Micrococca Mercurialis Benth– Pharmacognostic Analysis and Antimicrobial Activity of an Important Folk Medicinal Plant

Sutapa Choudhury


The drug evaluation and bioassay of traditional herbs of various herbal systems is now getting more momentum throughout the world. It is the high time now to evaluate scientifically the information stored in different herbal medicine systems of the world in terms of their pharmacognostic, phytochemical and pharmacological characterization.The evaluation of quality and purity of crude drugs by means of various parameters is the most important aspects of pharmacognosy. The present study deals with different pharmacognostic parameters of Micrococca mercurialis, an ethnomedicinally important plant of the family Euphorbiaceae. The leaves are traditionally used by the tribal people to cure old sores, rheumatic pain, constipation, etc. The parameters like micromorphological, organoleptic evaluation, physical and chemical evaluation, antimicrobial activity studies, etc. of powder drugs have been considered for the pharmacognostical evaluation of the plant. The plant bears amphistomatic leaves and stomata are paracytic type with occurrence of few anisocytic and anomocytic types. Palisade ratio is 8 and stomatal index is 13 and 17 on the upper and lower surfaces respectively. Dried leaf powder is dark olive in colour and gives characteristic colouration under UV light. Methanolic extract of the leaf indicates the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, reducing sugars, gums, tannins and saponins, etc. Ash value and moisture content of the leaves are 28.48% and 72.59% respectively. This plant seems to be very potent against different human pathogenic bacteria as the leaf extracts in different solvents (methanol, water, ethyl acetate extract) gave characteristic inhibition zone (Bacillus subtilis ATCC 11778– 16mm. in methanolic extract; Escherichia coli NCTC 10418– 11mm. in water extract; Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 19433– 40mm. in ethyl acetate extract, etc.). This study will throw some scientific knowledge to herbalists and pharmacologists for  proper evaluation and validation of folk drug.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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