You are on page 1of 4

Research J. Pharm. and Tech.

5 (3): March 2012


Preliminary Phytochemical Standardisation of Portulaca oleracea Linn.

Natural Product Research Laboratory, Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, S.B.S. College of Pharmacy, Chuslewar Morh, Patti, Tarn Taran, Punjab-143416 *Corresponding Author E-mail:

Hayat M. Mukhtar*, Prince Ahad Mir, Babar Ali, Subash Yadav


Portulaca oleracea is commonly known as purslane belonging to family Portulaceae. It has been used as folk medicine in many countries as diuretic, febrifuge, antiseptic, antimicrobial effects. Systematic Pharmacognostical evaluation of dried powdered plant of purslane has been carried out according to WHO guidelines with respect to macroscopy, microscopy, physicochemical parameters, chemical reactions and fluorescent analysis etc. Physicochemical evaluation results like total ash 15.25%, water solube ash 6.33%, acid insoluble ash 3.5%, foreign matter 2.23%, moisture content 3.45% respectively. Tannin content was found to be 3.02%. Both successive and cold maceration in various solvents like petroleum ether (3.3%), benzene (6.3%), chloroform (9.3%), ethyl acetate (11.6%), methanol (17.6%). Cold maceration values, petroleum ether (3.3%), benzene (4.2%), chloroform (8.0%), ethyl acetate (11.0%), methanol (17.1%). Behaviour on treatment with different chemical reagents of the dried whole plant, fluorescence characters under both visible and ultralviolet light (short uv 254nm and long uv 360nm) was compared with Asian nerolac synthetic and puja satin enamel colour reference card. Further preliminary phytochemical screening of different extracts of whole herb revealed the presence of alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, flavonoids, phenols, proteins and amino acids.

KEYWORDS: Portulaca oleracea, Standardisation, Phytochemical screening

Portulaca oleracea is also known as Verdolaga, Pigweed, Little Hogweed, or Pusley. It is an annual succulent plant, which can grow upto 40 cm height and is distributed in the warmer parts of the world1,2. It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems and alternate leaves clustered at stem joints and ends. The yellow flowers have five regular parts and are upto 6 mm wide. The flowers appear depending upon rainfall and may occur year-round. The flowers open singly at the center of the leaf cluster for only a few hours on sunny mornings. Seeds are formed in a tiny pod, which opens when the seeds are ready. Purslane has a taproot with fibrous secondary roots and is able to tolerate poor, compacted soils and drought3. Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular than any other leafy vegetable plant. Simopoulos states that Purslane has 0.01 mg/g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).


Received on 08.01.2012 Accepted on 21.02.2012

Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 5(3): Mar.2012; Page 412-415

Modified on 19.01.2012 RJPT All right reserved

This is an extraordinary amount of EPA for land-based vegetable sources. EPA is an Omega-3 fatty acid found mostly in fish, some algae, and flax seeds4,5. It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron6. Two types of betalain alkaloid pigments are also present the reddish betacyanins (visible in the coloration of the stems) and the yellow betaxanthins (noticeable in the flowers and in the slight yellowish cast of the leaves). Both of these pigment types are potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies7. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to treat infections or bleeding of the genito-urinary tract as well as dysentery. The fresh herb may also be applied topically to relieve sores and insect or snake bites on the skin. Eating purslane can dramatically reduce oral lichen planus8. In traditional system it has been claimed to cure diarrhoea, dysentery, leprosy, ulcers, asthma, piles; reduce small tumors and inflammations. The herb is considered to possess refrigerant, vulnerary, antiscorbutic, aperient and diuretic properties. It has been reported to possess potent pharmacological actions such as hepatotprotective, analgesic and anti-inflammatory, wound healing, neuropharmacological, bronchiodilatory, antidiabetic,


Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 5 (3): March 2012

antioxidant, antihypertensive and many other reported Extractive Values: biological actions9,10. This method determines the amount of active constituents extracted with solvents from a given amount of medicinal plant material. It is employed for materials for which as yet MATERIAL AND METHODS: no suitable chemical or biological assay exists. The air Plant Material: The herb of Portulaca oleracea was collected from dried, accurately weighed drug was treated with solvents: Pulwama district (Kashmir) in the month of August. The petroleum ether, benzene, chloroform, ethyl acetate and herb was identified and authenticated by botanist, Dr. methanol . The values were recorded in Table 3. Akhtar H Malik, Centre for Biodiversity and Taxonomy (CBT), Department of Botany, University of Kashmir. The Fluorescence analysis: specimen was also submitted there for the herbarium with a The powdered drug was examined under ordinary light, short wave length (254 nm) and long wave length (360 nm) reference number 123 KASH. light using different solvents and compared with Kansai Nerolac synthetic and Puja Satin enamel colour reference Processing of Plant Material: After authentication, the whole herb was dried at room card. The results were recorded in Table 4. temperature until they were free from the moisture and \ Table 1: Organoleptic characters of Portulaca oleracea. subjected to physical evaluation with different parameters. Reagents: All the reagents were of Analytical grade and purchased from S.D Fine- Chem. Ltd., Mumbai, India.
Parts Colour Odour Taste Shape Leaves Green Aromatic Stem Reddish Aromatic Flowers Yellow Aromatic

Agreeable Obovate with a cuneate base and obtuse apex smooth and waxy on upper surface

Agreeable Cylindrical

Agreeable Solitary/clustered with 5 Glabrous yellow petals

The organoleptic characters including colour, odour, taste and external features of whole herb of Portulaca oleracea Textue were observed and the results were recorded in Table1. The microscopy of different parts like roots, leaves, stem was also studied after treatment with different reagents prepared according to WHO Guidelines. The `extractive values were determined by successively starting from petroleum ether, Table 2. Physicochemical parameters of Portulaca oleracea. benzene, chloroform, ethyl acetate and methanol by using Values obtained (% w/w) soxhlet extraction apparatus. The behaviour of the Parameters Total ash 15.25% powdered plant with different chemical reagents were Acid insoluble ash 3.5% studied and fluorescence characters were also observed Water soluble ash 6.33% under ultraviolet (short wave length 254 nm and long wave Foaming index Less than 100 length 360 nm) and visible light (compared with Asian nerolac synthetic and Puja Satin enamel colour card). Table 3. Extractive values of Portulaca oleracea. Solvents Successive extractive Cold maceration Preliminary phytochemical tests of different extracts were value (% w/w) value (% w/w) performed with specific reagents.


The dried herb of Portulaca oleracea Linn. were subjected to standard procedures according to WHO Guidelines for the determination of various physicohemical parameters. Preliminary Phytochemical screening:11, 12 The following parameters were determined: The plant material was subjected to preliminary Phytochemical screening for the detection of various phyto Ash Values: The determination of ash value is meant for detecting low- constituents. The extracts obtained from successive solvent grade drugs, exhausted drugs, sandy or earthy matter. The extraction were subjected to qualitative test for the identification of various plant constituents like alkaloids, results of ash values were recorded in Table 2. carbohydrates, glycosides, Phenolic compounds, Flavonoids, steroids, sterols, acidic compounds, mucilage and resins. The results were recorded in Table 5


Petroleum ether Benzene Chloroform Ethyl acetate Methanol

3.3 6.3 9.3 11.6 17.6

3.3 4.2 8.0 11.0 17.1


Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 5 (3): March 2012 Table 4. Fluoresence analysis of powdered drug of Portulaca oleracea with various chemical reagents undervisible light, short and long wave length*. Drug Treatment Visible light short UV (254nm long UV (360nm) Powder drug as such Water grey Espresso Black Powder drug +Dist. Water Brown Cherry Black Powder drug +conc. Hcl Brown Blackish brown Black Powder drug + Dil. Hcl (10%) Light brown Espresso Black Powder drug + H2so4 Blackish brown Brown Black Powder drug + dil H2so4(10%) Steel grey Brown Black Powder drug +Nitric acid Buff Cherry Black Powder drug +dil HN03 (10%) Brown Espresso Black Brown Dark Brown Black Powder drug + 10% NaoH Powder drug + picric acid Dark deep green Espresso Black Powder drug + Iodine solution Oxford blue Brown Black Powder drug +Methanol Blackish brown Brown Black Powder drug +Ethanol Blackish brown Brown Black Powder drug +acetic acid Espresso Brown Black Powder drug +Chloroform Sugar creek Espresso Black Powder drug +Pet. ether Sugar creek Brown Black Powder drug +Ferric chloride A.D grey Brown Black Powder drug + Ammonia solution Sugar creek Espresso Black

