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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 69-74

Comparative nutritional evaluation of four botanical source plants of jīvantī: A classical Ayurvedic drug


1 Regional Ayurveda Research Institute for Metabolic Disorders, CCRAS, Ministry of AYUSH, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Dravyaguna, Institute for Postgraduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication2-May-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Raghavendra Naik
Regional Ayurveda Research Institute for Metabolic Disorders, Unit of CCRAS, Ministry of AYUSH, GCP Annexe, Near Ashoka Pillar, Jayanagar, Bengaluru - 560 011, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_123_1

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  Abstract 


CONTEXT: Jīvantī is one among the best vegetable drugs to be consumed according to classical texts of āyurveda. As a single drug it is used as jīvanīya (longevity promoter), snehopaga (oleating), śvāsahara (anti-asthmatic), vayasthāpana (anti-aging), rasāyana (rejuvenator) and cakṣuṣya (eye tonic). It is also included as an ingredient of many polyherbal formulations.
AIMS: The present study was carried out to evaluate the comparative nutritional values of aerial parts of Leptadenia reticulata (Retz.), Holostemma ada-kodien Schult., Wattakaka volubilis (Linn. f.) Stapf., and Dendrobium macraei Lindl., four claimed botanical source plants of jīvanti.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Different nutritional parameters like carbohydrate, fat, protein energy value, calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C were evaluated following the standard guidelines.
RESULTS: Among the four plants, L. reticulata is found more nutritious by having the highest content of protein, fat, energy value phosphorus, and Vitamin A, compared to other three source drugs of jīvanti. Micronutrients such as zinc, manganese and calcium are more in W. volubilis. Holostemma ada-kodien Schult. Is having more amount of carbohydrate and Vitamin C while iron content is high in D. macraei Lindl.
CONCLUSIONS: Among the four different source plants used in the name of classical drug jīvantī, L. reticulata is found more nutritious with the highest content of protein, fat, energy value phosphorus, and Vitamin A. Micronutrients such as zinc, manganese, and calcium are more in Wattakaka volubilis.

Keywords: Dendrobium macraei Lindl, Holostemma ada-kodien Schult, Jīvantī, Leptadenia reticulata (Retz.), Wattakaka volubilis (Linn. f.) Stapf


How to cite this article:
Naik R, Acharya R. Comparative nutritional evaluation of four botanical source plants of jīvantī: A classical Ayurvedic drug. Int J Health Allied Sci 2018;7:69-74

How to cite this URL:
Naik R, Acharya R. Comparative nutritional evaluation of four botanical source plants of jīvantī: A classical Ayurvedic drug. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Jul 17];7:69-74. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2018/7/2/69/231685




  Introduction Top


Classical texts of Āyurveda have explained different categories of food materials including vegetables under the heading of śākavarga. This aspect of āhāra (diet) is developed under the umbrella of nutraceutical in the current scenario which is gaining more popularity. Ācārya Caraka mentioned jīvanti as ṣreṣṭha śāka (best vegetable) to be consumed for maintaining good health.[1] It is also known for its jīvanīya (longevity promoter), snehopaga (oleating), śvāsahara (anti-asthmatic), vayasthāpana (anti-aging), rasāyana (rejuvenator), and cakṣuṣya (eye tonic) actions in Āyurveda.[2],[3] Apart from its use as a vegetable, it is also used as a ingredient of 223 polyherbal formulations explained in Āyurvedic literature.[4]

Though jīvanti is considered as best śāka dravya (vegetable) by many authors and attributed with important properties, the botanical source of jīvanti is in a state of controversy. Leptadenia reticulata (Retz.) is accepted as the botanical source of genuine jīvanti,[5] but various herbs are used under the name of jīvantī in the different parts of the country, namely, Wattakaka volubilis (Linn. f.) Stapf, Holostemma ada-kodien Schult. of Asclepiadaceae family, Dendrobium macraei Lindl.(orchidaceae),[6] etc.

