Medicinal Plants


Development of a prototype for standardization of crude extracts using the antidiarrhoeal extract of Psidium guajava (guava) leaves as an example

Principal Investigator Dr. Tannaz  Birdi

Collaborator Dr. Rama Jayasundar, AIIMS, New Delhi

Project Team Dr. Pooja Gupta, Ms. Poonam Daswani

Funder Preliminary work undertaken through Corpus Grant to FMR from Jamsetji Tata Trust (2010- 2012)

Submitted to Indian Council of Medical Research  (Concept Note submitted – July 2013, full project proposal submitted - December 2013; revised version submitted - April 2014)

Duration 3 years

Budget Rs.68 Lakhs


Often the traditional system of medicine falls into disrepute due to lack of standardization. This is because medicinal plant preparations are chemically complex and contain compounds that may act together to produce a combined effect. Thus standardization is important for uniform efficacy and wider acceptability of TM. Being involved in preclinical screening of medicinal plants, FMR realizes presently standardization entails, in absence of high throughput assays, cumbersome biological assays which are impractical for industry. Thus, a rapid and comparatively economical technology needs to be developed to ensure modernization of TM.

This project aims at development of a prototype for extract standardization, using PGL as an example, in collaboration with AIIMS, New Delhi. It involves use of NMR for metabolomic profiling of guava leaves. Prof. Elaine Holmes and Dr. Jia Li, Imperial College, London are consultants for the project.

The study involves screening of PGL collected from different seasons and different geographical locations against multiple parameters of diarrhoeal pathogenesis and its correlation with NMR metabolite profile. Thus it is not restricted to a controlled greenhouse environment where the parameters are predefined unlike under natural conditions. An additional level of complexity is added since the metabolic profile will need to be correlated to multiple biological parameters and not as is generally undertaken to only a single parameter.

Preliminary work undertaken

Various types of extract (aqueous extract prepared at 80° C, aqueous extract prepared at 100° C for varying time intervals, infusion etc) were prepared since bulk preparation the decoction gave variable results. The results obtained with the 50% hydroalcoholic extract were comparable to the decoction. The pilot data also demonstrated that while at 1 % there was minimal variation, significant variation which is required for data analysis was observed at 0.3 %.

Microscopic image of HEp-2 cells infected with enteropathogenic E. coli (diarrhoea causing bacteria) – LHS: Infected control; RHS: Cells infected in presence of bael fruit decoction

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