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Awadhesh Kumar Pandey*, PathakMeenakshiS.N., Prof.M.Sahu, Dr.Vijay Kumar


India is a rich and varied flora of medicinal plants since the Vedic period. The barks of four Ficus species - Ficus benghalensis L. (Sanskrit-Vata), Ficus glomerata Roxb. (Sanskrit -gular) and Ficus religiosa L. (Sanskrit -Asvatthah) Ficus lacor Buch-Ham. (Sanskrit - plaksha), are important ingredients in many Ayurvedic and traditional formulations and considered to be very effective in various treatments, such as diabetes, skin diseases, healing of fractures, and in different type of wound. The present study deals with the scientific rationalization of four Ficus species with special reference to its pharmacognostical and phytochemical investigations. The barks of the four ficus species mentioned above are usually interchanged or adulterated with other species of Ficus because of the limited knowledge in identification and differentiation. Therefore, a detailed comparative pharmacognostic evaluation of the 4 species has been carried out with the aim to establish the diagnostic keys of these important drugs based on the macroscopic, microscopic, and HPTLC profiles. Detailed diagnostic and distinctive characteristics for the differentiation of the 4 Ficus species are discussed.

Keywords: Bark, Ficus racemosa, Ficus virens, Ficus religiosa, Ficus benghalensis, Moraceae, Pharmacognosy.

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