Today complicated modern research tools for evaluation of the plant drugs are available but microscopic method is one of the simplest and cheapest methods to start with for establishing the correct identity of the source materials.
Material and Methods: Pharmacognostic investigation of leaf and stem of Jatropha gossypiifolia Linn. was carried out to determine its macro and microscopic characters. Physicochemical analysis which included parameter like loss on drying, total ash, water soluble ash, acid insoluble ash, sulphated ash, extractive values in different solvents like (petroleum ether, toluene, ethyl acetate, methanol and water) was done. Qualitative phytochemcial analysis and fluorescence analysis was also done.
Results: The leaves possessed a cordate base, sariated glandular margine, sub-acute apex and both surfaces were very rough with rigid hairs on surface. Internally, it showed presence of anomocytic stomata, epidermis, parenchymatous tissue, secretary glands, cluster crystals of calcium oxalate, simple starch grains, glandular and simple covering trichomes scattered as such throughout or attached with the cells of the epidermis. Majority of the glandular trichomes were with 4 to 5 celled uniseriate stalk from petiole region. Phytochemical analysis of the powder revealed the presence of different phytoconstituents like alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phlobatanins, triterpenes and flavonoids; phlobatanins and triterpenes were present in maximum amount. In physicochemical analysis, all the parameters were present within the limits. Maximum extractive value was in polar solvent methanol and water.
Conclusion: The pharmacognostic characters laid down in the present study will work as a tool for identification and standardization parameters of the drug in the crude form and also distinguish the drug from its adulterants.