The aim of the study is to characterize the aerial parts of Andrographis paniculata - an intensely bitter herb grown in Nigeria from seeds obtained in India. The ultimate aim is to develop a suitable dosage form from the herb for use in Nigeria. The bitterness value; various physicochemical characteristics; tests for key phytochemicals; and thin layer chromatography (TLC) were carried out on the air-dried herb as prescribed in relevant standard texts. The mean bitterness value for both men and women was 2.86 ± 1.74 x 103 units per g. The male value (2.07 ± 1.42 x 103) tended to be lower than the female?s (3.52 ± 1.82 x 103). The results of the physicochemical tests expressed in %w/w were: loss on drying (10.64 ± 0.36), total ash (14.10 ± 4.49), water extractability (30.37 ± 2.63) and acid insoluble ash (1.00 ± 0.06), which were similar to those reported for the Asian plant. The results of the macroscopic examination were also similar to those described in the literature for the Asian plant. The phytochemical tests reveal the presence of glycosides, saponins, tannins and alkaloids, but not of anthraquinones. Normal phase TLC of the drug yielded 5 spots as against 6 yielded by reverse TLC. The results provide useful quantitative and descriptive data that are essential for identifying and characterizing the Nigerian grown herb for pharmaceutical production.

Author(s): Ameh, Sunday; Obodozie, Obiageri; Inyang, Uford; Abubakar, Mujitaba; and Garba, Magaji

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