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Transcript of Ashoka


Classification[4]Kingdom Divison Class Order Family Genus Species Plantae Magnoliophyta Mgnoliopsida Fabales Caesalpinaceae Saraca Asoca



Introduction01 Synonyms01 Biological source.01 Geographical source.01 Cultivation and collection..02 Macroscopic Characters.03 Botanic description...04 Microscopic Characters.05-06 Chemical constituents07 Adulterant..08 Chemical Test08 Biological and Pharmalogical activity09 Uses of Ashoka Bark..10 Storage......11 Conclusion11 References......12-13



INTRODUCTION Herbal medicine has such an extraordinary influence that numerous alternative medicine therapies treat their patients with Herbal remedies, Unani and Ayurveda. Approximately 25 percent of all prescription drugs are derived from trees, shrubs or herbs.Ashoka or Ashoka is a Sanskrit words which means without sorrow or which that gives no grief. Ashoka is one of the most legendary and sacred trees of India. Ashoka tree, universally known by its binomial Latin name Saraca asoca De.wild or Saraca indica belonging family Caesalpinaceae. Evergreen tree called in English Ashok tree. Ashoka is Tannin containing Natural Drug.

Synonyms Ashoka is also known as:Kankeli (Sanskrit) Ashoka (Gujrati) Ashoka (Hindi) damara (Kannada) Asogam (Tamil)

Biological sourceAshoka consist of dried Stem Bark of the plant Saraca Indica Linn. Belonging to family Leguminosae.

Geographical sourceIt is distributed in evergreen forests of India up to an elevation of about 750 meters. It is found throughout India. Specially in Himalayas, Kerala, Bengal and whole south region.In Himalaya it is found at Khasi, Garo and Lussi hills and in Kerala region it is found in Patagiri, Kaikatty & Pothundi of Palakkad district, Thrisur, Kollam and Kannaur districts,S. America,


Cultivation and Collection [7]Soil and climateThe plant requires slightly acidic to neutral soils for good growth with Medium to deep well drained fertile soils. It grows well in tropical to subtropical Situations under irrigation.

Nursery raising and plantingThe crop can be propagated by seeds and stem grafting. The seedlings are planted in the well-manured field during the rainy season.

Thinning and weedingWeeding and thinning of the plants may be done as and when Required usually after 15-30 days for better growth.

Manures, fertilizers and pesticidesThe medicinal plants have to be grown without chemical fertilizers and use of pesticides. Organic manures like, Farm Yard Manure (FYM), Vermi-Compost, Green Manure etc. may be used as per requirement of the species. To prevent diseases, bio-pesticides could be prepared (either single or mixture) from Neem (kernel, seeds & leaves), Chitrakmool, Dhatura, Cow's urine etc.

IrrigationNormally grown as rainfed crop but for better yield irrigation may be done as Per requirement (weekly/fortnightly).

Harvesting/ post harvesting operationBark is removed from about ten years or older tree and then it has to be sun dried.


Macroscopic Characters

Colour Odour Taste Appearance Identification Solubility PH (1% w/v solution) Loss on drying Moisture Content by K.F. Ash Content: Sulphated Ash Content Assay of active principle by HPTLC / HPLC Heavy Metal

Brown Characteristic Characteristic Free flowing powder TLC method In water NLT 60%w/w In Alcohol NLT 40%w/w 5 to 7 Not More Then 5%w/w Not More Then 5% w/w Not More Then 5% w/w Not More Then 5% w/w Tannins Not Less Than 30 % w/w

Arsenic Not More Then 1ppm Lead Not More Then 5ppm


Botanic description Saraca indica Or Saraca asoca is a small evergreen tree 7-10 meter high. It occurs the up to the altitude 750 meters. Leaves are parpinnate 15-20 cm long and the leaflets 6-12, oblong and rigidly sub-coriaceous. Leaves are narrowly lanceolate, cork like at the base and with a shot pestistipules are intra-petiolar and completely united. The bark is dark brown or grey or almost black with warty surface. Stem bark are rough and uneven due to the presence of rounded or projecting lenticles. Bark channeled, smooth with circular lenticles and traversely ridged, sometimes cracked. Fracture splinting exposing striated surface, a thin whitish and continuous layer is seen beneath the cork leaver. Flowers are fragrant Flowers are Polygamous apetalous, yellowish orange turning to scarlet, in short laterally placed corymbose, axillary panicles, bract small, deciduous, calyx petaloid. Seeds are 4-8, ellipsoid-oblong and compressed.[2, 8, 9-11]


