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"Effect of Environmental Conditions of various places in Maharashtra and Kerala on the medicinal properties of Adhatoda vasica Nees and Ocimum sanctum L." by Dr. Trisa Palathingal.

Executive Summary of the Minor Research Project

University Grants Commission

Ref. No. F. 47-137/12(WRO)

Effect of Environmental Conditions of various places in Maharashtra and Kerala on the medicinal properties of Adhatoda vasica Nees and Ocimum sanctum L.

In the  subject of Botany

By

Dr. Trisa Joseph Palathingal

Associate Professor

Principal investigator

 

Sachin S. Bhagat

Associate Professor

Co-investigator

 

Chikitsak Samuha’s Sir Sitaram and Lady Shantibai Patkar College of Arts & Science, S.V. Road Goregaon (W), Mumbai 400,062

 

Effect of Environmental Conditions of various places in Maharashtra and Kerala on the medicinal properties of Adhatoda vasica Nees and Ocimum sanctum L.

i. Introduction: There are many medicinal plants which are important economically. In India  many   such plant species have been in use  to cure various ailments. Adhatoda vasica (vasaka) and Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) are two such  common plants used for respiratory tract infections,and bronchitis. The leaves of these two plants have been used as  important drugs  in many Ayurvedic preparations. The leaves of Adhatoda vasica contain the alkaloid vasicine which is responsible for small but persistent bronchiodialation (Nadkarni et al 1954) and essential oils which are chiefly responsible for the expectorant action(Chopra et al 1982 & Sivarajan et al 1994). The effect of the active constituents in these plants may change with the climatic conditions present in the place of growth of these plants.. It was thought necessary to study if there were any variation in the amount of active constituents present in the plants growing in different regions of India affecting their medicinal properties.

ii. Significance of the study

 Adhatoda vasica and Ocimum sanctum  are in use in many of the cough syrup preparations as they are known  to have cure for several respiratory tract infections. The medicinal properties of both these plants are due to the presence of various essential oils, tannins, alkaloids and saponins. Hence it was thought  necessary to collect samples of these two plants from different regions of Maharashtra and Kerala, and analyse the plants for the essential oils, alkaloids, tannins and saponins and to find out whether the environmental conditions of a particular region affects the amount of these active constituents.

The study will be helpful in identifying the region in which the active constituents are found in maximum hence these plants can be selected to give maximum benefit.

iii)Objectives- Medicinal plants have been in use since olden times for various ayurvedic formulations and also in local home remedies. The environmental pollution or climatic conditions may be responsible for decreasing the active principle in these plants.

Ocimum Sanctum(Tulsi) is used in several herbal medicines and in home remedies from age old days.  .Tulsi is also known to contain flavaonids such as apijenin, thymol and several alkaloids which are anti inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti stress and anti pyretic properties. (Shankar, Mondal et al,2009).

AdhatodaVasica is a medicinal plant which is also used in various local preparations used as a cure for several diseases, and it is mentioned in the Vedas as a herbal remedy for treating cold, cough whooping cough and chronic bronchitis, asthama, as a sedative ,expectorant anti spasmodic and anti helmentic, (Sunita Maurya and Dhananjay Singh, 2010). The leaves of the plant contain the alkaloid vasiscine which is responsible for broncho dilation (Nadkarni et al 1954) and an essential oil is responsible for expectorant action (Chopra et al 1982 & sivrajan et al 1994).Essential oil are also known to contain ketone, terpene,  and phenolic ether which have anti tumour ,anti oxidant, anti ageing and sedative effect(Chopra et al 1982 & Sivrajan et al 1994).

The main objective of the investigation was to

I] To analyze the important chemical constituents present in these two plants (Adhatoda Vasica and Ocimum sanctum) collected from different regions of Maharashtra and Kerala.

ii] To find out whether the different environmental conditions in the different regions of Maharashtra and Kerala have any effect on the medicinal properties of these two plants in relation to the phytochemical constituents present. The investigation also aimed at identifying the region in which these plants have maximum medicinal properties so as to select the plants from such areas for medicinal preparations.

 iii] To find out in which season, maximum active constituents are present indicating to us the time of the year ideal for collection of plant material for herbal preparation.

