Standardization of the Unani drug – Myristica fragrans Houtt. (Javetri) – with modern analytical techniques
Today, there is a tremendous demand of herbal medicine in the global market and the scarcity of data regarding the parameters and methods employed for assessing the quality of medicines. Aril (Mace) of Myristica fragrans Houtt., known as “Javetri,” belonging to the Myristicaceae family, plays a foremost role in the Unani system of medicine. It contains Myristicin, an active principle of drug isolated by column chromatography, and its structure was established by spectroscopic methods. Different solvent drug extracts posses pharmacological properties like hypocholesteremic, antiinflammatory, anti-diarrheal, chemopreventive action, etc. and hence there is a great need to determine the amount of myristicin present in the different extracts. The proposed method employed the High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) DESAGA Sarstedt Gruppe and pre-coated aluminum sheets of silica gel developed with 100% chloroform to quantitatively determine the myristicin concentrations present in various extracts that are responsible for their different pharmacological actions. An attempt was made through instrumental analysis for quantitative estimations that are widely accepted for the quality assessment of herbal drugs such as TLC and HPTLC studies, etc. Physicochemical parameters, microbial load, aflatoxin and heavy metals and fluorescence studies were also carried out to lay down the standard for genuine drug. HPTLC studies were carried out in petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol and methanol extracts and detected at 254 nm. Estimated high amount of myristicin in the petroleum ether extract w.r.t. the other extracts was confirmed by spectroscopy. The present paper describes the isolation, characterization and quantification of myristicin along with chemical standardization in order to develop standard parameters for the genuine drug.