Pharmacognosy Dept of Jamia Hamdard and Ayurvidye Trust develop use of IT to enable identification of medicinal plants

Bengaluru: School of Pharmaceutical Education and Research’s Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry of Jamia Hamdard, along with Ayurvidye Trust observes that Indian ayurveda sector needs information technology (IT) to enable proper identification of medicinal plants to ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs.

In a study on development of TIPHAM (Tool for identity of Powdered Herbals through Analytical Microscopy) for Microscopic Identification of Crude Herbal Drugs, researchers led by Dr DBA Narayana, chief scientific officer, Ayurvidye Trust and pharma consultant along with scientists from the School of Pharmaceutical Education and Research – Dharya Singh and Vidhu Aeri researched on 53 barks and 46 leaves selected from seven volumes of Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India to study powder microscopy.

A computer-based approach within seconds will help to provide the fingerprint of any part of the plant: leaves, seeds, fruits, bark, root, and stem. Such a technology would be a landmark in pharmacognosy as proper identification of plant part is the key to develop a formulation of utmost quality and safety, stated Dr Narayana.

The findings indicated that computer technology can help establish the correct botanical identity of the plant and the presence of substitutes and adulterants. The objective is to develop a software for identification of powdered samples of leaves and barks used in Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India in the first phase of this pilot project.

The project is being considered for enlarging to cover larger number of plants. “This academic work is fit for either an All Indian Coordinated project or to be taken up by start-ups. We will approach funding agencies to scale-up and make it commercially available” stated the team.

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