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Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 105-106  

Microscopic Profile of Drugs Used in Indian Systems of Medicine: Seed Drugs

Plant Sciences Division, Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission28-Dec-2011
Date of Acceptance14-Jan-2012
Date of Web Publication22-May-2012

Correspondence Address:
Anuradha S Upadhye
Botany Group, Plant Sciences Division, Agharkar Research Institute, Pune - 411 004, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Upadhye AS, Deshpande AS. Microscopic Profile of Drugs Used in Indian Systems of Medicine: Seed Drugs. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2012;3:105-6

How to cite this URL:
Upadhye AS, Deshpande AS. Microscopic Profile of Drugs Used in Indian Systems of Medicine: Seed Drugs. J Ayurveda Integr Med [serial online] 2012 [cited 2016 Feb 13];3:105-6. Available from: http://www.jaim.in/text.asp?2012/3/2/105/96532

Authors: Malati G. Chauhan, A.P.G. Pillai

Publisher: Malati G. Chauhan, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India.

Year: 2011

Binding: Soft bound

Pages: 26 + 165

Price: Rs 1200/-, US$ 60/-

Taking into consideration the tremendous upsurge of worldwide interest in medicinal plants and their products in the past decade, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the importance of Traditional System of Medicine (TSM). India has a long history of herbal medicine. Ayurveda is the oldest and most widely practiced system of medicine, which incorporates entire plants or their parts, namely, the root, stem, bark, leaves, flowers, fruits, seed, the exudates, and so on, as the major portion of drugs, in various formulations.

The therapeutic efficacy of drugs used in various systems greatly depends on the use of proper and genuine raw materials. Because of these, assurance of safety, quality, and efficacy of medicinal plants and herbal products has now become a key issue. General public health care professionals need up-to-date authoritative information on the safety and efficacy on medicinal plants and raw drugs, which may be in entire form fragments or as a powder-" Churna" as it is designed in Ayurveda of a single or combination of more drugs. Correct identity of plant can easily be done by referring various flora, provided its flowering twig is available, but in case of broken fragments or powders of drugs, microscopic evaluation is one of the easiest and cheapest methods to start with for judging their correct identity.

Today, with the surge of interest in phytotherapeutics, the availability of genuine plant drug material is becoming scare, partly due to indiscriminate exploitation of medicinal plant wealth and depletion of forest and other resources out of greed to obtain the maximum drug yield. This has led to the use of substituted and adulterated drugs to meet the demand of authentic ones. In such cases, accurate identification becomes a difficult task, especially when books describing microscopic profile of medicinal plants for correct identity of drugs are not available. Under this scenario, initiative of authors has a high significance. Prof. Malati Chauhan and Shri. A.P.G. Pillai produced an academic masterpiece as a joint venture; both the authors are well known for their expertise in the field of pharmacognosy and botany, respectively. Prof. Malati Chauhan is basically a hardcore teacher and at the age of 78 years she spends most of her day time in the laboratory either delivering lectures to the students or scribbling notes for her next publication or concentrating under the lens of microscope. The true spirit of their work will always provide inspiration to researchers concentrating on standardization of medicinal plants.

Previously, volumes on bark drugs and leaf drugs were published in 2005 and 2007, respectively. The data on seed drugs has been presented in the third volume is based on meticulous and rigorous examination of authentic specimen, their adulterants and substitutes collected from various corners of country. The authors have taken ample care to cross examine the multiple samples of the same species obtained from different geographic areas. This volume contains data on 70 seeds used in/as medicine. Emphasis has been given on high valued reputed seed drugs and materials.

This book divided into Abbreviations of regional languages, Dictionary of order of Nagari letters, Introduction which describes the morphologic characteristics of the seed, the method of classification, reserve food material, histochemical tests, and so on, giving thorough knowledge of the seeds; Poisonous seeds and their rational use in Ayurveda mentioned in the book may create interest in non-Ayurvedic readers; Family characteristics of selected seeds is one of great significance to trace out easily the histologic characteristics of the seeds pertaining to that particular family, Monographs, Bibliography, Indices, and Appendix.

Each monograph of seed has been described systematically mentioning correct scientific name with authority, synonyms, family, vernacular or regional names, followed by good photographs showing habit and detailed plant parts. Detailed macroscopic, microscopic, and powder characteristics were described expertly with good illustrations. Illustrations include diagrammatic, detailed sections, as well as powder characteristics drawn with the help of camera lucida, and highlighted by giving their colors making them not only attractive but more clear and easy to understand. Other important aspects, such as chemical constitution and uses of specific plant parts, have also been provided.

Latin binomials; Sanskrit names and synonyms; Names in different languages are given in three different parts of "Index." Under the subhead Appendix, methods of preparations of different mountants, clearing and histochemical reagents have been described in detail. These standard profiles may help to establish the quality of crude drugs, which is an important aspect in pharmaceutical sciences.

The volume will be useful for academicians, researchers, drug testing laboratories, health professionals and regulatory authorities, plant base pharmaceutical industries, crude drug dealers, and those who are engaged in identification and standardization of crude drugs.


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