Methodology:

 Plants of Adhatoda Vasica and Ocimum sanctum were collected from different regions of Maharashtra namely Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Nasik, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Jalgaon, and in Kerala, Thiruanatapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Calicut and Kottayam, Collections were done twice a year in two different seasons (summer and winter) . The first collection was done in the month of May and the second collection in the month of December. In each region the plants were collected from three different sites.

The following parameters were studied on these two plants collected during both summer and winter season:

       i] Vitamin C content by DCPIP titration method

       ii] Essential Oil Content by soxhlet extraction

      iii] Flavonoid content by spectroscopy

      iv] Tannin content by spectroscopy

      v] Vasicine content by HPLC

      vi] Ursolic acid content by HPLC

      vii] Heavy metal content by ICP AES

 

Results and Discussion

One of the important  observations  made was that the vasicine content observed in plants collected during summer and winter showed variation. Itwas observed that in Adhatoda vasica, Nees plants collected from Kerala, maximum amount of Vitamin C was observed as compared to the plants collected from Maharashtra. Another observation made was that all the plants of Adhatoda vasica, Nees collected from Kerala during the winter season showed a higher level of Vitamin C as compared to plants of Adhatoda vasica, Nees collected during summer season. All the plants of Ocimum sanctum L. also  collected from Kerala during the winter season, showed a higher level of Vitamin C content as compared to the plants ofOcimum sanctum L. collected during summer season .In case of the plants of Ocimum sanctum L. collected from Maharashtra, the maximum amount of Vitamin C was observed in the plants collected from Nashik during the winter season i.e. 48mg/gm of plant material. While minimum amount of Vitamin C was seen in the plants collected from Mumbai during summer season i.e. 12mg/gm of plant material.

It was observed that in Adhatoda vasica, Nees plants collected from Kerala, maximum amount of Essential oils was observed in the plants collected from Cochin during the winter season i.e. 0.44gms/ gm of plant material. Whereas, minimum amount of Vitamin C content was observed in the plants collected from Kottayam during summer season i.e. 0.17gms/ gm of plant material .All the plants of Adhatoda vasica, Nees collected from Kerala during the winter season showed a higher level of Essential oil content as compared to the plants of Adhatoda vasica, Nees collected during summer season It was observed that all the plants of Adhatoda vasica Nees collected from Maharashtra during the winter season showed a higher level of Essential oil content as compared to the plants of Adhatoda vasica, Nees collected during summer season.Ram Swaroop Varma et al, 2011 have reported that the essential oil content of Ocimum gratissimum and O. kilimandscharicumduring spring-summer cropping season was less compared to the essential oil content of these plants collected during the rain-autumn cropping season.

 

In the present investigation it was observed that maximum amount of flavanoids was noted in Adhathoda vasica plants compared to Ocimum sanctum. Plants of Adhathoda vasica collected from kerala showed more flavonoid content compared to the ones collected from Maharashtra .The plants of Adhathoda vasica collected from Calicut showed maximum amount of flavonoids i.e 6.83%(Table 11 )Plants collected in the winter season showed comparatively higher amount of flavonoids.This observation was also made by Iftikhar et al 2011 in Mentha longifolia. However in case of Ocimum sanctum maximum amount of flavanoids was observed in the plants collected from Mumbai during the summer season(5.88%).This could be due to pollution stress which increases the flavonoid content in the plants .This is in accordance with the findings of other workers Lower flavonoid content was observed in the plants of Adhathoda vasica (3.70%) collected from the city of Mumbai which is considered to be a polluted city. This is in accordance with the findings of Sharma et al 2012 who have also observed that the flavonoid content in Adhatoda vasica decreases with increase in pollution level. The flavonoid content in both the plants i.e Adhathoda vasica and Ocimum sanctum collected during winter season was high compared to the ones collected during the summer season.

Tannins are known to have antiviral, antitumour, antinflammatory and healing properties. Maximum amount of tannins were observed in the plants of Ocimum sanctum collected from Calicut in Kerala, compared to all the places studied (10.32%) The tannin content of the leaves were found to be maximum during winter season.10.3% tannins were observed in O. sanctum plants collected from Calicut during winter season while 9.78% tannin was observed in O. sanctum plants collected from Calicut during summer season.Gupta et al 1992 have also reported an increase in tannin content of Toona ciliate and Phoenix acualis during the winter season .

