Swati Tomar1, Mohd Asif2
1Pharmacognosy Lab, Pharmacopoeia Laboratory for Indian Medicine, Ghaziabad - UP
2Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, Ghaziabad, UP., India.
The current study was conducted for pharmacognostical study of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. root for the authentication and identification. Observation of morphological or macroscopic characters and powder microscopic study was conducted with the help of reagent under the microscope. Macroscopic and microscopy study revealed some peculiar characters such as - 10-15 layer of cork, numerous starch grains, prismatic crystal of calcium oxalate, secondary vascular bundle, lignified phloem fiber and medullary rays. The findings examined from the present study will assist in authentication and identification of the medicinally important plant Glycyrrhiza glabra L. In addition to this, macroscopic, microscopic and powder study aspect may work as a main attributes for standardization and developing the pharmacopeia standards.
Glycyrrhiza glabra L., synonym Glycyrrhiza glabra var. Caduca X.Y.Li, belongs to the family Fabaceae, a medicinally important plant and commonly known as known as Mulaithi. The word Glycyrrhiza has been derived from the Greek origin that means sweet root. The plant is native of south-East Europe and south-West Asia and widely distributed throughout India. The plant is herbaceous perennial, growing 0.5 –1 m. in length, 0.5-1cm. in breadth. Leaves are olive green in colour, pinnate foliage and small pale- blue, violet, yellowish-white or purplish flower.
The Underground root system is 3-4 feet depth and slightly branched, long horizontal subterranean stolons. Stems several from the crown, erect, stiff, solid, shortly pubescent, branched . Glycyrrhiza glabra is actively utilized in Ayurveda Siddha and Unani systems for their ulcer protective, demulcent, expectorant, anti-tussive and purgative activities . The root of this plant has been used for cough, colds, asthma, and COPD . It is also used in sore throat, influenza, gastric imbalance, indigestion, vomiting and diarrhoea.  Most importantly, licorice is also used as a flavouring agent in the tobacco and candy industries and to some extent in the pharmaceutical and beverage industries . Licorice oil is authenticated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has involvement in several food products such as beverages, toothpaste, chewing gum, and cosmetics .
Glycyrrhiza glabra contains several chemical constituents, such as saponin, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, stilbenoids, and coumarins. Triterpenoidsaponins (4–20%) include mostly glycyrrhizin, a mixture of potassiumand calcium salts of 18β-glycyrrhizic acid also called glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhizinic acid. The root also possess other triterpenes included liquiritic acid, glycyrretol, glabrolide, isoglaborlide and liquorice acid. [8,9]. Flavonoids and chalcones isolated from G. glabra included liquiritin, liquiritigenin, hamnoliquiritin, neoliquiritin, chalconesisoliquiritin, isoliquiritigenin, neoisoliquiritin, licuraside, glabrolide, licoflavonol. Isoflavanoids includes glabridin, galbrene, glabrone, shinpterocarpin, licoisoflavones A and B, formononetin and glyzarin [10,11]. The principal constituents in coumarins are liqcoumarin and umbelliferone . Glycyrrhizin helps in inhibition of lung cancer and fibro sarcomas . In Japan, it has been used for the treatment of Hepatitis C for more than 60 years . Glycyrrhizic acid also works as a suppresser of cyclooxygenase activity, prostaglandin formation and indirectly inhibits platelet aggregation . On that account, the current study was carried out to evaluate, authenticate and standardization of the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra by pharmacognostical study. The experiments were carried out by following the procedures stated in Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India 
Sus, Irik Sus, Rib El-Sus
Licorice, Licorice-Root, Liquorice
Mulhatti, Jethimadh, Mithilakdi
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
Collection, authentication and preparation of Plant material:
The root of Glcyrrhiza glabra L. Was collected during November, 2019 from Kamla Nehru Nagar Ghaziabad (U.P) India as a raw drug sample. Botanical or Pharmacognostical authentication of drug was done by Ms. Swati tomar, on the basis of macroscopic, microscopic and powder microscopic characters of the root. The API, HPI and UPI standards were used for pharmacognostical authentication.
