Comparative pharmacognostic studies of three Phyllanthus species

Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow 226001, India.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.94). 03/2006; 104(1-2):79-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2005.08.048
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Different species of Phyllanthus are considered to be very effective hepatoprotective agents in the Indian indigenous systems of medicine and are considered bitter, astringent, stomachic, diuretic, febrifuge, deobstruant and antiseptic. Still ayurvedic practitioners prescribed fresh juice of 'Bhuiamlki' for jaundice. Various species of Phyllanthus are being sold in India under the trade name 'Bhuiamlki'. During market surveillance of herbal drug, it was observed that almost all the commercial samples, either comprise of Phyllanthus amarus Schum & Thonn. or Phyllanthus maderaspatensis Linn. or mixture of Phyllanthus amarus, Phyllanthus fraternus Webster. and Phyllanthus maderaspatensis. Therefore, in this context the detailed pharmacognostical evaluation of all the three species has been carried out with the aim to establish the identification markers of this important hepatoprotective agent (effective in hepatitis B too). The study conclude that all the three species can be differentiated on the basis of macro and microscopic characters, physico-chemical values, HPTLC fingerprint profile, and detection of phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin as marker components. Besides, an interesting conclusion can also be drawn that phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin said to protect hepatocytes against carbon tetrachloride and galactosamine induced toxicity, may not be exclusively responsible for hepatoprotective activity as these are present only in Phyllanthus amarus while Phyllanthus fraternus and Phyllanthus maderaspatensis also possess significant hepatoprotective activity.