Recent literature review shows that only a few preliminary works have been carried out on these plants regarding their nutritional values. To establish the drug as best śāka dravya, a detailed evaluation regarding their comparative nutritional value is still lacking. Hence, the present study has been planned to estimate the comparative nutritional value of four different source plants used in the name of jīvantī.


  Materials and Methods Top


All the four source plants of jīvantī, i.e., L. reticulata (Retz.), Holostemma ada-kodien Schult., W. volubilis (Linn. f.) Stapf., and D. macraei Lindl. were collected from their natural habitats following good collection practices. The collected materials were washed under running water, shade dried, powdered, and stored in airtight container. Dried leaf powder was used for nutritional evaluation by following standard guidelines mentioned below.

Carbohydrate

Total carbohydrates were estimated by phenol-sulfuric acid method.[7] To 1 ml of sample, 1 ml 5% (w/v) phenol was added followed by 5 ml concentrated sulfuric acid. The sample tubes were kept in ice while adding sulphuric acid. The mixture was incubated at room temperature for 20 min and the absorbance read at 490 nm.

Protein

Protein determination was performed as per the method described in AOAC.[8] 2 g of sample was taken and dried at 105°C to constant weight and transferred to digestion tube. To each sample 7 g K2 SO4, 5 g selenium powder, 12 ml H2 SO4 and 5 ml H2O2 was added. It was then heated for 60 min at 400°C. The digestion tube was then cooled to 50°C–60°C. 50 ml NaOH was added to the sample. The sample was then titrated with 0.2 N HCl.

Calculation



True protein

Total soluble protein content present in the samples was estimated by the Folin-Lowry method.[9] To 1 ml sample, 5 ml reagent C was added and mixed well. The mixture was incubated at room temperature for 10 min. To this added 0.5 ml reagent D, mixed and kept at dark for 20 min. The resulting color was measured at 660 nm.

Fat

This estimation was performed using the Soxhlet extraction method.[10] A total of 10 g of the powder form of the sample was weighed and wrapped with a filter paper and placed in a thimble. The thimble was covered with cotton wool and placed in the extraction column that was connected to a condenser. A volume of 200 ml of n– Hexane was used to extract the lipid.

Energy value

The sample calorific value was estimated (in Kcal) by multiplying the percentage crude protein, crude lipid, and carbohydrate by the recommended factor (2.44, 8.37, and 3.57, respectively) used in the analysis. The caloric value was determined based on the Atwater factor.[11]

Calcium

Calcium estimation was carried out following versanate EDTA method.[12] About 2–4 g of sample was weighed in conical fl ask or 100 ml centrifuge tubes. To this, 30 ml of NH4OAc was added and shaken well for 5 min and decanted. Then, 30 ml of 0.5N HCl was added to each sample and shaken well for 5 min in an upright loosened position. Then, the solution was filtered using Whatman No. 1 filter paper and the filtrate was collected. For 5 or 10 ml extract, 10 drops each of NH2OH. HCL, K4Fe (CN) 6 and TEA were added and enough of 10% NaOH was added to raise pH to 12. 5 drops of calcon indicator was added and titrated against standard EDTA. The endpoint is the change of color from red to blue.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C was estimated by the method of Omaye et al.,[13] One gram of powdered sample was treated with 4.0 ml of 10% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and centrifuged for 20 min at 3500 g. A volume of 0.5 ml of supernatant was then, mixed with 0.1 ml DTC reagent. The tubes were incubated at 37°C for 3 h. 0.75 ml of ice cold 65% H2 SO4 was added and the tubes were allowed to stand at room temperature for an additional 30 min. The color developed was read at 520 nm.

