African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2195

Full Length Research Paper

Authentication of herbal drug Senna (Cassia angustifolia Vahl.): A village pharmacy for Indo-Pak Subcontinent

Shazia Sultana1*, Mushtaq Ahmad1, Muhammad Zafar1, Mir Ajab Khan1 and Muhammad Arshad2
1Department of Plant Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. 2Department of Botany, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 July 2012
  •  Published: 15 August 2012


The present study deals with the taxonomic and pharmacognostic authentication of the herbal medicine Senna (Cassia angustifolia Vahl.). This plant of considerable pharmaceutical importance, has been recommended for constipation, piles, epilepsy, respiratory diseases, skin infections, migraine and heart diseases. No studies are available on the micro, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), pharmacognostic and taxonomic analysis of traded parts of C. angustifolia and its substitute Cassia obtusifolia. Hence, the present study was undertaken to authenticate genuine source of herbal drug Senna based on microscopic palynomorph, anatomical features, behavior of powdered drug with different chemical reagents and fluorescence analysis. The C. angustifolia is a perennial herb up to 80 cm tall with tricolporate pollen, foveolate sculpturing, paracytic stomata and single celled non-glandular trichome. It is differentiated from its substitute, C. obtusifolia, which is a perennial shrub up to 3.5 m tall having pollen with widely minute holes on surface, anomocytic stomata and elongated trichomes with pointed tips. The powdered drug of C. angustifolia is pale greenish in color, while its adulterant C. obtusifolia is dark green. It was concluded from this study that the knowledge of morpho-palynological, anatomical and pharmacognostical analysis may lead to authentication of herbal drugs like Senna for the purpose of employment in quality assurance of pharmaceutical products globally.


Key words: Senna, authentication, herbal drug, pharmacognosy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM).