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Pharmacognostical and phytochemical evaluation of Cactus grandiflorus (L.) Britton and Rose

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Background: Cactus grandiflorus (L.) Britton and Rose, Family: Cactaceae is an evergreen shrub with creeping aerial roots, used in Homoeopathy for atheromatous arteries, angina pectoris, and constriction of heart muscles, endocarditis, and heart weakness due to arteriosclerosis. Flowering stems are used in the preparation of medicine. Objective: The pharmacognostic and phytochemical studies are carried out to facilitate identification of correct species and standardized raw materials. Materials and Methods: Pharmacognostic studies of stem of authentic samples of Cactus grandiflorus (L.) Britton and Rose have been carried out according to Trease and Evans, 1983, and Youngken 1959. To determine physicochemical constants, Indian Pharmacopoeia, 1970, was consulted and preliminary phytochemical properties were studied as per methods described by Trease and Evans, 1983. Results: Stem available in segments of variable length and thickness, roundish structure with 5 or 6 ridges and furrows with aerial roots, isodiametric cavities in cortex containing mucilage; aggregates of acicular and rhomboidal calcium oxalate crystals scattered in parenchymatous region are the key identification characteristic. Thin layer chromatography of chloroform extract of mother tincture reveals five spots with blue and violet colors. Conclusion: The macroscopic, microscopic, physicochemical, and phytochemical analysis of the authentic raw material were indicative to establish the standards for ensuring quality and purity of the drug.
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Original Article
intRoDuCtion
Family Cactaceae composed of about 130 genera and nearly
1500 species belonged to arid lands and adopted to diversity
of climates in all over the world, including India.[1-4]
Cactus grandiflorus (L.) Britton and Rose (synonyms:
Selenicereus grandiorus L., Cereus grandiorus Mill) is a
native of Mexico and introduced in Indian gardens, commonly
known as night-blooming cereus. It is an evergreen, succulent
shrub with creeping aerial roots and is usually a “functional
epiphyte” meaning the plant can thrive either as an epiphyte
or a terrestrial plant. Stem green to bluish-green, becoming
purplish along the ribs, branching, succulent, 5 or 6 angled
and armed with clusters of short radiating spines or bristles.
The prex “Seleni” in the botanical name refers to the moon,
in allusion to the nocturnal blooms, which are very large and
full-bodied, terminal or lateral from the cluster of spines, large
having a sweet-smelling vanilla-like fragrance, white in color,
about 30 cm in diameter, opening only once in evening and
closing again before morning [Figure 1a].[5]
History shows the traditional use of night blooming cereus for
the treatment of hemoptysis (coughing up blood from the lungs)
and edema (swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of
excess water). The indigenous people of America have used
the night blooming cereus as a topical remedy for rheumatism
and itchy rashes; it is also used as internal herbal remedy for
worms, cystitis, and fever. The Death Valley Shoshone tribe
called this plant “pain in the heart” and used for heart diseases
and several other tribes of native Americans use the stem to
treat diabetes.[5]
Drug contains about 8 glycosylated avonoids: narcissin
(isorhamnetin-3-β-rutinoside), cacticin (isorhomnetin-
3-β-galactoside), rutoside (rutin or quercetin-3-rutinoside),
Pharmacognostical and phytochemical evaluation of Cactus
grandiflorus (L.) Britton and Rose
Rajat Rashmi1*, Divya Mishra1
1Department of Pharmacognosy, Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory, Government of India, Ministry of AYUSH, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Background: Cactus grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose, Family: Cactaceae is an evergreen shrub with creeping aerial roots, used in
Homoeopathy for atheromatous arteries, angina pectoris, and constriction of heart muscles, endocarditis, and heart weakness due to
arteriosclerosis. Flowering stems are used in the preparation of medicine. Objective: The pharmacognostic and phytochemical studies are
carried out to facilitate identication of correct species and standardized raw materials. Materials and Methods: Pharmacognostic studies
of stem of authentic samples of Cactus grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose have been carried out according to Trease and Evans, 1983, and
Youngken 1959. To determine physicochemical constants, Indian Pharmacopoeia, 1970, was consulted and preliminary phytochemical
properties were studied as per methods described by Trease and Evans, 1983. Results: Stem available in segments of variable length and
thickness, roundish structure with 5 or 6 ridges and furrows with aerial roots, isodiametric cavities in cortex containing mucilage; aggregates
of acicular and rhomboidal calcium oxalate crystals scattered in parenchymatous region are the key identication characteristic. Thin layer
chromatography of chloroform extract of mother tincture reveals ve spots with blue and violet colors. Conclusion: The macroscopic,
microscopic, physicochemical, and phytochemical analysis of the authentic raw material were indicative to establish the standards for
ensuring quality and purity of the drug.
Key words: Cactus grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose, Homoeopathy, Pharmacognosy, Physicochemical studies, Phytochemical studies
Abstract
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DOI:
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*Address for correspondence: Dr. Rajat Rashmi,
Pharmacognosy Section, Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory,
Government of India, Ministry of AYUSH, Near National Test House,
Kamla Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad ‑ 201 002, Uttar Pradesh, India.
E‑mail: rajatrashmi11@gmail.com
How to cite this article: Rashmi R, Mishra D. Pharmacognostical and
phytochemical evaluation of Cactus grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose.
Indian J Res Homoeopathy 2016;10:167-71.
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Rashmi and Mishra: Pharmacognosy of Cactus grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose
Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy ¦ Jul-Sep 2016 ¦ Volume 10 ¦ Issue 3
168
hyperoside (hyperin or quercetin-3-β-D-galactopyran
oside), kaempferitrin (kaempferol-3-β-L-arabinoside),
isorhamnetin-3-O-β (xylosyl)-rutinoside, and isorhamn
etin-3-O-β-(galactosyl)-rutinoside. In addition, biogenic
amines such as tyramine, N-methyltyramine, and N,
N-dimethyltyramine (hordenine) have also been found. Further
constituents of C. grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose are mucus,
fat, wax, and resinous glycosides.[6]
For preparation of medicines in Homoeopathy, Flowering
Stem is used.[7] Its authority was mentioned in Allen,
T. F., Encyclopedia of Pure Materia-Medica, 1874; Boericke
W. Pocket Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica and
Repertory, 2000; Bradford, T. L., Index to Homoeopathic
Provings, 1901; Clarke, J. H., A. Dictionary of Practical
Materia Medica, 1900[8-11] for action in the incipiency of
cardiac incompetence, heart weakness of arteriosclerosis,
on circular muscular bers, and hence constrictions. It is
the heart and arteries, especially that at once respond to the
inuence of C. grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose, producing
very characteristic constrictions as of an iron band.[9] In
view of the importance of the drug, pharmacognostic and
phytochemical studies of stem are carried out to lay down
the standards.
MateRials anD MethoDs
The authentic sample of stem of C. grandiflorus (L.) Britton
and Rose was taken from repository and herb garden of
Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia Laboratory, Ghaziabad
(Uttar Pradesh), India. All the chemicals and reagents used
in the study were of extra pure and of analytical grade.
Dried samples of the stem were spread on a clean dry plastic
sheet and were investigated for different organoleptic
features, namely, condition, thickness, color, odor, taste,
and fracture by repeated observations up to 2–3 times
using a magnifying glass (where required) and recorded.
Free-hand section was taken, stained with safranin
and fast green and examined under digital microscope
and photographed as per Trease and Evans 1983[12]
and Youngken 1959.[13] To determine physicochemical
constants for finished product (mother tincture), Indian
Pharmacopoeia 1970,[14] was consulted and mother tincture
is prepared as per Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of
India (1978).[7] Preliminary phytochemical properties were
studied as per methods described by Trease and Evans 1983,
and Youngken 1959.[12,13]
obseRvation anD Results
Drug Evaluation
Macroscopical evaluation
Stem available in segments of variable length, thickness, with
5 or 6 angles or ribs, having tufts or clusters of 9–15 acicular
spines, spines up to 2–5 mm in length and bears aerial roots,
color dark green; odor not peculiar; taste mucilaginous and
acrid [Figure 1b].
Microscopical evaluation
Epidermis in surface view shows sunken, diacytic stomata,
simple circular or oval dermal pores; spine multicellular,
multiseriate, containing elongated tapering cells with
micro hairs; transection shows roundish structure with 5 or
6 ridges and furrows; epidermis single layer of papillose
cells, covered with thick cuticle; followed by three or four
layers of sclerenchymatous hypodermis; cortex consists of
loosely arranged, irregular shaped parenchyma and oval,
isodiametric cavities containing mucilage; aggregates of
acicular and rhomboidal calcium oxalate crystals scattered
in parenchymatous region; vascular bundles conjoint,
collateral, open and arranged in a ring; cambium three or
four layered; pericycle sclerenchymatous; phloem containing
phloem parenchyma, sieve tube; companion cells; xylem with
thick-walled xylem parenchyma, vessels with scalariform
thickening; medullary rays 6–8 seriate with lignied cells;
pith small, parenchymatous containing mucilage cavities
and aggregates of acicular and rhomboidal calcium oxalate
crystals [Figures 2 and 3].
