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Thursday, October 7, 2010


Posted by Drdevendra Kumar MD Homeo
- Muzumdar K P.


1.Botanical Name


3.Synonym .

4.Vernacular names

5.Official part

1.Abroma augusta Linn.


3.Theobroma augusta Linn


English-Devil's cotton.


Description: The plant specimen of the cultivated variety of Abroma augusta was collected from Gurukul Kangri Campus, Haridwar Uttar Pradesh.

The morphological characters slightly differ from the normal values probably because of the cultivated variety of the plant.

Macroscopic: The plant is an evergreen shrub or a small tree with drooping branches.

Leaves: Young ones are ovate or lanceolate, cordate and sometimes entire, about 15 cm long with a short petiole; the lower matured ones are orbicular, cordate more or less lobed about 25 cm long and 20 c broad with a 7-8 cm long petiole, stipulate, and have 12 nerves. This length and breadth varies from 8 cm to 35 cm and 5cm to 25cm respectively. The number of veins vary from 7 to 15 Bark: affords a source a strong fibers; Flowers: are deep purplish red: Axillary Calyx: lobes are lanceolate, free nearly to bases; Petals: Slightly longer than sepals, intricate in bud, deciduous; Capsule: 4 to 5 cm in diameter, thrice as long as the persistent calyx, glabrous or nearly so when ripe; Seeds" develop light wooly cotton and hence the name Devil's Cotton.

Microscopic Petiole: (Plate 11 A-D)

The transverse section of the petiole shows single layered epidermis, the cells of which are mainly cubical and covered externally by a thin cuticle, stellate trichomes and glandular hairs. All the trichomes are lignified. The covering trichomes are comparatively smaller with attenuated ends. The glandular trichomes show 1-2 celled stalk with globular multicellular head (usually four) (Plate IV C) The epidermis is followed by a wide zone of cortex consisting of 10-15 layers of collenchyma and 8-12 layers of polyhedral to isodiametric parenchyma with small intercellular spaces. Endodermis is indistinct. Pericycle is represented by patches of fibers. Individual fibers are long, thick-walled, lignified with narrow lumen and pointed ends. During the younger state 10-15 collateral vascular bundles are seen arranged, in a ring, but in matured specimen, the vascular tissue is represented by siphonistele. Xylem consists mainly of vessels, tracheids and parenchyma. Xylem fibers are occasionally pressed. The vessels are truncate and perforation plates are placed obliquely, (Plate II D). They are long with helical to scalariform thickening. Tracheids are more or less as long as the vessels and have regular margins. They are mainly scalariform.

The Central zone of the petiole is occupied by a wide zone of pith consisting of isodiametric parenchyma with intercellular spaces. (Plate II C). Pith when treated with alcoholic phloroglucinol and hydrochloric acid becomes slightly red showing lignified cell walls. Mucilagenous ducts are seen in the cortical parenchyma, and at the periphery of the pith; while rosette of calcium oxalate crystals are present in the cortical collenchyma (towards periphery), parenchyma, phloem and pith.

Lamina: (Plate III A,B,C)

Transverse section of lamina shows the dorsiventral structure.

The upper epidermis is composed of cubical to tangentially elongated cells covered with the striated cuticle. These cells are comparatively longer than those of the lower cuticle is distinct only at certain places and is no prominent as seen in the upper epidermis. The epidermal cells are initially tangentially elongated (Plate III A). In surface view the upper epidermis shows polyhedral cells with straight walls, glandular trichomes and few unicellular shows slightly wavy walls and numerous unicellular coverings; stellate trichomes and glandular hairs. Ranunculaceous stomata are found present only on the lower surface [Plate III C (iii)]. The mesophyll is differentiated into single row of compactly arranged palisade cells on the upper side and 3-6 rows of irregularly arranged chlorenchymatous, spongy parenchyma on the lower side [Plate III C (ii)]. The spongy cells are mainly tangentially elongated and contain rosettes of calcium oxalate crystals. There are many small vascular bundles embedded in the mesophyll, the bundle sheath is indistinct.

Midrib: (Plate IV A, B,C)

Midrib in transverse section is biconvex in outline. Both upper and lower epidermal cells are thick walled, one row covered externally with striated cuticle. Some of them form unicellular stellate trichomes (Plate IV A). There are 3-8 and 1-6 layers of collenchyma below the upper and lower epidermis respectively. In the centre there is dorsiconvex crescent shaped vascular bundle. Tracheary elements are mainly elongated, thick walled parenchyma. Fibers are almost absent. The phloem is represented by sieve tubes, companion cells and the phloem parenchyma. The parenchyma around the stellar region is 3-10 cells inside towards upper epidermis-and 5-15 cells inside towards lower epidermis. The laminar end of the midrib shows single layers of palisade cells below the upper epidermis which makes a continuous zone in the lamina.

Rosettes of calcium oxalate crystals are present mucilagenous ducts are present in the parenchymatous tissue. The measurements of the different tissues of the leaf are presented in the Table I. The constant values determined from the quantitative values studied from different leaves and from the different positions are presented in Table II.


