To study detailed pharmacognostic profile and preliminary phytochemical investigation and TLC profiles to evaluate the characters of leaves and stem of Euphorbia hirta
(Euphorbiaceae) which is often used traditionally in Ayurveda for female disorders, respiratory ailments (cough, coryza, bronchitis, and asthma), worm infestations in children, dysentery, jaundice, pimples, gonorrhoea, digestive problems, and tumours.
Methods: Leaf and stem samples of E. hirta were studied by Macroscopical, Microscopical, Physicochemical, Phytochemical analysis of powder of the plant and other methods for standardization recommended by WHO.
Results: Macroscopically, the leaves are simple, opposite, faintly toothed, Elliptic, oblong, oblong-lanceolate, pinnate, bluntly pointed apex, partly fused base, dark green above pale beneath, Mild Characteristic odour, bitter and peppery taste. A small, erect or ascending annual herb reaching up to 50 cm with hairy stems. Microscopically, the leaf showed the presence of Ground tissue, Kranz tissue, Collateral vascular bundles, Hypo stomatic lamina, Anomocytic stomata, Lipriform type of xylem fibres, pith, are the diagnostic features noted from anatomical study. The salient features of stem were small epidermal cells with papillate outer tangential walls, the outer ground tissue to homogenous, parenchymatous and the cells are circular and compact. The central ground tissue is the pith. Vascular tissues comprises short radial rows of narrow xylem elements and thick walled lignified fibers. Phloem occurs both on the outer portion of the xylem cylinder and on its inner portion. Powder microscopy of leaf revealed the presence of parenchyma cells, xylem fibres and epidermis with anomocytic stomata. The investigations also included leaf surface data; quantitative leaf microscopy. Physiochemical parameters such as loss on drying, extractive values and ash values were also determined. Preliminary phytochemical screening showed the presence of steroids, carbohydrates, flavanoids, proteins, alkaloids and saponin.
Conclusions: The results of the study can serve as a valuable source of information and provide suitable standards for identification of this plant material in future investigations and applications.