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Research Article

Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem

Mahima , Anu Rahal, Atul Prakash, Amit Kumar Verma, Vinod Kumar and Debashish Roy
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Tinospora cordifolia also known as Giloy or Guduchi, is an indigenous climber plant indigenous to tropical areas of India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Its stem is used for treatment of fever, jaundice, emaciation, skin ailments, diabetes, anaemia and various infectious diseases. The study was undertaken to evaluate the proximate and elemental analysis of the stems of Tinospora cordifolia. The proximate analyses were carried out using standard methods, while mineral elements were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, equipped with air acetylene flame. The proximate analysis of the stems of Tinospora cordifolia showed that it contained moisture 34.39%, ether extract 0.912%, crude protein 7.74%, crude fibre 56.42%, total ash 7.96%, nitrogen free extract 26.97%, cellulose 23.02% and hemicellulose 3.70%. The mineral analysis of the stems showed that they contain the following essential minerals: Calcium (102.23 ppm), phosphorous (24.81 ppm), iron (26.058 ppm), copper (3.733 ppm), zinc (7.342 ppm) and manganese (12.242 ppm). The study revealed that Tinospora cordifolia stems to be a potential source of nutrition and minerals for man as well as animals.

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Mahima , Anu Rahal, Atul Prakash, Amit Kumar Verma, Vinod Kumar and Debashish Roy, 2014. Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 17: 744-747.

DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2014.744.747

Received: June 28, 2013; Accepted: August 29, 2013; Published: November 27, 2013


Medicinal plants are widely used in various industries like pharmaceuticals, cosmetic, agricultural and food (Nasreen et al., 2010; Nair et al., 2012; Mahima et al., 2013a). Rigveda, which was written between 4500-1600 BC is the first record of use of herbs or plants as medicine. India has a wide biodiversity including the rich botanical wealth and considered as goldmine of herbal medicines and popularly called as ‘medicinal garden of the world’ (Archana et al., 2011; Mahima et al., 2012; Dhama et al., 2013). As an estimate, approximately 25,000 effective herbal preparations are used in traditional medicine by more than 1.5 million traditional medicinal practitioners for preventive, promotional and curative applications in India.

Tinospora cordifolia also known as Giloy or Guduchi, is an indigenous climber shrub commonly found in various Asian countries including India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Its stem has been used by traditional practitioners for various therapeutic purposes like treating jaundice, emaciation, skin ailments, diabetes, anaemia, dyspepsia, chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, urinary problems and various infectious diseases (Sinha et al., 2004; Mahima et al., 2012). It has excellent immunomodulatory properties thus widely used for treatment of bacterial and viral infections (Mahima et al., 2013b). Despite of its use in traditional and folk medicine, the plant is not very much studied scientifically for its biological assessment. Recently, there is much focus on herbal products especially in curative as well as preventive measures. So, this has created interest to explore the biological properties of Tinospora cordifolia in terms of its nutritional composition and mineral content in stems of the plant by proximate and elemental analysis. Despite of its wide therapeutic importance it is worthwhile to obtain its nutritional composition and mineral content. Thus, the present study was conducted to assess the various contents and their concentration in Tinospora cordifolia.


Plant materials: Fresh samples of stems from healthy plants (Fig. 1) were collected from Amroha, Moradabad and Mathura districts of Uttar Pradesh, India and then identified and confirmed by a plant taxonomist.

Table 1: Plant, its active principles and pattern of local use
Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem

Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem
Fig. 1: Tinospora cordifolia plant

All the plants were packed in kraft paper and prepared a herbarium. The stems were washed and air dried in the laboratory for two weeks and then grounded with mixer grinder and sieved with a mesh of size 0.5 mm and stored in clean air tight containers at room temperature till further use. The detail of plant with respect to its common and local names, parts used, active principles and status are given in Table 1.

Proximate analyses: Moisture, crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract, nitrogen free extract, total ash and acid insoluble ash contents of the stem of Tinospora cordifolia were determined as per the standard methods described by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC, 1996). Fibre fractions viz., Nutrient Detergent Fibre (NDF), Acid Detergent Fibre (ADF), Acid Detergent Lignin (ADL), hemicellulose and cellulose were determined by the method given by Van Soest et al. (1991).

Moisture content: For determination of moisture content, hot air oven method was used. The percentage of dry matter was measured using electronic balances and moisture content was calculated as:

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Ash content: To determine the ash content, oven method was used. Ten grams of the sample were added to a preweighed crucible and weighed. Then, the sample were placed in a muffle furnace at 550°C for 4 h, cooled in desiccators and reweighed. The ash content was determined by using the following Equation:

Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem

Acid insoluble ash (AIA): AIA was estimated by dissolving inorganic portion of total ash mainly represent sand and silica:

Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem

Fat content (ether extract): Soxhlet method was used to determine the fat content. One hundred and fifty milliliters of petroleum ether was poured over 5 g of plant extracts in an extraction thimble. The thimble was placed in an extractor covering anti-bumping cotton, fixed the extractor to a preweighed oil flask and placed in the soxhlet for 8 h after which the oil flask was dried in an oven, cooled and reweighed. The fat content of each sample was calculated by using the following Equation:

Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem

Protein content (CP): Crude protein content was determined using the Kjeldahl method. Nitrogen content was calculated using the following Equation:

Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem

The crude protein content of sample was calculated by the following Equation:

Protein (%) = Nx6: 25 (protein factor specific to sample)

Crude fibre (CF): Crude fiber was determined using fat-free samples. Crude fiber content was determined using the following Equation:

Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem

Nitrogen free extract (NFE): NFE was calculated by difference between actual sample weight and sum of weight of moisture , EE, CP, CF and ash:

NFE (%) = 100-(CP+EE+CF+Total ash+Moisture)

Fibre fractions: For the determination of NDF, 1 g air dried sample taken into a beaker of the refluxing apparatus and refluxed with neutral detergent solution for 60 min then, filtered in preweighed sintered glass crucibles, dried and reweighed:

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For the estimation of ADF, procedure was same as NDF but the solution used was acid detergent solution. Hemicellulose content was calculated by difference of NDF and ADF. ADF residue was treated with 72% H2SO4 and ashing of the residue determined the crude lignin (ADL):

Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem

Cellulose was calculated by the difference of ADF and ADL.

Mineral content: Mineral analysis was carried out after acid digestion of 2 g of the grounded sample with 10 mL of a mixture of nitric acid, sulphuric and perchloric acid (4:1:1 v/v) until a clear solution was obtained. The digest was allowed to cool and then transferred into a 100 mL volumetric flask and made up to mark with de-ionized water. The mineral elements like calcium, copper, iron, zinc and manganese were analysed using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Perkin elmer) equipped with air-acetylene flame, while phosphorous was determined by titremetric method (Chen et al., 1956).

Statistical analysis: The study was repeated three times and data obtained were presented with their Mean±standard error using Microsoft excel software.


Data on proximate and mineral analyses of Tinospora cordifolia stem were shown in Table 2 and 3, respectively. The results revealed that Tinospora cordifolia possess low water content (34.39%) in its stem. The stem contains high crude fibre which is 56.42%. Other substances like protein (7.74%), ether extract (0.912%), total ash (7.96%) etc., are found to be in low concentration. Calcium is found at the highest level (102.233 ppm), followed by iron (26.058 ppm) and phosphorous (24.816 ppm). Other trace elements such as magnese (12.242 ppm), zinc (7.342 ppm) and copper (3.733 ppm) are available at a very low proportion.

Table 2: Proximate analysis of Tinospora cordifolia stem
Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem
All values are expressed on dry matter basis except moisture

Table 3: Mineral analysis of Tinospora cordifolia stem
Image for - Proximate and Elemental Analyses of Tinospora cordifolia Stem
Values are expressed as Mean±SE

Hussain et al. (2009) reported that Tinospora cordifolia contains 13.32% crude protein, 23.30% fibre and 1.99% fat. However, the iron concentration reported by these researchers is at par with our findings. In recent years, there is an increasing interest for quality control in research and production of medicinal plants particularly those of imported or raw materials procured from traditional herbal producers (Nasreen et al., 2010). Proximate and elemental analysis helps us in determining the nutritive value of the medicinal plants. The crude protein composition of a plant is of great value due to its nutritive values (Ajibade and Fagbohun, 2010). Hussain et al. (2009) also reported the high concentration of protein (13.32%) in this plant. The elemental analysis revealed the presence of calcium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, zinc and copper in significant quantities. This precludes that the Tinospora cordifolia could be a rich source of nutrition for body building and boosting the immune response. Calcium and Phosphorus are good for formation of bones and teeth. They also help in production of energy by helping in breakdown of carbohydrate, protein and fat, which is necessary for growth and maintenance of tissues (Harbinger, 1994). Plant also contain significant amount of iron, which plays pivotal role in erythropoiesis and oxygen transport. Deficiency of iron may cause behavioural and biochemical changes in brain (De Oliveira et al., 2001).

The variations in the proximate parameters in medicinal plants might be due to the conditions on which the plant species are harvested along with other environmental conditions parameters (Nordeide et al., 1996; Kutbay and Ok, 2001). The present study supplements the available information with respect to carrying out further research and use of Tinospora cordifolia in ayurvedic system.


Recently, there is an increasing interest in use of herbal or plant products for treatment and preventive purposes. Earlier medicinal plants were used by indigenous and marginal communities for treating different diseases. The present study is an effort to know the biological properties of plants by proximate and mineral analysis. From this study, we observed that Tinospora cordifolia contains important nutrients and minerals that are useful for human as well as animal health. Furthermore, a thorough research would be helpful to further investigate the anti-nutritive, enzymatic and molecular effect on human as well as animal health of this plant.


The authors acknowledge their profound gratitude to Dean, College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry and Hon’ble Vice chancellor, Uttar Pradesh Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishvidhyalaya Evum Go-Anusandhan Sansthan (DUVASU), Mathura, India; for providing all the necessary support and facilities for conducting this study.


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