*Compared with Kansai Nerolac synthetic and Puja Satin enamel a subsidiary of kansai paint Co.Ltd., Japan, S-2011. Table 5. Phytochemical screening of powdered drug of Portulaca oleracea.
Phyto constituents Alkaloids Glycosides Proteins and Amino acids Carbohydrates Tannins Fats and Fixed oils Acids Saponins Steroids Flavonoids Phenols Petrolem ether extract + + + + + + Benzene extract + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + Chlorofom extract Ethyl acetate extract + + + + + Methanol extract + + + + +

Table 6: Behavioural Analysis of powdered drug of Portulaca oleracea with various chemical reagents. TREATMENT WITH CHEMICALS OBSERVATION Powder drug +Dist. water Mid Buff Powder drug +conc. Hcl Golden Fleece Powder drug + Sulphuric acid Burnt brick Powder drug + Nitric acid Marengo Powder drug + 10% NaoH El. Greco Bronze (brownish) Powder drug + picric acid Ra. Gold Powder drug + Iodine solution Espresso Powder drug +Methanol Tata mimosa Powder drug +Ethanol Dark lime bright Powder drug +acetic acid Water grey Powder drug +Chloroform Golden Fleece Powder drug + Pet. ether Light Golden Fleece Powder drug + Ferric chloride Brownish gold Powder drug + Ammonia solution Green

Powdered drug reaction with various chemical reagents: 11, 12The powdered drug was treated with various chemicals like conc. Hcl, Sulphuric acid, Nitric acid, 10% NaoH, picric acid, Iodine solution, Methanol, Ethanol, acetic acid, Chloroform, Pet. ether, Ferric chloride, Ammonia solution. The behavioral change of the drug was determined. The results were recorded in Table 6


Generated data can be used for determining correct identity and purity of plant parts and for the detection of adulteration. Botanical authentication and physicochemical parameters will give an idea about the quality of drug. All those parameters which are being reported could be useful in identification of distinctive features of the drug. From the preliminary phytochemical study, it was concluded that only selected species of Portulaca oleracea contains the reported phtoconstituents. Hence, detailed screening may


Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 5 (3): March 2012

be done to isolate the active constituents so that it may be scientifically proved to access the pharmacological responses of the plant to ascertain its folklore uses.


The authors wish to thank SBS College of Pharmacy, Patti, for providing necessary facilities and for their valuable help.


Anonymous (2003) Wealth of India, Dictionary of Indian Raw Materials and Industrial Products, (3); 364-365. 2. Mubashir H Masoodi, Bahar Ahmad, Showkat R Mir, Bilal A. Zargar, Nahida Tabasum (2011) Journal of Pharmacy 4(9),3044-3048. 3. Kritikar KR and Basu BD (2004) Indian Medicinal Plants, (1), 242-243. 4. AP Simopoulos, HA Norman, JE Gillaspy and JA Duke (1992) Common purslane: a source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Journal of the American College of Nutrition (11) Issue 4 374-382. 5. Banerjee G Mukherjee A(2003) Pharmacognostic studies on Portulaca oleracea L. leaf, Journal of Economic Taxonomic Botany, 19(a) ,69-77. 6. 7. Trease GE, Evans WC (2002) Pharmacognosy, 15th ed, Saunders WB Publication, 478. 8. PK Warrier, VPK Nambiar, Cramankutty. (2004) Indian Medicinal Plants, Orient Longman Publication 345. 9. HM George Lawrence (1974) Taxonomy of Vascular Plants, Oxford and IBH Publication New Delhi, 484485. 10. 11. Anonymous (2002) WHO guidelines Quality Control Methods for Medicinal Plant Material, WHO Geneva,1-64. 12. Pulok K Mukherjee. (2007) Quality Control Herbal Drugs, an approach to evaluation of botonicals, Horizon Pharmaceuticals Publication. 186-192