Vitamin A

One gram of the sample was weighed and macerated with 20 ml of n-hexane in a test tube for 10 min. Then, 3 ml of the upper hexane extract was transferred into a dry test tube in duplicates and evaporated to dryness. Following this, 0.2 ml of acetic anhydride chloroform reagent was added and 2 ml of 50% TCA in chloroform was also added. The absorbance was taken at 15 s and 30 s intervals at 620 nm.[14]

Iron, zinc, and manganese

Microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry was used to determine iron, zinc, and manganese.[15] The viewing position and nebulizer pressures were optimized automatically using the Agilent MP Expert software. Detection limits and limits of quantification for the analyzed elements are calculated.

Phosphorus

The vanaomolybdophosphoric acid colorimetric method [16] was used to determine phosphorus content of acid extractions. Two milliliter of the sample was added to a test tube, followed by 2 ml of a vanadate-molybdate color reagent. The absorbency of the sample was determined at 440 nm.

Statistical analysis

Results of the study were analyzed using analysis of variance. All the statistical tests were performed at 5% level of significance using Sigmastat software. The results were expressed as mean values ± standard deviation.


  Results and Discussion Top


Nutritional value

Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. These are substances needed for growth, metabolism, and for other body functions. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, 45%–65% of calories should come from carbohydrate, 10%–35% of calories should come from protein and 20%–35% of calories should come from fat.

Carbohydrate serves as stored forms of energy as glycogen in liver and muscles. It provides major source of energy and responsible for breaking-down of fatty acids and preventing ketosis.[17] Among four source plants of jīvanti, the highest amount of carbohydrate is observed in Holostemma ada-kodien Schult. and L. reticulata [Graph 1]. Proteins are building blocks of the human body they help in normal growth and development and are responsible for maintenance and repair of body tissue. The other functions of proteins are regulation of body processes and formation of enzymes and hormones. Proteins also aid in the formation of antibodies that enable the body to fight infection. They serve as a major energy supplier.[18] True protein reflects only the nitrogen associated with protein and does not include the nitrogen from nonprotein sources. In the present study, L. reticulata and Holostemma ada-kodien Schult. are found having maximum amount of protein and true protein contents [Graph 1].



Lipids help with brain function, joint mobilization, and even energy production. They also help the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and E.[19] It is reported that vegetable fats and oil lower blood lipids, thereby reducing the occurrence of disease associated with damage of coronary artery.[20] Among four source plants of jīvanti, the highest amount of fat content is found in L. reticulata and W. volubilis (Linn. f.) Stapf [Graph 1].

Energy value

Among the four source plants of jīvanti, W. volubilis is having the highest energy value followed by L. reticulata and Holostemma ada-kodien Schult [Graph 2]. Energy support many functions of the body at work and play. Carbohydrate, proteins, and fats are main sources of energy. Among the three, fat is the most concentrated source of energy because it furnishes more than twice as much energy for a given weight as protein or carbohydrate. Fats have the greatest amount of food energy per mass 9 cal/g. Proteins and most carbohydrates have about 4 cal/g.[21]



Mineral composition

Minerals are naturally occurring inorganic substances with a definite chemical composition and an ordered atomic arrangement. Among the plants, vegetables are the excellent sources of minerals and contribute to the required dietary allowance of these essential nutrients. Minerals are very important and essential ingredients of diet required for normal metabolic activities of body tissues. Out of 92 naturally occurring minerals, 25 are present in living organisms. They are constituent of bones, teeth, blood, muscles, hair, and nerve cells. Vitamins cannot be properly assimilated without the correct balance of minerals.[22]

Iron

D. macraei Lindl. is having maximum iron content among four source plants of Jīvanti [Graph 3]. Iron functions as hemoglobin in the transport of oxygen. In cellular respiration, it functions as essential component of enzymes involved in biological oxidation such as cytochromes c, c1, a1, etc.[23] Iron is required for proper myelination of the spinal cord and white matter of cerebellar folds in the brain and is a cofactor for a number of enzymes involved in neurotransmitter synthesis.[24] Iron is involved in synthesis and packaging of neurotransmitters, their uptake and degradation into other iron-containing proteins which may directly or indirectly alter brain function.[25]



Zinc

Maximum zinc content is found in W. volubilis followed by L. reticulata and Holostemma ada-kodien Schult [Graph 4] Zinc is a component of many metalloenzymes and also a membrane stabilizer and a stimulator of the immune response.[26],[27] Its deficiency leads to loss of appetite and impaired immune function. In more severe cases, zinc deficiency causes hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, impotence, hypogonadism in males, and eye and skin lesions.[28],[29] The high zinc content may be useful in skin diseases and rheumatism.



