Pharmacognostic And Physicochemical Evaluation Of Averrhoa carambola L. Fruits.

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Department of Botany (Herbal Sciences), Birla College, Kalyan.

Averrhoa carambola L. (Oxalidaceae) also known as star fruit is cultivated extensively in India and China. In India the ripe fruit is administered to halt haemorrhages, to relieve bleeding haemorrhoids. The dried fruit or the juice may be taken to counteract fever. A salve made of the fruit is employed to relieve eye afflictions. In Brazil, the carambola is recommended as diuretic in Kidney bladder complaints. In Chinese Materia Medica it is stated, Its action is to quench thirst, to the salivary secretion, hence to ally fever . In Ayurveda, the ripe fruit is considered as digestible, tonic strengthening and causes biliouness. The dried fruit is also used in fever; it is cooling and possesses antiscorbutic properties. It is considered as one of the best Indian cooling medicines. However, scientific information on the pharmacognostic, physical and chemical characteristics of the fruit is scanty.

The objective of the present study was to evaluate various pharmacognostic standards like macroscopy, microscopy, ash values, microscopical characteristics of powdered fruit and chemical and microchemical tests analysis of Averrhoa carambola L. fruits. The fruit was
characterized for its physical properties like fresh weight, dry weight, moisture content, number of seeds etc. The fruit was also subjected to chemical analysis for proteins, reducing sugars, total sugars, chlorophyll, oxalic acid and amino acid content. The chemical and microchemical tests performed on the powder showed presence of saponins, tannins and alkaloids. The pH of the fruits increased with maturity. Reducing sugar and total sugar content increased with ripening of fruit. However, amino acid content decreased from young fruit to ripe fruit.

Key words: - Averrhoa carambola L., pharmacognostic properties, physical characters, chemical analysis