Standardization of the dried aerial parts of Bidens pilosa


Hayat M. Mukhtar*, Manwinder Singh, Deepika Vashishth, Sandeep Singh, Harjas Kaur

Natural Product Research Laboratory, Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College of Pharmacy, Patti, Amritsar, Punjab 143416




This specification covers the standardization of the plant Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae). It is widely used as anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant, anti-alergic, pain-relieving, anti-bacterial, hepatoprotective. The plant material was subjected to pharmacognostical studies and physiochemical parameters. Dried plant material was subjected to various physiochemical parameters like extractive values, ash values, cold maceration, chromatographic methods, loss on drying, successive extraction and heavy metal analysis. These parameters can be utilized for quick identification of the Bidens pilosa and are particularly useful in powdered form.


KEYWORDS: Asteraceae, Bidens pilosa, aerial part, standardization




Bidens is a member of the Asteraceae (formerly called Compositae) family, the species of bidens is best known to botanists, horticulturests and herbalists is Bidens pilosa (pilose means covered with fine soft hair), which is a tropical weed1. Bidens pilosa is commonly found growing along roadside, railroad tracks, vacant lots and other places where the ground has been disturbed, including the shores of river of ponds2. The methanolic extract of the whole plant of Bidens pilosa contains the new beta-D-glycopyranosyloxy-3-hydroxy-6(E)-tetradecen-8-10-12-triyne besides a known polyine, has been isolated and identified mainly by IR and NMR methods. The new compound showed overgrowing action against normal and transformed human cell lines in culture3. It is widely used as anti-inflammatory4, muscle relaxant5, anti-allergic6, anti-bacterial7, hepatoprotective8 and antimicrobial9. It is used as an herbal medicine in many parts of the world, including southern China, Africa and Central America. This herb has been used since ancient times in China and especially in Taiwan, which has a tropical climate. Bidens pilosa is sometimes specified in China as sanye guizhencao because its leaves are in groups of three leaflet10.



Plant material:

The aerial parts of Bidens pilosa were collected from IIIM, Jammu Herbal Garden. The plant was identified and authenticated by botanist, Dr. S. N. Sharma, Department of Taxonomy, IIIM, Jammu, India.


Processing of Plant material:

After authentication, aerial parts were dried at room temperature until they were free from the moisture and subjected to physical evaluation for different parameters.


All the reagents were of Analytical grade and purchased from S.D Fine- Chem. Ltd., Mumbai, India.



The dried aerial parts were standardized on the basis of quality parameters as per the WHO guidelines11. The organoleptic characters including colour, odour, taste and external features of aerial part were observed and the results were recorded. The extractive values were determined by successively starting from petroleum ether using soxhlet extraction apparatus. The dried extractive values were obtained after evaporation of solvent under reduced pressure using vaccum rotary evaporator.



The dried aerial parts of Bidens pilosa were subjected to standard pharmacognostical procedures according to WHO guidelines for the determination of various physicohemical parameters and parameters included:


Macroscopic characters:

This included morphological studies of aerial parts (Fig: 1) such as colour, size, odour, taste, surface (Table1).


Extractive Values

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 no suitable chemical or biological assay exists. The air dried, accurately weighed drug was treated with solvents: petroleum ether, benzene, chloroform, ethyl acetate and methanol. The values were recorded in (Table 2).


Ash Values

The determination of ash value is meant for detecting low-grade drugs, exhausted drugs, sandy or earthy matter. The results of ash values were recorded in (Table 3).


Moisture content

Karl Fisher and loss on drying methods were used to determine the moisture content of aerial parts.  Moisture content level helps to reduce the chances of microbial contamination (Table 4).


Heavy metal analysis

Contamination of medicinal plants materials with arsenic and heavy metals can be attributed to many causes including environment pollution and traces of pesticides. Heavy metal analysis of Bidens pilosa was recorded in (Table 5).


Table: 1 Macroscopical characters of the aerial parts of Bidens pilosa

Organoleptic Characters



Dark brown




Sweet and acrid


Dark scabrous


Fig: 1 Aerial parts of Bidens pilosa


Table: 2 Extractive values of aerial parts of Bidens pilosa


Value obtained (% w/w)






Table: 3 Ash values of aerial parts of Bidens pilosa


Values obtained (% w/w)

Total ash


Water soluble ash


Acid insoluble ash



Table: 4 Moisture content of aerial parts of Bidens pilosa


Moisture content (%)

Loss on drying



Table: 5 Heavy metal analysis of aerial parts of Bidens pilosa

Heavy metals

Value obtained  (mg/Kg)








BDL of 0.001



Bidens pilosa is an important medicinal plant. The plant is widely used for the treatment of malaria, cough and liver diseases. This 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 these 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 Bidens pilosa contains the reported phytoconstituents. Hence, detailed screening may 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 Pharmacy, Patti and IIIM, Jammu for providing necessary facilities for research work.



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11.   WHO guidelines. Library cataloguing in publication data, Quality Control Methods for Medicinal Plant Material, WHO Geneva, Delhi. 1998; pp. 1-110.


Received on 21.06.2012

Modified on 10.07.2012

Accepted on 14.07.2012

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Research Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 5(2): March-April 2013, 84-86