Physicochemical analysis (for finished product standard)
The analytical values in respect of physicochemical constant
of nished product were established and results of alcohol
content, pH, specic gravity, total solid, and λ max are listed
in Table 1.
Chemical analysis
Preliminary phytochemical test
Phytochemical screening for the presence and absence
of alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolics, sterols, saponins,
Figure 2: (a) Transection of stem through ridge. (b) Outer cortex of stem
with large rhomboidal crystal
b
a
Figure 1: (a) Plant in earthen pot in garden. (b) Raw drug in dry form
b
a
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Rashmi and Mishra: Pharmacognosy of Cactus grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose
Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy ¦ Jul-Sep 2016 ¦ Volume 10 ¦ Issue 3 169
provides useful information with regard to its correct identity
and helps to differentiate it from the closely related other
species of Cactus, Opuntia, and spiny Euphorbia, and it will
help to achieve the desired therapeutic value of the drug.
Acknowledgments
The authors acknowledge Central Council for Research in
Homoeopathy, New Delhi, India, for the nancial assistance
carbohydrates, xed oil and fats, proteins and amino acids,
anthraquinone, gum and mucilage, tannins, and starch with
specic reagents. Results are tabulated in Table 2.
Thin layer chromatography
Extract the powdered drug with 70% ethanol. Evaporate
20 ml mother tincture on water bath to remove alcohol. Make
it alkaline with ammonia solution and extract with 3 × 20 ml
chloroform. Concentrate the chloroform layer to 1 ml and
carry out thin layer chromatography of chloroform extract
of mother tincture on silica gel 60 F254 precoated aluminum
plate using chloroform: methanol (9:1 v/v) as solvent
system. Under ultraviolet light (366 nm) ve spots appear
at Rf = 0.26 (blue), 0.31, 0.39 (both violet), and 0.59 and
0.72 (both blue). After spraying the plate with anisaldehyde–
sulfuric acid reagent, ve spots appear at Rf = 0.44 (purple),
0.50 (blue), and 0.58, 0.72, and 0.83 (all purple). Results are
tabulated in Tables 3 and 4.
DisCussion
As the drug is very rare, it is generally adulterated with
frequently found other species of Cactus, Opuntia, etc.,
in India.[15,16] Some spiny Euphorbia species such as
Euphorbia royleana Boiss are also added as an adulterant.[14]
Morphologically, it can be differentiated by the presence of
aerial roots, number of stem angles and arrangement of spines
on stem. Microscopical key characteristic features are the
presence of rhomboidal Ca-oxalate crystals and large mucilage
cavity in comparison to other Cactus species. Euphorbia
species can be identied by the absence of mucilage as the
latex is a characteristic feature of Euphorbiaceae.[17] Details
are given in Table 5.
ConClusion
The present study on pharmacognostical and phytochemical
characters of C. grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose stem
Figure 3: Transection showing Stellar region. (a) Enlarged view of
stele. (b) Enlarge vascular bundles showing acicular crystal in medullary
rays
b
a
Table 1: Physicochemical properties of Mother Tincture
(ø) of Cactus grandiflorus (L.) Britton and Rose
Physico‑chemical Constants Analytical values
Alcohol content, % v/v 68.0 to 72.0
pH 5.5 to 6.0
Specic gravity, g Not less than 0.860
Total solids, % w/v Not less than 0.4
ƛ max, nm 260 and 268 nm
Table 2: Phytochemical screening of stem of Cactus
grandiflorus (L.) Britton and Rose
Phyto‑constituents Test performed Results
Alkaloids Dragendorff’s test + ve
Flavonoids Lead acetate test + ve
Phenolics Ferric chloride test + ve
Sterols Libermann-Buchardt test -ve
Saponins Alc. ext. + acetic anhydride +
H2So4
-ve
Carbohydrates Molisch test + ve
Fixed oil and fats Sudan IV + ve
Proteins and amino
acids
Million’s test + ve
Anthaquinone Borntrager reaction - ve
Gum and mucilage Swelling test + ve
Tennins FeCl3- ve
Starch Weak Iodine Solution + ve
Table 3: Rf values of Mother Tincture (ø) of Selenicereus
grandiflorus (L.) Britton and Rose (CHCl3: CH3OH; 9:1 v/v)
Colour of Spot Rf Value
Blue 0.26
Violet 0.31
Violet 0.39
Blue 0.59
Blue 0.72
Table: 4: After spraying the plate with anisaldehyde
sulphuric acid reagent
Colour of Spot Rf Value
Purple 0.44
Blue 0.50
Purple 0.58
Purple 0.72
Purple 0.83
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Rashmi and Mishra: Pharmacognosy of Cactus grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose
Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy ¦ Jul-Sep 2016 ¦ Volume 10 ¦ Issue 3
170
and are grateful to the Director HPL, Ghaziabad, for providing
facilities.
