Daniel Mammen and Denni Mammen
Fruits of Aegle marmelos, a well-known medicinal plant used against gastric problems, has pharmacognostic data which are almost nil or insufficient. Fresh fruits of Aegle marmelos and its powder were subjected to microscopy studies using standard procedures. Phenolic acids were identified using 2-dimensional paper chromatography, while flavonoids were identified by spectral studies after separation using paper chromatography. The pulp and rind of fruits contain flavonols like quercetin and isorhamnetin. The rind also contained additional flavonols kaempferol and 4’-methoxy kaempferol. Vanillic and o-coumaric acids have been identified for the first time from pulp. Rind also have been found to contain syringic, vanillic, melilotic and o-coumaric acids. Condensed tannins were present in higher amounts in the pulp than in the rind. The amount of mucilage (37%) in pulp also is found to be much higher than reported. Pharmacognostically pulp is very distinguishable with typical sclereids, broad spirally thickened tracheids with oblique end walls and mucilaginous slime cells. The rind is essentially characteristic of the plant with heavily lignified sclereids of varying shapes and sizes, thick walled colourless cells containing chromoplasts and oil ducts. The absence typical parenchyma, chloroplasts, hairs, glands, starch, sphaeraphides etc are other features of identification. The present work puts forward key microscopic characters present in Aegle marmelos fruits, as well as establishes the difference in flavonoids and phenolic acids present in pulp and rind of the fruit.
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