Bhande R. M, Kalyani P, Setty S. R, Ramesh H, Rao K. S. Pharmacognostical Evaluation of Leaves of Vernonia Cinerea Less. Biomed Pharmacol J 2010;3(1)
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Pharmacognostical Evaluation of Leaves of Vernonia Cinerea Less

Rajshekar M Bhande¹*, P. Kalyani¹, S. Ramachandra Setty², H. Ramesh¹ and K. Sreenivasa Rao¹

¹Department of Pharmacology, RRK’s College of Pharmacy, Bidar, Karnataka India.

²Department of Pharmacology, SCS College of Pharmacy, Haapanahalli, Karnataka India.


Vernonia cinerea Less. of family Asteraceae is of medicinal value. In the present study pharmacognostical investigations such as morphology, physico-chemical parameters, powder characters, reaction of powder with chemical reagents and quantitative microscopy are carried out on the leaves of Vernonia cinerea Less. The Preliminary phytochemical screening revealed the presence of Flavonoids, Glycosides, Tannins, and Carbohydrates. The finding may provide useful information with regard to its identification and standardization in future.1


Vernonia cinerea Less; Asteraceae; Pharmacognostic; Phytochemical; Leaf constants

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Bhande R. M, Kalyani P, Setty S. R, Ramesh H, Rao K. S. Pharmacognostical Evaluation of Leaves of Vernonia Cinerea Less. Biomed Pharmacol J 2010;3(1)

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Vernonia Cinerea L. (Astraceae) is an erect annual herb, known as Sahadevi in Sanskrit, Purple Fleabane in English, Garita kammi in Telugu. It also exhibits a wide range of pharmacological effects, including antibacterial (U.K.Mazumdar et al., 2003), analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory (E.O.Iwalewa et al., 2003), fungistatic effects (G .N. Krishna kumari et al., 2003), hypoglycaemic and anti-diabetic activity ( G.Y.Sy. et al., 2005). It possesses anticancerous activities and is good for cancerous malformations.

Inspite of the numerous medicinal uses attributed to this plant, there is no pharmacognostical report on the leaf constants and other physicochemical standards required for the quality control of the crude drug. Hence the present investigation includes morphological evaluation, determination of physico-chemical constants and preliminary phytochemical screening of different extracts of Vernonia ceneria Less.

Material and Methods

The whole plant Vernonia cinerea was collected from an agricultural land near Chillargi, Bidar, Karnataka. India, in the month of December. The plant authenticated by Prof. Sajansetty, HOD of Botany, B.V.B. College Bidar. India. The fresh plant was used for the study of macroscopic characters and leaf constants, where as dried leaf powder material was used for the determination of ash values, extractive values and phytochemical constituents.

Results and Discussion

Macroscopical characters (Fig 1)

The plant is branched herb, erect or decumbent growing up to 12-75cm high, with a cylindrical, glabrous, slightly branched stem of 10-17cm long, 1-8mm thick. The leaves are simple , alternate, lanceolate, 2.5-5cm long and 1.8-3.6 cm broad .The flowers are pinkish violet, in small heads, acuminate,  awned, silky on the back. Fruits are oblong achenes slightly narrowed at the base, clothed with appressed white hairs.

Powder analysis (Fig 2 )

  1. Numerous anomocytic or ranuculaceous stomata meaning there by that the cells surrounding the stomatal pores are irregularly arranged and cannot be differentiated from other epidermal cells.
  2. Vessels showing reticulate thickening.
  • Fibres are thick walled, aseptate with pointed ends.
  1. Glandular and non-glandular type of trichomes present. Non-glandular are the multicellular types, some cell segments occasionally shriveled and T-shaped trichomes with 2-6 celled stalk.
  2. Epidermal cells polygonal to slightly irregular in shape in surface view, showing anomocytic stomata.

Quantitative microscopy (Fig 3)

The vital quantitative microscopic leaf constants like vein-islet number, vein termination number, palisade ratio and stomatal index were carried out according to the standard method (Wallis, 1985) and the results are shown in Table 1.

Behavior of powder with chemical reagents

Behavior of leaf powder with different chemical reagents was studied to detect the presence of phyto-constituents with colour changes under day light by reported method (K. Mukhrjee, 2002) and the results are shown in Table 2.

Ash Values

Total ash, acid insoluble ash, water soluble ash and loss on drying values of the leaf powder were done as per the Indian Pharmacopoeia (2007) and results are tabulated in Table 3.

