Background: This paper aims at establishing pharmacognostic parameters and anatomical
descriptors of Ficus palmata Forssk. (Bedu) for the first time by utilizing more sophisticated modalities
like HPTLC fingerprinting and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in addition to the conventional
analytical techniques. Ficus palmata Forssk. is a well known, yet minimally explored plant of western
Himalaya despite its tremendous traditional value. Hence, no monograph stating its standardization or
rather its pharmacognostic standardization is so far available.
Objective: To establish the pharmacognostic standardization parameters of Ficus palmata Forssk. and to
perform its anatomical and analytical evaluation by means of scanning electron microscopy and HPTLC
Method: Pharmacognostical evaluation including microscopy and SEM analysis of the leaves and fruits of
Ficus palmata collected from the western Himalayan region of India was done along with preliminary
phytochemical screening, fluorescence analysis, and HPTLC fingerprinting studies of fruits of the plant.
Results: Presence of carbohydrates, alkaloids, tannins, saponins, lipids and phenols was confirmed in
Ficus palmata through phytochemical screening. The physicochemical analysis provided standard
ranges for parameters like moisture content, ash values and extractive values. Characteristic anatomical
structures such as abundant trichomes, paracytic stomata, lignified fibres, cortex, sclerenchyma, pith
with hexagonal cells were observed and stomatal index, vein islet number, and palisade ratio were established.
HPTLC fingerprinting revealed the presence of the complex bioactive chemical composition
of the extract.
Conclusion: The study is an attempt to establish the quality control parameters pertaining to phytochemical,
microscopical and anatomical characteristics of F. palmata. The results of the study provide a
useful application of the pharmacognostic studies, scanning electron microscopy and HPTLC for quality
control of the leaves and fruits of F. palmata.