Medicinal herbs were the primary health care agent over the many centuries before development of modern medicine. The fact that herbal medicines have been employed for such a long time does not guarantee their efficacy and safety. On that basis, an attempt was made on efficacy and safety studies of a well known medicinal herb in Malaysia, Ficus deltoidea by evaluation of toxicological parameter like heavy metals and standardization parameters like, physical constants, ash content, Microbial Limit Test (MLT) and screening phytoconstituents are present in the leaves of F. deltoidea. Heavy metals analysis was done by atomic absorption spectrometry. Physicochemical determinations, including moisture, volatile and total ash content were carried out by Thermogravimetric Analyzer. Microbial Limit Test was done as per the United State Pharmacopoeia method. Thin layer chromatography was carried out for phytochemical screening with normal silica plate using various chemical reagents. The contents of Cd, Pb and As were found to be 0.069, 0.761 and 0.422 ppm, respectively. While Hg was not detected in F. deltoidea leaves. MLT test showed 5.0x106 and 3.3x107 cfu g-1 for Total aerobic microbial count and total combined mold and yeast respectively. However, Staphylococcus aureus,Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella sp. andEscherichia coli were found to absent. Phytochemical studies of petroleum ether, chloroform, methanol and water extracts showed presence of saponin, amino acid, flavonoids and terpenoids. Hence, there is an urgent need for mandatory evaluation of these parameters in every crude drug before further processing to ensure safety and efficacy of medicinal plants. In conclusion, it was shown that the extracts of F. deltoidea leaves were enriched with chemically diversified phytoconstituents which could be useful for various pharmacological activities.
Armaghan Shafaei, Elham Farsi, B.M. Khadeer Ahamed, M.J. Ahmad Siddiqui, Idress Hamad Attitalla, I. Zhari and Mohd Z. Asmawi, 2011. Evaluation of Toxicological and Standardization Parameters and Phytochemical Investigation of Ficus deltoidea Leaves. American Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1: 237-243.