racemosa L. LAT 92, Ficus religiosa L. LAT 93, Ipomoea carnea Jacq. LAT 95, Manilkara zapota (L.) P. van Royen LAT 97, Pedilanthus tithymaloides (L.) Poit LAT 102, Plumeria rubra L. LAT 103, Plumeria rubra L. forma acuminata (Ait.) Santapau and Irani ex Shah LAT 104, Synadenium grantii Hook. F. LAT 105, Tabernaemontana citrifolia L. LAT 98, Tabernaemontana divaricata (L.) R. Br. LAT 99 and Thevetia peruviana (Pers.) K. Shum. LAT 106)
Collection of Latex
were collected early in the morning from each plant by nipping the leaves
near the stem or by incision of the trunk and branches of the plant and
allowing the milk to drain in clean glass tube separately, brought to the
laboratory and kept in refrigerator (till the experiment start). Latex was
homogenized in a homogenizer under chilled condition and filter through four
folds of muslein cloth. Filtrate latex samples were
used for phytochemical analysis. All necessary
chemicals used are AR Grade purchased either from Qualigen
fine Chemicals or E. Merck,
The different latex samples of Euphorbiaceae, Apocynaceae, Moraceae, Asclepiadaceae, Carricaceae, Sapotaceae and Convolvulaceae families were analyzed for the phytochemical composition by qualitative methods and all latex samples were analyzed for the moisture and total solid content using standard protocols (Kokate, 1994, Harbone1973 and Marinova et al, 2005).
Test for alkaloids
Three methods were used to test alkaloids. (i) a portion of the latex was treated with few drops of aqueous solution of hydrochloric acid and 0.5 ml Mayer’s reagent. Formation of white precipitate indicates the presence of alkaloid. (ii) few drops of dilute HCL and 0.5 ml Wagner’s reagent has added to a portion of the latex. A brown flocculent precipitate indicates the presence of alkaloid. (iii) a portion of the latex is treated with equimolar mixture of dilute HCL and Dragendorff’s reagent. A brown coloration with precipitate indicates the presence of alkaloid.
Test for cynogenic glycosides
To 250 µl of the latex was added with equal volume of cold concentrated sulphuric acid. Formation of intense color indicates the presence of glycosides.
Test for phenolic compounds
Phenolic compounds of latex were detected by Folin Ciocalteu reagent. A portion of the latex was mixed with few drops of diluted Folin Ciocalteu reagent and aqueous sodium carbonate solution. The mixture was allowed to stand for 10 min and formation of gray colour indicates the presence of Phenolic groups.
Test for flavonoids
Two methods were applied for the qualitative detection of flavonoids. (i) A portion of latex sample was dissolved in 10 % HCL and adds Zinc powder. Appearance of effervescences with pink color indicates the presence of flavonoids. (ii) Latex was dissolved in concentrated H2SO4, formation of intense color observed; this indicates the presence of flavonoids
Test for terpenoids
A red to purple color formation indicates the presence of terpenoids, when a chloroform soluble portion of latex was treated with an equal volume of concentrated H2SO4.
Test for tannins
A portion of latex was mixed with few drops of 0.1 % Ferric chloride and observed for brownish green coloration indicates the presence of tannins.
Test for saponins
To 0.5 ml of latex was dissolved 5 ml of distilled water in a test tube. The solution was shaken vigorously and observed for a stable persistent froth with honeycomb structure indicates the presence of saponins.
Complete details of identified laticiferous
plants with botanical name, family, voucher specimen number, vernacular name
and part used as a source of latex is summarized in Table1. Latex obtained
from different plant parts of selected laticiferous
plants viz., leaves of ten, fruits of six, stem bark of three and couple of
whole plants. These belong to the wide group of laticiferous
families viz., Euphorbiaceae,
Apocynaceae, Moraceae, Asclepiadaceae, Carricaceae, Sapotaceae and Convolvulaceae. The result in Table 2 summarizes the
level of moisture and total solid content of individual latex. Highest level
of moisture and less content of total solid were found in the latex of E. prunifolia.
Lowest level of moisture and highest content of total solid were found in the
latex of E. hirta. The Figure 1 illustrates the phytoconstituent wise distribution of laticiferous
plant species. The order of secondary metabolites with respect to percentage
of latex bearing plants are Phenolics > Alkaloid > Cynogenic glycoside
> Tannins> Falvonoids and Saponins
>Terpenoids. The result summarizes all latex
have phenolic compounds but it was unnoticeable in
The authors express thanks
to Dr. D. A. Patil, Department of Botany, SSVP’s, Dr. P. R. Ghogray
Science College, Dhule and Dr. G. S. Chaudhari, Department of Botany,
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Table 1. Phytochemical analysis of laticiferous plants undertaken for investigation.
+ = Present, - = Absent, *Part used: LF: Leaf, FT: Fruit, WP: Whole plant, SB: Stem bark
Table 2. Percentage of Moisture and Total Solid Content of Latex .
Figure: 1 Distribution of diverse group of secondary metabolites in laticiferous plants