Financial Support and Sponsorship
Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, New Delhi.
Conflicts of Interest
There are no conicts of interest.
RefeRenCes
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editor. Cacti: Biology and Uses. Berkeley, California: University of
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3. Osuna-Martínez U, Reyes-Esparza J, Rodríguez-Fragoso L.
Cactus (Opuntia cus‑indica): A review on its antioxidants properties
and potential pharmacological use in chronic diseases. Nat Prod Chem
Res 2014;2:153.
4. Saenz C. Processing technologies: An alternative for cactus
pear (Opuntia spp.) fruits and cladodes. J Arid Environ
2000;46:209-25. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.
com/science/article/pii/S0140196300906761. [Last accessed on
2015 Dec 24, 3:15 pm].
5. Anonymous. Online Link. Available from: http://www.
herbal-supplement-resource.com/night-blooming-cereus.html. [Last
accessed on 2015 Dec 24, 1:18 pm].
6. Anonymous. Online Summary Report. Committee for Veterinary
Medicinal Products: Cactus grandiorus. The European Agency for the
Evaluation of Medicinal Products Veterinary Medicines Evaluation Unit;
1999. Available from: http://www.EMEA/MRL/601/99-Final. [Last
accessed on 2015 Dec 24, 1:18 pm].
7. Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India. Vol. 1. New Delhi: Ministry of
Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; 1971.
8. Allen TF. Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica. Vol. 2. Boericke &
Tafel, Philadelphia, New York, 1874. p. 321.
9. Boericke W. Pocket Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica and
Repertory. New Delhi: B. Jain, Publishers (Pvt.) Ltd.; 2000. p. 186.
10. Bradford TL. Index to Homoeopathic Provings. Boericke & Tafel,
Philadelphia, New York, 1901. p. 79.
11. Clarke JH. A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. Vol. 1. B. Jain
Publishers. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi; 2000. p. 323.
12. Trease GE, Evans WV. Pharmacognosy. 12th ed. London: Bailliere
Tindall; 1983.
13. Youngken HW. Textbook of Pharmacognosy. 6th ed. New York, London:
McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.; 1959. p. 579.
14. Anonymous. Indian Pharmacopeia. New Delhi: Government of India; 1970.
15. Mathur RC. Systematic Botany (Angiosperms). 6th ed. Agra: Revised
and Enlarged, Agra Book Store; 1976. p. 164, 185.
16. Wren RC. Potter’s New Cyclopedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations.
New Delhi: Jain Publishing Co.; 1983. p. 217.
17. Somavarapu S, Reddy IB, Naidu MP. A study on plant latex, a rich
source of proteases and cutting edge for disease invasion. World J
Pharm Res 2015;4:1696-711.
Table 5: Difference among authentic drug and adulterants:
Cactus grandiflorus (L.) Britton and
Rose
Opuntia spp. Euphorbia spp.
