A brief report on the diuretic activity and other properties of certain plants used in the traditional system of medicine namely Citrullus vulgaris (Water melon), fruits of Moringa oleifera Lam (Sahjna), Raphanus sativus, (Radish), Corn silk (Bhutta) and Cucumis melo (Musk melon) is followed by the review of literature on these plants.
Experiments are described on the pharmacogonastic studies of the same plants. Morphological characterization and histological studies were made. Macroscopic and microscopic features, fluorescence characteristic s of the plants were studied under U.V. light, quantitative analysis on the basis of colour reaction was made. The results obtained were found to meet the criteria of WHO herbal drug evaluation and standardization.
Colour, taste, pH, density, viscosity, refractive index, specific gravity and optical rotation have been studied in hot water extract of Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf. where moisture, ash content acid insoluble matter, fibre content, oil content, iodine value and invert sugar studies have been carried out in ethanolic extracts of Citrullus vulgaris, Cucumis melo, Moringa oleifera, Raphanus sativus and Zea mays. Refractive index, specific gravity, saponification value, iodine value, unsaponifiable matter and acid value, colour in lovibond cell have been studied in Raphanus seeds oil.
Toxicological activities of the plant extract was also studied. After discontinuation of test drugs gross behavioral changes, morbidity and mortality were observed. Autopsy and histological studies were also conducted to observe gross changes in vital organs of albino rats. No gross change was found in heart, lungs, liver, spleen, G.I. tract, kidneys, ovaries and testes.
These indigenous medicinal plants namely Cymbopogon citratus, Raphanus sativus and Zea mays, reported to be diuretic were selected for the study of trace elements and their possible role in human health. Twelve trace elements (Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cd, Pb, Cr, Ag, Na & K) have been detected and estimated in ash of various parts (leaves of Cymbopogon citratus, seeds of Raphanus sativus and corn silk of Zea mays Linn.
Antibacterial activity of the plant extracts was also studied Zea mays (corn silk) alcoholic extract showed greater activity against Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Salmonella paratyphi A and Salmonella typhi as compare to Penbritin, while Raphanus sativus Linn. (seeds) alcoholic extract showed greater activity against all the three organisms except Klebsiella pneumoniae as compare to Penbritin. Raphanus sativus Linn. (seeds) alcoholic extract and Zea mays (corn silk) alcoholic extract showed greater activity against Bacillus subtilis (G-ram +ve) in comparison with Penbritin, Cymbopogon citratus leaves powder and Raphanus sativus Linn. (seeds oil) did not show any antibacterial activity. Raphanus sativus Linn. (seeds oil) did not show any antifungal activity.
These three indigenous medicinal plants showed diuretic activity and hypotensive action. The experimental methods and results are tabulated and a bibliography is given.