Method of preparation of sample:
Root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. was washed with potable water to remove the adhering dirt and then with distilled water. After thatthe roots were driedin shade under normal room temperature. Before using the sample for the study it was assuredthat the drug sample is not infected with fungal or bacterial contaminants and after that it was processed for the study.
Root light yellow to brown in colour, 1-1.5m. in length, 0.5-1cm. in breadth. Longitudinal striation, fracture smooth, odour not characteristic and tastes sweet.
Anatomical characteristic of the root:
Dried root pieces were embedded into cork and sectioned it manually. TS were collected as possible to as thin. The sections were cleaned with clearing reagent chloral hydrate then stain with 70% safranin and mounted with glycerin on micro slides. Microphotographs were taken using a Dewinter microscope attached with Dewinter microscope digital camera (DIGI510). Photo micrographs of different magnification were taken to study the anatomical features.
TS of root shows periderm layer arranged in 10-15 layers of cork cells, outer layer contain brown amorphous matter and the inner layer show thick walled colorless cells. Phellogen indistinct but 1-3 layer of phelloderm, containing prismatic crystal of calcium oxalate and starch grains.
Phloem having a wide zone and composed of thick walls having lignification in the outer part of phloem fiber. Phloem parenchyma cells contained starch grains and prismatic crystal of calcium oxalate. Madulary rays arranged in distinct, multiseriate parenchymatous, narrow in the xylem region and wider in the phloem region. Cells contain prismatic crystal of calcium oxalate and starch grains. 2-4 thin walled layer of cambium arranged underneath of secondary phloem.
Thick and lignified, 8-10 radially arranged xylem vessels and xylem fiber. Xylem parenchyma encircled vessels and contained numerous starch grains and prismatic crystal of calcium oxalate. Madulary rays parenchymatous in nature, multiseriate and posses starch grains. Parenchymatous cells of pith arranged below the secondary xylem elements and having starch grain.
Figure 1: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 2: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (4X10)
Figure 3: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 4: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 5: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 6: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 7: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 8: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 9: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 10: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 11: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 12: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 13: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 14: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 15: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 16: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 17: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 18: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 19: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 20: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 21: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 22: Section of T.S of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Powder microscopy displayed yellowish brown in colour, odour characteristic and sweet in test. Microscopy shows prismatic crystal of calcium oxalate, oil globules and starch grains. Study also shows fragment of parenchymatous cell, fragment of phloem fiber, fragment of collenchymatous cell embedded with fixed oil globules and starch grains. Fragment of vessels- annular vessels, pitted vessels, spiral vessels and fragment of epidermal cells with oil globules are also present.
Figure 23: Powder Microscopy of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 24: Powder Microscopy of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 25: Powder Microscopy of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra
Figure 26: Powder Microscopy of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 27: Powder Microscopy of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 28: Powder Microscopy of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 29: Powder Microscopy of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 30: Powder Microscopy of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Figure 31: Powder Microscopy of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
T.S of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. shows 10-15 cork layers and abundant starch grains which act as unique feature. Figure 7, 8, 9 and 10 shows madulary rays, primary xylem and phloem fiber and figure 17 and 18, shows xylem parenchyma, secondary xylem and starch grains. In addition to this, figure 22, shows prismatic crystal of calcium oxalate. All these characters also works as governing factor for identification and authentication of drug
Powder microscopic figure 25 and 26, shows fragmented parenchymatous cells and phloem fiber with prismatic crystal of calcium oxalate and figure 29 and 30 displayed vessels thickening.
Pharmacognostical study of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. is very useful and important for identification of this plant. In addition to thisit is beneficial for the standardization of root plant of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. So we can say that this finding can be used as a reference data for future study for the standardization, identification of authentication of Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
The authors are thankful to Director, Pharmacopeia Laboratory for Indian medicine, Ghaziabad (UP) and Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, Ghaziabad (UP) for encouraging and providing healthy atmosphere during the course of work.
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Received on 02.03.2020 Modified on 18.03.2020
Accepted on 04.04.2020 ©AandV Publications All right reserved