Manganese

Among the four different source plants of jīvanti, maximum manganese content is observed in W. volubilis and L. reticulata [Graph 5]. Manganese is a cofactor of hydrolase, decarboxylase, and transferase enzymes.[30] It is involved in glycoprotein and proteoglycan synthesis and is a component of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase. Manganese is a co-factor in phosphohydrolases and phosphotransferases involved in the synthesis of proteoglycans in cartilage. Manganese is a part of enzymes involved in urea formation, pyruvate metabolism and the galactotransferase of connective tissue biosynthesis.[31]



Phosphorus

In the present study, amount of phosphorus is found the maximum in L. reticulata and Holostemma ada-kodien Schult [Graph 6]. Phosphorus is located in every cell of the body and is vitally concerned with many metabolic processes, including those involving the buffers in body fluids.[32] It functions as a constituent of bones, teeth, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), phosphorylated metabolic intermediates, and nucleic acids. It serves buffering action, which is phosphate buffers, functions in the formation of high energy compounds, that is, ATP and is involved in the synthesis of phospholipids and phosphoproteins.[23]



Calcium

Highest calcium content is found in W. volubilis followed by L. reticulata [Graph 7]. Calcium contributes to healthy bones and strong teeth. It also assists in various other physical functions of the body like regulation of heartbeat, blood clotting, and nerve-related functions. Calcium plays an important part in nerve-impulse transmission, prevention of colorectal carcinoma and in the mechanism of the neuromuscular system.[33] Reduced extracellular blood calcium increases the irritability of nerve tissue, and very low levels may cause spontaneous discharges of nerve impulses leading to tetany and convulsions.[32]



Vitamins

Vitamins are organic compounds occurring in natural foods, especially in vegetables either as such or as utilizable “precursors.” Vitamins are needed for maintenance of skin, mucous membranes, bones, teeth and hair, vision and reproduction. They help the body to absorb calcium and phosphorous; needed for bone growth and maintenance. Vitamins are involved in blood clotting, normal functioning of nervous system and endocrine glands. They are also needed for the metabolism of macromolecules.[34]

Vitamin A

Among the four source plants of jīvanti, studied for their vitamin content, the highest amount of Vitamin A is observed in L. reticulata followed by W. volubilis [Graph 8]. Vitamin A (retinol) is an essential nutrient needed in small amounts by humans for the normal functioning of the visual system; growth and development; and maintenance of epithelial cellular integrity, immune function, and reproduction.[35]



Vitamin C

In this study, vitamin C content is found the maximum in Holostemma ada-kodien Schult. followed by D. macraei Lindl. and L. reticulata [Graph 9]. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is water-soluble vitamin required in high amount, as its loss is frequent from the body. It participates in reversible oxidation-reduction system. Vitamin C prevents Scurvy disease and also aids in the formation of folic acid derivatives, which are essential for DNA synthesis.[34]




  Conclusions Top


Jīvantī is one of the important and widely used medicinal herbs known as the best wholesome vegetable. Among the four different source plants used in the name of classical drug jīvantī, L. reticulata is found more nutritious. The highest content of protein, fat, energy value phosphorus, and Vitamin A were found in L. reticulata. Among the other three plants, micronutrients such as zinc, manganese, and calcium are more in W. volubilis. Holostemma ada-kodien Schult. is having more amount of carbohydrate and Vitamin C while iron content is high in D. macraei Lindl.

Financial support and sponsorship

This study was financially supported by the Institute for Postgraduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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