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Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia

Print version ISSN 0102-695XOn-line version ISSN 1981-528X


MARQUES, Luís C. et al. Pharmacognostic analysis of the roots of Heteropteris aphrodisiaca O. Mach. (Malpighiaceae). Rev. bras. farmacogn. [online]. 2007, vol.17, n.4, pp.604-615. ISSN 1981-528X.

The roots of Heteropteris aphrodisiaca, called " nó-de-cachorro" (dog-knot) for their morphological similarity to the canine penis, are used in popular medicine as an aphrodisiac or stimulant, and to treat dysentery. The objective of the present study was to characterize these roots morphoanatomically and physico-chemically. For the analyses, histological slides were prepared, and aqueous, hydro-ethanol, and ketone extracts were analyzed, from root samples collected in the state of Mato Grosso, in different seasons of the year. The roots are tuberous, cylindrical, and covered with a striated suber. The cortex, composed of parenchymatous tissue, has no sclerified elements, but shows abundant druses and prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate, as well as idioblasts containing polyphenols. In the secondary xylem, gelatinous fibers are abundant, typical for the roots of species of the Brazilian cerrado (savanna). The physical and chemical analyses revealed greater losses through desiccation in the samples collected in spring and summer. Water was the best extraction liquid. Total ash content of the samples ranged from 3.4% in summer to 5.3% in autumn. Total phenol content was higher in spring (10.2%), suggesting this season as the most appropriate to harvest the plant drug. Chromatographic analyses through TLC and HPLC were employed using the flavonoids neoastilbin, astilbin, and isoastilbin as markers. The Rf values were 0.60, 0.68 and 0.74, and the retention time were 16.44, 16.91 and 18.08 min, respectively.

Keywords : Heteropteris aphrodisiaca; Malpighiaceae; " nó-de-cachorro"; pharmacognostic analysis; TLC; HPLC; flavonoids.

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