Stem round and 5-6 angled Palm like at stem Stem conical or angled number of angles
may differ
Arial root present Absent Absent
Spines present on ridges in clusters of 9-15
at each spine base
Spines distributed Spine solitary, stipular or number may be
differ
Epidermis pepillose with very thick cuticle Epidermis single layered, papillae absent Epidermis single layered, papillae absent
Hypodermis sclerenchymatous, 2 layered
of radially broad cells followed by
parenchymatous cortex
Hypodermis single layer of Collenchymatous or
sclerenchymatous cells, followed by parenchymatous
cortex
Hypodermis Collenchymatous, single
layered followed by parenchymatous
cortex
Cortex contains acicular and large
rhomboidal crystals of Calcium oxalate
Cortex contains large number of rosette ca-oxalate crystal Crystals absent
Large mucilaginous cavity present in cortex Mucilage canal present but small and lesser in number,
Water containing cells present in cortex
Mucilage cavity/canal absent, Latex cells
or ducts present
A cylinder of radially elongated vascular
bundles with pericyclic patches of
sclerenchymatous cells
Vascular bundles scattered, vessels with scalariform
thicking
Vascular bundles arranged in ring or
scattered
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Rashmi and Mishra: Pharmacognosy of Cactus grandiorus (L.) Britton and Rose
Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy ¦ Jul-Sep 2016 ¦ Volume 10 ¦ Issue 3 171
dSDVl xzSaMh¶yksjl ,y- dk QkekZdksxukslVhdy ,oa iknijklk;fud ¼QkbVksdsfedy½ vkadyu
i`"BHkwfe% dSDVslh oxZ dk dSDVl xzSaMh¶yksjl ¼,y-½ QSyh gqbZ ok;oh; tM+ksa okyh ,d lnkcgkj >kM+h gS] tksfd esnkcqnZxzLr /kefu;ksa] ân;'kwy
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ifj.kke% rus fofHkUu yEckbZ vkSj eksVkbZ ds Hkkxksa esa miyC/k gksrs gSa] ok;oh; tM+ksa lfgr 5 ;k 6 ÅcM+ [kkcM+ ijr ds lkFk xksykdkj lajpuk
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Evaluación farmacognósica y toquímica de Cactus grandiorus L.
RESUMEN
Fundamento: Cactus grandiorus L., Familia: Cactaceae, es un arbusto perenne con raíces aéreas trepadoras, que
se uliza en homeopaa para arterias ateromatosas, angina de pecho y constricción del miocardio, endocardis y
debilidad cardíaca por arteriosclerosis. En la preparación del medicamento, se ulizan el tallos de oracion.
Objevo: Realizar estudios farmacognósicos y toquímicos para facilitar la idencación correcta de la especie y
de la materia prima estandarizada.
Material y métodos: Los estudios farmacognósicos del tronco de las muestras auténcas de cactus grandiorus
L. se han realizado conforme a Trease y Evans, 1983 y Youngkeen 1959. Para determinar las constantes sico-
químicas, se consultó la Farmacopea India (1970) y se estudiaron las propiedades toquímicas preliminares
mediante los métodos descritos por Trease y Evans (1983).
Resultados: Las caracteríscas de idencación clave en los segmentos de diferentes longitudes y grosores de
los troncos disponibles son una estructura redondeada con 5 o 6 crestas y surcos con raíces aéreas, cavidades
isodiamétricas en la corteza que conenen mucílago y agregados de cristales de oxalato cálcico aciculares y
romboidales dispersos en la región parenquimatosa. La tomograa en capa na del extracto de cloroformo de la
ntura madre mostró cinco puntos con colores azules y violetas.
Conclusiones: El análisis macroscópico, microscópico, sico-químico y toquímico de la materia prima auténca
fueron indicavos para establecer los estándares y asegurar la calidad y pureza del medicamento.
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
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Many species of the Cactaceae produce edible fruits. Among the approximately 1,600 species in this family, the genus Opuntia has the most relevant role in agriculture. The cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica [L.] Mill.) is cultivated for fruit production in all continents except Antarctica. The main producing country is Mexico, with a production of over 345,000 tons fresh mass year⁻¹ on about 70,000 ha of specialized plantations. This chapter outlines the basics of cactus pear cultivation, including site selection, cultivars, harvesting, fruit productivity, and fruit quality, and also discusses the economic features, postharvest physiology, and postharvest fruit management.
Article
The cactus pear has become an important fruit crop in many semi-arid lands of the world. The fruit and the young cladodes (‘nopalitos’) have commonly been consumed fresh, but the last decade's research studies on cactus pear processing have produced another alternative which prevents damage to the fruit and, in spite of technological characteristics that make processing a challenge (high soluble solids content, low acidity and high pH), adds value to this crop. The cladodes of the plant are a good source of fibre, an important element for the human diet and of considerable potential for medical use. The results of several of these research studies involving the production of juices, marmalades, gels, liquid sweeteners, dehydrated foods and other products are discussed.
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