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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 171-174

Quantitative analysis of tannins, alkaloids, phenols, and flavonoids in Ficus semicordata leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit powder

1 Department of Ayush, State Ayurvedic Hospital, Dubeychapra, Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Dravyaguna, Institute for Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
3 Department of Pharmacology Laboratory, Institute for Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
4 Department of Pharmaceutical Laboratory, Institute for Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Submission26-Feb-2021
Date of Decision01-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance07-Aug-2021
Date of Web Publication28-Sep-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shashi Gupta
Department of Ayush, State Ayurvedic Hospital, Dubeychapra, Ballia 277403, Uttar Pradesh.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JISM.JISM_16_21

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Introduction: Ficus semicordata Buch.-Ham. ex Sm. (Syn. Ficus cunia Buch.- Ham. ex Roxb.) of familyMoraceae, is one of the plants used by the folklore of Odisha for medicinal purposes. Traditional healers use the plant’s leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit to treat jaundice, stomach disorders, skin diseases, and other ailments. The present research article explores the quantitative estimation of tannins, alkaloids, phenols, and flavonoids of leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit powder of Ficus semicordata, as these are responsible for antioxidant, hepatoprotective, and other activities. Materials and Methods: The plant and its various useful parts, after through identification and authentication, were collected from the Gandhamardana hills in Paikamal, Odisha. Quantitative estimation of different parts was performed following standard procedures. Results: Quantitative estimation revealed the presence of maximum tannin in stem bark followed by leaf; maximum alkaloid in fruit followed by leaf; maximum phenol in stem followed by root; and maximum flavonoid content in stem followed by root. Quantitative analysis revealed the presence of tannin and alkaloid in all the samples, which plays a significant role oxidative defence, antimalarial, anticancer, cholinomimetic, vasodilatory, analgesic, antibacterial, and antihyperglycemic activities. Conclusion: Quantitative estimation revealed the presence of tannin and alkaloid in all the parts of F. semicordata.

Keywords: Alkaloid, Bhui dumri, Ficus semicordata, flavonoid, phenol, tannin

How to cite this article:
Gupta S, Acharya R, Gamit RV, Shukla VJ. Quantitative analysis of tannins, alkaloids, phenols, and flavonoids in Ficus semicordata leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit powder. J Indian Sys Medicine 2021;9:171-4

How to cite this URL:
Gupta S, Acharya R, Gamit RV, Shukla VJ. Quantitative analysis of tannins, alkaloids, phenols, and flavonoids in Ficus semicordata leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit powder. J Indian Sys Medicine [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 2];9:171-4. Available from: https://www.joinsysmed.com/text.asp?2021/9/3/171/326833

  Introduction Top

Bhui dumri, botanically identified as Ficus semicordata Buch.- Ham. ex Sm., Moraceae family, is a small or moderate-sized tree, bark reddish-brown and rough. Leaves elliptic, oblong, ovate – oblong or oblong lanceolate, semi-sagittate, petioles-scabrid, figs shortly peduncled or sessile, receptacles in pairs or clusters on mostly leafless, drooping, scaly branches from base of the stem or from larger branches, globose, or pyriform, hispid, wared, red brown when ripe.[1] The traditional uses of Bhui dumri leaves includes its administration for treating jaundice, stomach disorders, wounds, scabies, leprosy, indigestion, liver disease, and skin diseases.[2] These leaves are also reported for its antioxidant,[3] hepatoprotective,[4] and antibacterial activity.[5]Bhui dumri stem bark is used to treat leprosy, ulcers, dysentery, wounds, pregnancy, gastric, liver, and bladder complaints, visceral obstruction, baldness, toothache, diarrhea, boils, and menstrual disorders.[6] The root and fruits of Bhui dumri are observed to medicate aphthous complaints, leprosy, headache, abdominal diseases, bladder ailments, and visceral obstruction.[7] This article explores the unreported, quantitative estimation of tannins, alkaloids, phenols, and flavonoids of leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit powder of Ficus semicordata.