Extractive values

Extracts were prepared with various solvents by reported methods (Indian Pharmacopoiea, 2007). Percentages of the extractives values were calculated with reference to air dried drug (Table 4). Colour, consistency and percentage of successive extracts (Khandelwal KR, 2008) are given in Table 5.

Preliminary Phyto-chemical screening

Freshly prepared organic extracts of the leaf were tested for presence of phyto-chemical constituents using reported methods (Kokate, 1986 and Harborne, 1998) and the results are given in Table 6.

Table 1: Quantitative Microscopy of V. cinerea leaf.

Sl.No. Leaf Constants Values
1 Stomatal Index 25.18
2 Pallisade ratio 7.83
3 Vein-islet Number 7.00
4 Vein termination Number 13.00

Table 2: Behavior of V. cinerea powder with chemical reagents.

Sl.No Reagents Colour/ Precipitate Constituents
01 Powder+ Picric acid No precipitation Alkaloid absent
02 Powder+ Conc H2SO4 No Change Steroids/triterpenoids absent
03 Powder+ Aqes Fecl3 Light green Tannins present
04 Powder + Iodine sol No colour change Starch absent
05 Powder + aqes NaOH Yellow Flavonoids present
06 Powder + Mg-Hcl Magneta Flavonoids present
07 Powder + Aq KoH No Change Anthraquinone glycosides absent
08 Powder + Dil NH3 No Change Anthraquinone glycosides absent
09 Powder + Picric acid No colour change Cardiac glycoside absent
10 Powder + Conc HNO3 No yello Ppt Protein absent
11 Powder + lead acetate White ppt Tannins present
12 Powder + lieberman burchard test Redish green Steroids/ triterpenoid


13 Powder + mayers reagent No precipitation Alkaloids absent


Table No. 3. Loss on Drying and ash Value of V. cinerea

Sl.No Parameters Value(% w/w)
1 Loss on drying 5.55
2 Total ash 11.66
3 Acid insoluble ash 2.50
4 Water soluble ash 5.16

Table No. 4. Extractive Value of V. cinerea

Sl.No Solvents Value (% w/w)
1 Pet ether 3.28
2 Chloroform 6.98
3 Alcohol 10.93
4 Aqueous 11.41

Table No. 5. Colour, consistency and Percent Extractives of successive extracts of cinerea.

Sl.No Solvents Colour/Consistency Percentage Yield(% W/W)
1 Pet ether Dark green/  sticky 2.94
2 Chloroform Greenish black/  Sticky 1.41
3 Absolute alcohol Dark green / Sticky 6.48
4 70% Ethanol Dark green / Sticky 9.57

Table 6. Preliminary phytochemical screening of   V. cinerea.

Sl.No Phytochemical



Ether Extract






70% Ethanolic


Aqueous Extract
1 Alkoloids
2 Carbohydrates + +
3 Glycosides + + +
4 Steroids +
5 Saponnins
6 Flavonoides + + +
7 Tannins +
8 Triterpenoids
9 Protein & Amino Acids +
10 Fixed oil & Fats
11 Mucilage

Where:   + = Present,       – = Absent

Figure 1: Macroscopy of aerial parts of Vernonia cinerea Less. Figure 1: Macroscopy of aerial parts of  Vernonia cinerea Less.

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Figure:2 Powder analysis of vernonia cinerea Less. A- T shaped, B- Capitate with multicellular stalk, C- Different unicellular types, D-Sessile glandular, E-Multicellular Figure:2 Powder analysis of vernonia cinerea Less. A- T shaped, B- Capitate with multicellular stalk, C- Different unicellular types, D-Sessile glandular, E-Multicellular

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Figure 3 A: A portion of leaf showing Stomata termination Figure 3 A: A portion of leaf showing Stomata termination

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Figure 3B: A portion of leaf showing the Vein-islet and termination Figure 3B: A portion of leaf showing the Vein-islet and termination

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The present study on pharmcognostical characters of Vernonia cinerea will be providing useful information in regard to its identity and help to differentiate from the closely related other species of V.cinerea. The presence of anomocytic stomata and T-shaped trichomes with 2-6 celled stalk are characteristic features of V.cinerea.  The other parameters of quantitative microscopy may be useful for the future identification of the plant.


The authors are thankful to Dr K S Rao, Principal, R.R.K’S College of Pharmacy, Bidar. Karnataka (India), for providing the facilities to carry out the study.


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