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Published on:3rd August, 2012
Pharmacognosy Journal, 2012; 4(31):11-15
Original Article | doi:10.5530/pj.2012.31.3

Chemical examination of leaves of Cinnamomum malabatrum (Burm. f.) Blume sold as Tamalapatra

Authors and affiliation (s):

Koppala Narayana Sunil Kumar1,*, Maheshwari Rajalekshmi1, Billadi Sangeetha1, Basavaiah Ravishankar1 and Raghuveera Muralidhar2

1SDM Centre for Research in Ayurveda and Allied Sciences, Laxminarayana Nagar, Kuthpady, Udupi, INDIA 574 118
2SDM Ayurveda Pharmacy, Laxminarayana Nagar, Kuthpady, Udupi, INDIA 574 118


Introduction:Leaves of Cinnamomum tamala (Lauraceae) commonly known as bay leaf or tamalapatra is a highly reputed commodity in drug and spice trade. Its adulteration with other leaf species belonging to genus Cinnamomum is found to be a common practice. While macro-microscopy is of great help in establishing the botanical identity of such doubtful samples, physico-chemical parameters in combination with TLC fingerprints and phytochemical characterization is a valuable tool to establish chemical identity. Methods: Survey of south Indian crude drug markets was done to find if in place of C. tamala some other leaves of Cinnamomum species are sold. Fresh leaves of various Cinnamomum species, including C. tamala, growing in south India were collected and studied comparatively. Leaves sold in markets of S. India under the name of tamalapatra were collected and subjected for detailed physico-chemical, HPTLC and GC-MS analysis. Results: Leaves of C. malabatrum showed marked distinction in physico-chemical and volatile oil composition which will serve as markers to differentiate it from C. tamala; the official source of tamalapatra. Though physico-chemical constants will serve the purpose of standardization, volatile oil composition was found to be a diagnostic test for the differentiation of C. malabatrum from C. tamala. Conclusion: Chemical identity of C. malabatrum was established in comparison with the official drug. Further biological studies may be confirmative in designating it as a valid substitute or adulterant for C. tamala.

Keywords: bay leaf, GC-MS, HPTLC, tamalapatra.


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