  Materials and Methods Top

Collection and Preservation of the Sample

Ficus semicordata, well known as Bhui dumri, was identified from its natural habitat at Paikamal, Odisha, during November 2017 and after proper authentication by taxonomist its leaf, stem, stem bark root, and fruit were collected. Herbarium was submitted to the Botanical Survey of India (Certificate no. CNH/Tech.II/2018/11). In the Pharmacognosy labs of IPGT and RA Jamnagar, the specimen was well preserved in a solution containing 70% ethyl alcohol, glacial acetic acid, and formalin (AAF) in the ratio of 90:5:5 (Voucher SPECIMEN NO IPGT and RA. Phm. 6249/17–18).[8] Dried leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit powder were used to quantitatively estimate tannins, alkaloids, phenols, and flavonoids.

Quantitative Estimation of Total Tannin

The percentage of tannin was determined by the oxidation–reduction titration technique.[9]


About 2.5 g of the precisely weighed drug sample was variegated with 150 mL of water, boiled for 30 min with nonstop stirring, and finally placed for cooling. The filtrate was collected in a 250 mL volumetric flask and the final volume (250 mL) was adjusted with distilled water, resulting in the stock solution. Next, 10 mL of the stock solution was transferred to a 250 mL conical flask, along with 12.5 mL of indigo carmine solution and 100 mL of distilled water, and the mixture was titrated against 0.1N KMnO4 solution with constant stirring. When the color changed from blue to green to bright yellow (dark yellow), the titration was clogged and the burette reading was noted down as a back reading (A).

50 mL solution from same volumetric flask, taken in a 250 mL beaker, 25 mL gelatin solution, 50 mL acidified NaCl solution and 5 g of kaolin were added then, shaken well for few minutes and then permitted the mixture to settle and was transferred through filter paper and the filtrate was collected. 12.5 mL of filtrate mixture was taken in 250 mL conical flask and to this a total of 12.5 mL indigo carmine solution and 100 mL distilled water were used and titrated against 0.1N KMnO4 solution with constant stirring up to color changing from blue to green to bright (dark) yellow.

The percentage of tannin in the drug sample was calculated as:

Volume made = 250 mL

Actual normal of KMnO4 = 0.0971

Weight of sample = 2.5 g

Given normal of KMnO4 = 0.1N

Volume taken = 12.5 mL

Quantitative Estimation of Total Alkaloid Content[10]


The powder sample was collected with 90% ethanol until it was depleted (about 10 g). The alcoholic extracts of leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit were concentrated under condensed pressure at a temperature of not more than 40°C, acidified with HCl (3%), and filtered; the filtrate was extracted with chloroform to eliminate unwanted matter. The liberated alkaloid bases were extracted with chloroform until exhaustion (as defined by Mayer and Dragendorff’s reagent), and the acidic aqueous layer was accustomed to alkaline media with ammonia. The chloroform extracts were filtered through anhydrous sodium sulfate and evaporated under reduced pressure before desiccation, during which they were weighed to determine the percent w/w.

Quantitative Estimation of Total Phenolic Content[11]

The total phenol content of the leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit methanolic extracts was determined using the Folin–Ciocalteu colorimetric process, with Gallic acid as the norm and results expressed as gallic acid equivalent (GAE) per gramme of sample. Gallic acid was prepared in methanol at various concentrations (0.001–0.1mg/mL). Then, 2 mL Folin–Ciocalteu reagent (1:10 in deionized water) and 4 mL saturated sodium carbonate solution (7.5% w/v) were combined with 0.5 mL of the test sample and each sample of the regular solution. Silver foils were used to protect the tubes, which were then nurtured at room temperature for 30 min with frequent shaking. Using methanol as a blank, the absorbance was measured at 765nm. In three replications, all of the samples were tested. The total phenol was measured using a conventional cure made from pure phenolic standard (gallic acid). Folin–Ciocalteu is a very profound reagent containing phosphomolybdate and phosphotungstate that form a blue complex in alkaline solution by the reduction of phenols. This blue color was measured spectrophotometrically.

