Background: Fagopyrum esculentum Moench. is a herb consumed as food and has
medicinal value. It is a rich source of bioactive nutrients which cure and prevent many ailments.
Traditionally, it is used to treat hypertension, diabetes, constipation, cancer etc.
Methods and Objective: Present work illustrates morphological, microscopic and physicochemical
parameters of Fagopyrum esculentum seeds as per WHO guidelines, in vitro antioxidant activity;
assessed by DPPH scavenging method, hydrogen peroxide scavenging assay and β-carotene
linoleic acid bleaching method and study of lipid lowering potential of the ethyl acetate and ethanol
extract of seeds on normal diet fed Wistar rats.
Results: Morphological studies delineated the triangular shape, dark brown colour, 8 mm length and
6 mm width of the seed. The microscopic examination of the transverse section of seed depicted features
like testa or pericarp (seed coat), the endosperm, embryo and sclerenchyma cells. Study of
physiochemical parameters exhibited 0.3±0.02% of foreign matter and 1.44±0.51% crude fibre content.
Total ash, acid insoluble ash and water soluble ash value were 6.7±1.7%, 1.9±0.23% and 3.9±
0.31% respectively. Alcohol soluble and water soluble extractive value came out to be 65.02± 3.21
mg/g and 12.7±1.24 mg/g respectively. Foaming index was less than 100, swelling index was found
to be 0.5±0.01 ml/g. Loss on drying was 4.02±1.27%. Phytochemical screening of ethyl acetate and
ethanol extract revealed the presence of alkaloids, carbohydrates, phenolic compounds, phytosterols
and flavonoids. Trace amount of heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury) were determined
by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Pesticide residue analysis confirmed the presence of nontoxic
pesticides like dimethipin, hymexazol, phenothrin-2, methoprene, triadimenol, prohydrojasmon-
1, jasmolin ii, triademinol, jasmolin i, prohydrojasmone i, cyromazine in both the extracts
by gc-ms spectrometer. The ethyl acetate and ethanol extract has shown significant in-vitro antioxidant
activities demonstrated by the DPPH method (IC50 = 94.37±2.51 and 216.04±4.39 μg/ml respectively),
hydrogen peroxide scavenging assay (IC50 = 83.72±3.72 and 193.47±5.05 µg/ml respectively)
and β-carotene bleaching method (IC50 = 100.67±4.01 and 205.39±2.89 µg/ml respectively).
Lipid lowering study performed on Wistar rats demonstrated a significant (p<0.001) decrease in serum
Total Cholesterol (TC), Triglyceride (TG) and increase in High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
level as compared to normal group. Both the extracts have shown a non significant difference in the
level of TG as compared to standard drug atorvastatin, depicting that the efficacy of extracts is at par
with that of standard drug atorvastatin.
Conclusion: Pharmacognostical study of the plant can be a very good tool for identification as
well as authentication of a herb. Moreover, these parameters may be helpful in the development
of monograph of the plant. Pharmacological activity confirmed Fagopyrum esculentum Moench.
seed to be a good antioxidant and have lipid lowering potential.