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Pharmacognosy Journal, 2013; 5(1):30-40
Research Article | doi:10.1016/j.phcgj.2012.12.003

Application of morphoanatomy and microscopy in authentication of three species of traditional Chinese herbs of Moghania

Authors and affiliation (s):

Yan-fei Huanga,c, Chao-qin Renb,c, Wei Yuana,c, Yuan Liua,*, Zhi-feng Zhanga, Lu-yang Lva

aEthnic Medicine Institute, Southwest University for Nationalities, No. 16, South 4th Section, 1st Ring Road, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, PR China.

bDepartment of Biology and Chemical, Aba Teachers College, Shuimo Town, Wenchuan County, Sichuan 623001, PR China.


Background: Moghania philippinensis (Merr. et Rolfe) Li, M. macrophylla (Willd.) O. Kuntze and M. ferruginea (Wall. ex Benth.) Li. (Leguminosae) has not the national standards now, and they are just only recorded in appendix of “Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China” (2010 and 2005 edition). But their roots are the crude herbs recourses of the primary ingredient in the famous prescription of “Female Moghania Tablet” for curing colpitis in China. Moreover M. philippinensis was also recorded by the appendix “Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China” (1977 edition). M. strobilifera (Linn.) Ait, M. glutiaosa (Prain) Y.T.Wei, and M. Latifolia Benth are still medical used in some local region of Guangxi and Yunnan Province of China. So their crude herbs recourses are confused in Chinese Crude Herbs Market. Objective: To distinguish three species of Moghania and ensure their safety and efficacy. Materials and methods: Three species of M. macrophylla (Willd.) O.Kuntze, M. Latifolia Benth and M. glutiaosa (Prain) Y.T.Wei from Guangxi, Yunnan and Sichuan Province of China (SWUN) (Table 1). Fresh materials were fixed in FAA. Samples were passed through the traditional ethanol and dimethylbenzene series, embedded in paraffin, and then sliced with a microtome and stained with safraninefast green and finally mounted. The leaf lower epidermal cells are obtained by the practical peeling technique and clearing method with nail polish blot. The materials were dissociated by nitric acid chromate method. The samples of herbs were powdered. The average number of palisade cell under the epidermal cells is called Palisade Ratio (PR). Since palisade ratio is consistent and different from plant to plant, this parameter can be used in authentication. Stomatal Index (SI) is a basilic parameter in authentication, which can be obtained from the following formula: Stomatal Index = (number of stomata/every millimeter-square) × 100/(number of stomata/ every millimeter-square + number of epidermal cell/every millimeter-square). Mesophyll tissue is divided up by slendest vein, which is called vein islet. The numbers of vein islet in every epidermal cell is called Vein Islet Numbers (VIN), which also can be used as a reliable parameter in authentication since it is consistent in a species of plant. The results were studied using light microscope according to the usual microscopic techniques. Results: The three species of Moghania were studied to compare the distinguishing morphoanatomic details of root, stem, leaf and petiole, dissociation and powders. The microscopic features were systematically described and illustrated. And detailed key authentication parameters based on these anatomic characteristics were presented. A key was constructed to the three species for convenient classification. Microscopy can be unambiguously used to authenticate and distinguish three species of Moghania.

Key wordsMoghania, Microscopy authentication, Morphoanatomy, Traditional Chinese herbs.


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