Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 221-27. 2009.
Analysis of Sudanese Cassia senna: Some Parameters for Chemical Quality Control
Hatil Hashim EL-Kamaali
Botany Department ,
Faculty of Science and Technology,
The quality control determination on senna pods
(prepared from Cassia senna L., which grows
Keywords: Cassia senna;
sennoside B; Quality
control; metal content;
Growing world-wide interest is stimulating ever-increasing and diverse
studies of the properties and uses of medicinal plant materials and raised
legitimate inquiries about their quality, safety and efficacy. Scientifically
sound data are lacking for many medicinal plant materials, extracts and
active ingredients, and in most tropical countries, including
In continuation of our work on chemistry of Sudanese medicinal and aromatic plants -. We have taken into consideration the quality control determination on senna pods prepared from Cassia senna L. (Family Caesalpiniaceae), growing wildly in three different localities in central Sudan, namely, Ed-Damer, Tendelti and El-Obeid.
Cassia senna is undoubtedly is the most
reputed indigenous medicinal plants of the
Quality and purity of this important herbal drug has now become a key issue in industrialized and developed countries.
Materials and Methods
Plant Materials: The samples of C. senna pods were collected from three localities in
Properties of senna pods. The moisture, ash, acid-insoluble ash, sulfated ash, crude fibre, alcohol- and water- soluble extractive of senna pod samples were determined according to standard procedure [5-6].
The moisture content was determined according to the A.O.A.C method (1980). Six random lots of two-gram samples of each ground plant material were accurately weighed and placed in separate crucibles. The samples were left in an oven at 150 0C for three hours then transferred to a desiccator for one hour to cool. The samples were finally weighed and moisture percentage was calculated.
Total ash was determined according to standard procedure (Zhi-cen,1980). Six random lots each of two-grams of ground material were separately placed in different crucibles. Each was pre-ignited and weighed. The crucibles were placed in a muffle furnace at 450 0C until free from carbon. Each crucible was cooled in desiccators and weighed and the weight was calculated in g of ash per 100g of air-dried material. The determination of ash is a method used to measure the amount of the residual substance not volatilized when the plant sample is ignited by the above method described.
Acid-insoluble ash content:
Acid-insoluble ash content was determined according to standard method (Zhi-cen, 1980). The pre-weighed ash was dissolved in 25 ml HCL (70 g/L) in the crucible covered with a watch-glass, boiled gently for 5 minutes. The watch-glass was rinsed with 5 ml of hot water and rinsing were added to the crucible. The insoluble matter was collected on an ashless filter paper and then washed with hot water until the filtrate is neutral.
The filter paper containing the insoluble matter was transferred to the original crucible, dried on a hot plate and then ignited to constant weight and the content was calculated in g of acid-insoluble ash per 100g of air –dried material. The acid-insoluble ash is the residue obtained by boiling the total ash with diluted HCl, collecting the insoluble matter in a filter, washing and igniting. The determination of acid-insoluble ash is a method intended to measure the amount of silica, especially sand and siliceous earth, present in the plant.
Sulfated ash content:
Sulfated ash content was determined according to standard procedure (Zhi-cen, 1980). Two-grams of each of six random lots of
ground material were separately placed in different crucibles and 2 ml of sulphuric acid (1760 g/l) was added, heated at first on a
hot plate until the sample was carbonized and then incinerated carefully to
The sulfated ash is the ignited with concentrated sulphuric acid. The determination of sulfated ash is a method intended for determining the amount of inorganic substances contained as impurities in an organic substance contained as components in an organic substance, or the amount of impurities contained in a heat volatile inorganic substance.
