Comparative pharmacognostical investigation of three different members of Sariva used in ayurveda
Jeewandara MP, Hettiarachchi PL and Abeysekera AM
Hemidesmus indicus (L.) R. Br., is widely used in Ayurveda in Sri Lanka. The official part of it is the root. Due to the high demand, there is a known tendency for deliberate adulteration of it by Ichnocarpus frutescens (L.) R. Br. and Cryptolepis buchananii Roem. & Schult. All three plants are named as “Sariva” in Sanskrit. However, H. indicus is considered to be the true sariva. This study was carried out to establish morphological, anatomical and organoleptic and chromatographic characters which will enable H. indicus plant and its root to be distinguished from those of the other two plants. Fresh samples of all three plants were collected from natural habitats representing different ecological zones of the country, and were authenticated using herbarium specimens deposited at the National Herbarium. Absence of of mechanical elements, absence of pith and presence of uniseriate medullary rays are the most distinguishable anatomical characters of H. indicus root. The root also has a characteristic odour and taste. The three plants give similar TLC patterns with differing relative intensities of spots. These results can be used to distinguish true sariva from the other two plants in the sariva group.