Tissues Microns


Epidermis 12-16-20 by 8-10-12

Glandular Hair 30-32-52 by 12-16-25

Non-Glandular Hair 90-220-300 by 8-10-12

Collenchyma 12-20-40 by 10-22-40

Parenchyma 8-48-60 by 6-52-40

Mucilage duct 28-64-80 by 48-140-184

Pericyclic fibre 765-1000-1200 by 12-16-24

Tracheids 731-765-833 by 21-28-35

Xylem Vessels 680-884-935 by 51-68-85

Pith Cell 20-40-120 diameter

Crystal 8-4 to 21.00 diameter


Upper epidermis 12-16-25 by 9-15-20

Lower epidermis 10-12-20 by 7-10-16

Cortex on dorsal side:

Collenchyma 8-12-16-20 diameter

Parenchyma 6-16-24 by 8-16-24

Cortex on ventral side:

Collenchyma 9-16-24 diameter

Parenchyma 4-20-28-32 by 3-8-16


Stomata 20-24-28 by 16-20

Stomatal pore 9-12 by 4-6

Palisade ratio 12-16-18 by 4-5

Spongy parenchyma 8-12-16 by 6-10-12


Parameters Quantitative Microscopic Constants

Palisade ratio 9.25 11.50 15.00

Vein-islet Number 8 32 36

Veinlet termination

number 27 36 46

Stomatal Number 500 600 700

Stomatal Index 14.82 20.7 24.00


Survey of past literature on Abroma augusta has revealed that much of the phytochemistry work was done on roots and stems. This is probably because the preparation from roots and stems were predominantly used in the indigenous systems for their action on the uterus.

Das Gupta et al, (5) has analysed the roots. They isolated Choline and Betaine together with the potassium chloride. It is stated that the alcoholic extract of the roots possesses acetyl choline like and direct spasmodic activity. This is demonstrable by pharmacological parameters. It may be due to the presence of choline and potassium salts in the drug. The petroleum ether extract yielded two sterols, B sterol and sigma sterol.

The Phytochemical screening (Das Gupta et al) (5) has revealed the presence of five compounds in the petroleum ether extract and were characterised by element and spectral (IR, NMR, Mass) analysis.

Compound-A: Melting point:84*


A mixture of Octacesanol C28H58) and the alkane C32H66 the former predominating.

Compound-B: Melting point:260*-268*


A mixture of teraxerol and aliphatic alcohol C35H66O

Compound-C: Melting point: 279*-280*



Compound D: Melting point: 134*-135*



Compound E: Melting point: 102*-104*


A mixture of long-chain fattyoils

C20H54)2 and C28H5802

Water soluble portion of the rectified spirit extract of roots showed a direct spasmogenic effect on isolated uteri, dual cholenergic and direct) effect on the isolated intestine of rabbit, guine pig and albino rats, dog's tracheal chain and isolated frog's rectus muscle. It directly depressed perfused frog's heart. The extract had no significant effect on the anaesthetized dog's blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, ileum and uterus. It showed no central nervous system activity, no effect on the faecal and urinary output and no obvious toxicity.

On further investigation of the fraction a of the roots showed acetyl choline like action on isolate4d smooth and skeletal muscles. Potency was comparable to that of choline. Fraction B&C showed no significant pharmacological activity in vitro upto 100 microgram /ml.Fraction D showed direct spasmogenic effect on isolated smooth and skeletal muscles and direct depressant effect on the frog's heart.

Water soluble portion of the rectified spirit extract of leaves showed no significant pharmacodynamic action upto doses of 50 mg/ml on isolated smooth and skeletal muscles, and upto 500 mg/kg. in anaesthetized dog.

Aqueous alcoholic extract of A. augusta folia supplied by Messers Hahnemann Publishing Co., was analysed since the same material was used in the proving.

The presence of Potassium (K) in a fair quantity (46 m Eq/litre) was confirmed by flame photometer. Similarly the Sodium (N) was estimated to be 130 mEq/litre. Magnesium (Mg) salts were detected in traces only. Sircar of Dacca (unpublished) reported large quantity of Magnesium salts in the combination with hydroxy acids (Ghosh).(4).

Since no spot could be developed on the commonly known solvent systems the following combination of solvent system was used in order to reveal the spots.

Benzene Methanol Acetone Water 5 2.5 2 0.5 Five spots at Rf: 0.51, 0.35, 0.24, 0.12 were revealed. Spray reagent: 5 Percent solution of concentrated Sulphuric acid in ethanol. Similarly another solvent system-Ethyl acetate, and methanol 7:3 was used which also gave five faint spots of Rf values 0.18, 0.26, 0.44, 0.51 and 0.58 respectively. Spray reagent-0.1 Percent solution of Ceric sulphate in 50 Percent sulphuric acid.

Probably these are the five sports corresponding to the five compounds reported earlier (Das Gupta). The colour reaction test with molybdo phosphoric acid gave a transparent green colour to the solution after heating for ten minutes at 120*C. This indicates the presence of glycosides in the leaf also. However, the colour reaction test for alkaloids proved negative.

The other physical and chemical constants of the same mother tincture are given below:-

Appearance - Brown (Clear)

Lovibond tintometer Yellow Red Blue

Colour index - 24 6-9 nil

Refractive index 1.349 at 25*

Viscocity 0.01971 poise

Surface tension .02 dynes / cm

pH 6.3

Total solids 1.325 Percent

Ash value 0.325 Percent

Alcohol percentage 42 Percent

T.L.C. 5 spots (Sterols)

Sodium 130 mEq./litre

Potassium 46 ,Eq./litre

Magnesium Trace

Glycosides Fair quantity.

Sp.gravity` 0.9441.


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