The use of microstructures in the authentication of powdered drug plants

Adulteration and substitution of herbal drugs are trending issues in the herbal industry, posing a serious threat to commercial natural product research. The anatomy of powdered and non-powdered samples of plant species were compared to ascertain their similarities. Air dried powdered leaf samples and unground or intact leaves, flowers and barks of eight medicinal plant species, namely, Vernonia amygdalina, Ocimum gratisimum, Trichilia monadelpha, Bridelia ferruginea, Lophira alata., Alstonia boonei, Dialium guineense and Enantia chlorantha were studied anatomically with the aim of identifying the original plant parts used in the preparation of the drugs. The microscopic studies of leaves of V. amygdalina and O. gratisimum revealed the presence of similar stomatal complex types and trichomes in both ground and unground samples. The anatomy and palynology of T. monadelpha flower revealed that bipolar, inaperturate, monopolar, monoporate, tetracolporate and triporate pollens are present in both the ground and unground samples. The microscopic study of the barks of L. alata, B. ferruginea, A. boonei, D. guineense and E. chlorantha also showed similar cells in ground and unground samples. The anatomical features are, therefore, elucidated for authentication of the originality of the medicinal plants studied.

 Abdulrahaman Alanamu Abdullahi, Al Sahli Abdulaziz Abdullah,Tinuola Abimbola Aluko, Adeniran Sunday Adebunmi, Sagaya Abdulquadri