Crude fibre content:
The crude fire determination method (A.O.A.C, 1975) was used. The six
random lots of two grams of dried sample were used in the ether extract
procedure. Each was transferred carefully and completely from the wrapping
paper to a 600 ml Berzelius beaker. Two hundred ml
of boiling 1.25% sulphuric acid were added
carefully down the side of the beaker was placed on a preheated crude fibre apparatus and boiled for 30 minutes, after which it
was lowered and the condensate rinsed with acid from a wash bottle. The
beaker was removed and filtered at once through linen cloth on a
% Crude fibe =
Determination of ethanol-soluble and water-soluble extractive:
Ethanol-soluble and water-soluble extractives were determined according
to standard procedure (Zhi-cen, 1980). Six lots of
four-grams each consisted of ground plant sample were weighed accurately into
a coppered conical flask. 100 ml of ethanol or water was added, and the flask
was weighed, shaken well and then allowed to stand for 1 hour. A reflux
condenser was attached to the flask and was re-adjusted with the specified
solvent. The liquid was shaken vigorously and filtered rapidly through a dry
filter into a dry container. 25 ml of the filtrate was evaporated to dryness
in a tared flat-bottomed dish on a water-bath and
then dried at
Mineral content. Senna pod samples were analyzed by X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy for concentrations of potassium (K), calcium (Ca) , titanium (Ti), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb) , bromine (Br), rubidium (Rb), strontium (Sr), zirconium (Zr) and nobium (Nb).
Determinations of major and trace constituent elements of senna samples:
X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopic analysis has
used extensively in quantitative and qualitative analysis of major and trace
constituent elements. In this study, the XRF technique was applied for each
of random lots of plant samples (Table 1), collected from different locations
The plant samples were first crushed into fine powder and then they were
pressed into pellet from using a 15 ton pressing machine. The diameter of
each pellet was abound
Quantitative analyses of Hydroxyanthracene glycoside (calculated as sennoside B) of senna pods:
analyses of sennoside B was performed
by spectrophotometry according to standard
procedure (BP, 1988) . Six random lots of 0.15g of material were weighed
accurately, and 30 ml of distilled water was added and then weighed again. It
was then heated in a boiling water-bath for 15 minutes under reflux, cooled
and weighed. The weight was adjusted with water and then centrifuged. 20 ml
of supernatant liquid was transferred to a separating funnel. After adding
0.1 ml of 2M HCL, fraction was shaked with three
quantities, each of 15 ml chloroform. The layers were allowed to separate and
then the chloroform layer was discarded. After adding 0.1g sodium hydrogen
carbonate, aqueous layer was shaken for three min., centrifuged and then the
supernatant liquid was transferred to flask. 20 ml of 10.5% w/v solution of
Percentage content of sennoside B was calculated from expression:
i.e taking the specific absorbance to be 240
A = Absorbance at 515 nm
M= Mass of the substance to be examined in grams size used.
Results and Discussion
In the present
work properties and mineral content of senna pods
collected from three different localities in central
It can be seen from Table 1, that the mean content of sennoside B ranged between 4.5% and 6.0% of dry pod weight. Ed-Damer region sample of C,senna pods yielded relatively large amounts of sennoside B. the reason for reporting sennoside B content is that the British Pharmacopoeia has a minimum requirement for it, and our results are of economic importance. Thus the investigated sample plant could be considered as official. In general, the amount of secondary metabolites in a plant can very with the season, type of the soil [9-10]. This can explain the different localities and times.
All the investigated sample show high levels of K in comparison with the rest of the elements. This is not surprising, because high K concentration is needed for purpose of activation of numerous enzymes . Tendelti sample was found to have considerably higher levels of fourteen elements investigated (Table 2). Elobeid sample presents a slightly higher content of Ti , Mn , Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb, Zr and Nb compared with Ed-Damer sample. The difference for the three samples reflect the different presence of some organic compounds having a ligand character.
As would be expected, collection of crude medicinal herbs in the wild
cannot guarantee a high and constant quality over a longer period. Very heterogeneous amounts of raw material was found on
the market. Furthermore, trained collectors are rare and, for this reason, the identify of the plant material cannot always be
guaranteed either. The collection, trade and supply of numerous medicinal
The sale herbal products has
increased considerably over the last few decades in the
There are many constraints for Sudanese Senna to be competitive in the world market. Some of the problems associated with that are: (1) poor raw materials due to indiscriminate harvesting and poor post-harvest treatment and storage , (2) lack of commitment and support from government, (3) lack of financial resources, loans and credit facilities, and (4) difficulties in marketing (lack of access to market information and contacts).
Despite the present abundance of Cassia
in many parts of
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Table 1. Properties of Cassia senna pods collected in three different localities.
* two determinations were carried out for each specimen
Table 2. Content of minerals in the Cassia senna pods.