Ursolic acid is known to be responsible for many of the potential benefits of Ocimum sanctum.. Maximum amount of ursolic acid was observed in the plants of Ocimum sanctum collected from Calicut in Kerala(2.7%) and minimum amount was observed in plants collected from Mumbai (1.83%). Another observation made was that maximum amount of ursolic acid was observed in plants collected during winter, compared to plants collected in summer.

The vasicine content in Adhathoda vasica collected from various regions of Kerala was higher than the ones collected from Maharashtra. The maximum amount of vasicine was observed in the plants of Adhathoda vasica collected from Calicut in Kerala(1.13%)and a minimum of 0.18observed during the winter season.

 

In the present investigation it was found that maximum amount of all the heavy metals studied was detected in Mumbai. This observation was recorded both in plants collected in summer as well as in winter. Arsenic however was not detected in any of the plants studied.

Conclusions

i]Kerala is called ‘The cradle of Ayurveda’ mainly because of its ideal geographic location and its climate that has made Ayurvedic and the rejuvenation therapies, most effective in this place.Our present investigation supports the fact that the medicinal value with regard to all the active constituents i.e. vitamin C ,essential oils, vasicine content, ursolic acid content, flavonoids and tannin content of both Adhathoda vasica and Ocimum sanctum were found to be maximum in plants collected from Kerala as compared to the plants collected from various regions of Maharashtra.

ii].In Kerala, the plants collected from Calicut showed maximum amount of tannins, flavonoids, vasicine and ursolic acid. Thus it can be concluded that the plants of Adhathoda vasica and Ocimum sanctum collected from this place can give maximum benefit with regard to its medicinal properties.

iii].In Maharashtra, the plants collected from Nashik showed maximum amount of the medicinally important active constituents such as tannins, flavonoids, vasicine and ursolic acid as compared to plants of other places studied. 

iv].The season of the year ideal for collection of the plant material would be winter as during this season, maximum amount of these medicinally important phyto-constituents are present in both the plants studied.

 v]   From the present investigation, it can be concluded that Adhatoda vasica Nees and Ocimum sanctum plants collected from Kerala are medicinally more useful as all the important active constituents such as Essential oils, Vitamin C, ursolic acid, flavanoids, tannins,and vasicine content of both these plants collected from Kerala were found to be maximum especially during the winter season probably due to the environmental conditions in this region which are conducive for it. Hence Adhatoda vasica Nees and Ocimum sanctum growing in these regions should be selected for medicinal preparations for best results.

 

References:

Chopra, R.N. Nagar S.L and Chopra, I. C(1956):In glossary of Indian medicinal plants, council of scientific and industrial research, New Delhi 1:197

 Chopra R. N. (1982). Indigenous drugs of India. Academic publishers Calcutta pp 264-266

Guptaet. al., 1992. Seasonal variation in antiquality factors of  Leucaena leucocephala in India. Leucaena Res. Reports. 13:26-28

Iftikhar Ahmad (2011) spatio-temporal variations in some medicinally important biochemical constituents of peganum harmala  (hermal) Pak. J. Bot ., 45(S1): 601-607, January.

 Nadkarni K . M.(1954) The Indian Materia Medica, I:40-4.

Ram Swaroop Verma et. al. (2011) Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oil from two Ocimum spp grown in sub tropical India during spring-summer cropping season  Journal of Traditional Medicines, 6 (5)

Sharma  et. al. (2012), Evaluation of  antioxidant activities of Withania  somnifera leaves growing in natural habitats of North west Himalaya, India, Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 6(5), pp. 657-661, 9 February

Shankar Mandal , Bijay R Mirdka and Sushil C. Mohaptra.(2009) The science behind the    sacredness of Tulsi (ocimum sanctum Linn) Indian J physiol pharmacol,  53(4) 291-306.

Sivarajan, 1994, Book: Ayurvedic Drugs and Their Plant Sources, Volume 11, Issue, June, Pages 59–77

 Sunita Maurya and Dhananjay Singh (2010) Quantitative analysis of flavonoids in Adhatoda Vasaca extracts Der pharma chemical,2(5) :242-246.

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