Investigation of adulteration in some medicinal plants used for the treatment of Covid-19

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Romana Aziz, Uzma Hanif, Narmeen Zafer, Sania Fatima and Adeel Lashari


The exploitation of medicinal plants for the treatment of disorders in COVID-19 enables herbal sellers to add some adulterants in powders available in the market. So, this research was planned to determine the purity and authentication of herbal drugs like Azadirachta indica A. Juss. Nerium indicum Mill., and Punica granatum L. belonging to different families, used for the treatment of covid-19. The present research work used the pharmacognostic parameters, in order to observe their microscopic characters, powder microscopy, ash value, and fluorescent analysis were done. The microscopic study revealed that anomocytic stomata had seen in Azadirachta indica, and Punica granatum and stomata with subsidiary cells were shown in Nerium indicum. Structures like, helical thickening of vessel and tracheids, reticulate pits, unicellular trichome, stomata within epidermal cells, scalariform wall thickening, stone cells, fiber, perforations with scalariform were also examined. Diversity in colors were shown by fluorescent analysis under visible and UV light. Physiochemical analysis of these plants showed total ash values such as 31.42%,19.3%, and 10.4%w/w, water insoluble ash such as 0.56%, 11.4%, and 20.3%w/w, acid insoluble ash such as 3.05%, 3.5%, and1.3%w/w and sulfate ash such as1.17%, 4.2%, and 3.3% w/w. This research work will add an attempt to establish certain anatomical and ash value standards just to minimize adulteration.

Keywords: Authentication; COVID-19; Medicinal plants; Physiochemical analysis; Powder study

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