Quantitative Estimation of Total Flavonoid Content[12]

Aluminum chloride colorimetric testing was used to evaluate the TFC of the leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit methanolic extract. Overall, 2 mL distilled water and 0.15 mL sodium nitrite (5% NaNO2, w/v) solution were applied to 0.5 mL aliquots of the extract and normal solution (0.001–0.1mg/mL) of chrysin and combined. Next, 0.15 mL (10% AlCl3, w/v) solution was applied after 6 min. After allowing the solutions to sit for another 6 min, 2 mL of sodium hydroxide (4% NaOH, w/v) solution was added to the mix. With an immediate addition of distilled water, the final volume was changed to 5 mL, meticulously combined, and allowed to stand for another 15 min. At 510nm, the absorbance of each mixture was compared with the same mixture but without the leaf, stem, stem bark, root, or fruit. With the support of a chrysin graduation curve, TFC was measured as mg chrysin equivalent per gram of sample. Both measurements were made in triplicate (n = 3).

  Results Top

Quantitative estimation revealed the maximum tannin in stem bark followed by leaf; maximum alkaloid in fruit followed by leaf; maximum phenol in stem followed by root; and maximum flavonoid content in stem followed by root. Details of the result after quantitative analysis are given in [Table 1].
Table 1: Quantitative estimation of tannins, alkaloids, phenols, and flavonoids of leaf, stem, stem bark, roots, and fruit powder of F. semicordata

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

Secondary metabolites, which are chemical compounds responsible for biological activities, are commonly found in plants. Tannins are polyphenolic compounds; are good protective chemicals that serve as toxins and feeding repellents for most herbivores; and are abundant in parts of the plant that are more susceptible to herbivores, such as young leaves, flowers, and so on. Tannins are often found in the bark (specifically, in the layer between the cortex and the epidermis), where they protect the plants by creating a microorganism barrier. Tannins are mainly found in the upper epidermis of young leaves in leaf tissues. However, they are uniformly distributed throughout the leaves of evergreen plants.[13] The highest tannin content is found in the bark of the Ficus semicordata because the bark used in this analysis is removed prior to drying, which may be the case. Alkaloids are found in plants as salts of organic and inorganic acids, as well as other water-soluble compounds such as proteins, minerals, and so on. As a result, it is preferable to remove alkaloids using a combination of water and alcohol. Further, most alkaloids in plants are soluble in methanol or ethanol, as previously mentioned. Both of these reagents detect alkaloids and react with various forms of alkaloids: Dragendorff’s reagent reacts primarily with tertiary amines, whereas Mayer’s reagent reacts with a wide range of alkaloids, including tertiary amines.[14] Alkaloids are present in all the parts of Ficus semicordata, are extremely common in medicine, and make up the majority of the most valuable medicines. Polyphenols are naturally occurring secondary metabolites found in plants that are commonly used in pathogen defence mechanisms. They can be found in the plant’s fruits, leaves, vegetables, and cereals. Bitterness, color, taste, astringency, odor, and oxidative stability are all regulated by polyphenols in food. Several epidemiological studies have strongly suggested that eating a diet rich in plant polyphenols for a long time can help prevent the development of various cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.[15] Flavonoids are responsible for flower color, fragrance, and fruit dispersion by attracting pollinators; support in seed, spore, and seedling germination, growth, and development; and protect plants from numerous biotic and abiotic stresses and act as the exclusive.[16]

Quantitative exploration revealed the occurrence of tannins and alkaloids in all the samples and these play a vital role in plant oxidative resistance and antimalarial, anticancer, cholinomimetic, vasodilator, analgesic, antibacterial, and antihyperglycemic activities.[17]

  Conclusion Top

The current study reports total tannin and alkaloid content in leaf, stem, stem bark, root, and fruit extracts of F. semicordata. The outcomes obtained in this study thus recommend that the notorious phytochemical compounds might be the bioactive components that are accountable for the effectiveness of the plant studied.


The author would like to acknowledge the Director, Institute for Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat, Jamnagar.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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  [Table 1]


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