Jayaratne R. K.1*, Hettiarachchi P. L.2 and Abeysekera A.3
1. Bandaranaike Memorial Ayurvedic Research Institute, Nawinna, Maharagama. Sri Lanka.
2. Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka,
Mihintale, Sri Lanka.
3. Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Science, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri
Nardostachys jatamansi (Caprifoliaceae), known as Jatamansa, is an important plant in Ayurveda and traditional medicine in Sri Lanka. The dried rhizome of the plant is an important ingredient in many drugs. This plant does not grow in Sri Lanka. The practice has been to import it from India However, currently its export has been banned as it has become an endangered species in India . An island wide market survey carried out by authors revealed, that the material sold as Jatamansa is substituted by materials other than its recommended substitute, Valeriana wallichii to an extent ranging from 66% to 100%. Substitution with materials other than recommended substitute might adversely affect the efficacy and safety of the drugs manufactured. As V. wallichii also does not grow naturally in Sri Lanka, the present study was carried out to compare pharmacognostic properties of V. mooni the only species of Valeriana found in Sri Lanka with N. jatamansi to evaluate the possibility of replacing N. jatamansi with V. mooni and to establish comparative quality standards of the two plant species which will enable to identify raw material at the point of purchasing.
Preliminary phytochemical screening indicated the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids and hydrolysable tannins in both species. The TLC analysis of the ethanol extract of the rhizomes, and GCMS analysis of their essential oils indicated that both species possess similar chemical compounds. The pharmacologically important principal sesquiterpene Jatamansone, was found even in higher amount in V. mooni (25.6%) than in N. jatamansi (8.9%). However clinical trials are needed to decide on the possibility of substituting Indian N. jatamansi with local V. mooni. The findings of the present study have added a new member to the potential list of medicinal plants and identified as an important endangered plant with the need for conservation, hence develop suitable propagation systems and cultivation.
Key words : Valeriana mooni, Nardostachys jatamansi, pharmacognosy, chemical analysis, jatamansone