Microscopical characters

Bark Transverse section of stem bark shows periderm consisting of a wide layer of cork, radially flattened narrow cork cambium, secondary cortex wide with one or two continuous layers of stone cells with many patches of sclereids, parenchymatous tissue contains yellow masses and prismatic crystals: secondary phloem consists of phloem parenchyma, sieve tubes with companion cells and phloem fibres occurring in groups, crystal fibres present. [3]

StemTransverse section of stem is circular. Small rounded to oval projecting lenticles are present on the surface. Epidermis is single layered with thin cuticle. Below the epidermis, 5-6 layers of cork are seen. Cortex is 12-16 layered. In the middle region of cortex, 3-5 layers of stone cells are clearly visible. Just above, the phloem region is very distinct and contains tannin cells. Cambium is very clear and is 2-3 layered. Xylem region is composed mostly of tracheids and a few vessels. Primary xylem is prominent. There is prominent pith, composed of thin walled parenchyma and many of the pith cells contain polygonal calcium oxalate crystals. [3]


Root In transverse section, the root appears somewhat circular in outline. The outermost zone is cork, composed of 8-10 layers of tangentially elongated thick walled cells. Phellogen is not distinct. Inner to the cork region, secondary cortex having two distinct zones are seen. The upper zone consists of 5-7 layers of thin walled parenchyma cells, some of them containing few small rounded starch grains. Below this parenchymatous one, 3-5 layers of mechanical cells are distinctly seen, of these the outer layer is schlerenchymatous and the inner layers are stone cells. Following this supporting region is a broad zone of primary and secondary phloem. The cells are parenchymatous, thin walled and polygonal. 4-6 cambial layers are very prominent below the bast zone. In secondary xylem region tracheids, vessels and parenchyma cells are arranged in a peculiar manner, i.e., xylem parenchyma and tracheids are in alternating patches.

Powder characters Ashoka bark powder brown in colour, under microscope it contain some tracheids,large quantity of fibres, stone cells, parenchyma cells, sieve tube fragments and many unidentified cells.[8]


Phytochemistry Chemical Constituents Ashoka contains about 6% tannin, haematoxylin, ketosterol, saponin and organic calcium and iron compounds. The tannins are found to be of condensed type. The ketosterol seems to be androgenic in nature. Leucopelargonidn and leucocyanidin have been isolated from the Ashoka bark. The activity of drug is due to the presence of steroidal component and the calcium salt. Bark is found to contain powerful oxytocic principle, a phenolic glycoside P2. (I) (II)



Haematoxylin (7)



The flower part of plant contain Oleic, linoleic, palmitic and stearic acids,P-sitosterol, quercetin, kaempferol- 3-0-P-D- glucoside, quercetin3-0-P-D-glucoside, apigenin- 7-0-p-D-glucoside, pelargonidin- 3, 5diglucoside, cyanidin-3, 5- diglucoside, palmitic, stearic, linolenic, linoleic, p and y sitosterols, leucocyanidin and gallic acid. Seed and Pod contains oleic, linoleic, palmitic and stearic acids, catechol, (-) epicatechol and leucocyanidin [2,10,11,12]. Five lignan glycosides, lyoniside, nudiposide, 5methoxy-9-- xylopyranosyl-()-isolariciresinol, icariside E3, and schizandriside, and three flavonoids, ()- epicatechin, epiafzelechin(48)-epicatechin and procyanidin B2, together with -sitosterol glucoside, were isolated from dried bark. [13]

AdulterantsThe drug is widely adulterated with the bark of Polyalthia longifolia.In Hindi and Bengali it is known as devdaru. It is cultivated throughout the hotter parts of India. Some time bark of Ashok mixed with Rohitaka bark (Afanamexis polystakis) and Sicalpinea pulchirena. [5, 6]

Chemical Test

Ashoka is precipitated by salt of copper, tin, and lead. Ashoka is precipitated by strong potassium dichromate solution or chromic acid solution. Ashoka is gives colour reaction with iron salts. Ashoka is react wite Ferric chloride gives bluish-black or brownish-green colour. Ashoka is react with Potassium ferricyanide with ammonia gives deep red colour.


Biological and Pharmalogical activity of Saraca asocaAnticancer ActivityThe anticancer principle from Saraca asoca flowers indicated 50 percent cytotoxicity (in vitro) in Dalton's lymphoma ascites and Sarcoma-180 tumour cells at a concentration of 38 mug and 54mug respectively, with no activity against normal lymphocytes but preferential activity for lymphocytes derived from leukemia patients.

Antioxytocic Activity

Oxytocic activity of the plant was seen i