Podophyllum: Classification,Identification test,Adulterants, Medicinal Uses and MCQs

Podophyllum: Classification,Identification test,Adulterants, Medicinal Uses and MCQs


1. Classification:

• Kingdom: plantae (plants)
• Subkingdom: tracheobionta (vascular plants)
• Superdivision : spermatophyta (seed plants)
• Division: magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
• Class: magnoliopsida (dicotyledons)
• Subclass: magnoliidae
• Order: ranunculales
• Family: berberidaceae (barberry family)
• Genus: podophyllum L. (mayapple)


2. Formation:

• Desoxypodophyllotoxin → podophyllotoxin →(oxidation) podophyllotoxone.(reversible step)
• Podophyllin which is the active chemical constituent of podophyllum is prepared by the making its alcoholic extract and pouring it into the water. After that, collect and dry the gain precipitate.

3. Sources:

• The botanical name of podophyllum is Podophyllum hexandrum.
• The biological source of it is its dried rhizomes and roots.
• It is also known as mayapple, American mandrake, wild mandrake and ground lemon.
4. Chemical constituents:
• The main chemical constituent of podophyllum is resin.
• It is also known as podophyllin.
• The amount of podophyllin or resin present in American podophyllum is 2-8% and in Indian podophyllum it is about 6-12%.
• In roots C18 compounds derivetives also active chemical constituents.
• Other chemical constituents are podophyllotoxin(0.25%), beta-peltatin(0.33%) and alpha-peltatin(0.25%).
• In roots ,small amount of 4’-demethylpodophyllotoxin and its glucosides are present.
• It also contain desoxypodophyllotoxin and podophyllotoxone.

5. Identification test:

• 0.2 gm of Finely powdered sample + dissolved in 10 ml of KOH → formation of yellow solution → turns to dark on standing → acidify with HCl → precipitation of resin takes place.
• 0.4 gm powder sample + 2 ml of ethanol + 0.5 ml of KOH → shake gently → allow to stand → formation of stiff jelly .
• 10 mg of powdered sample + 2 ml of ethanol + 1 drop of ferric chloride → deep and dark green colour → solution appears black in reflected light.
• 10 mg of powdered sample + 1 ml of ethanol + 4 ml of water + 1 ml of sulfuric acid → cool → formation of orange to brownish red color .

6. Adulterants:

Rhizome of A. latifolia and P. emodi are the common adulterant of podophyllum.

7. Uses:

• 10 to 25 % suspension in tincture of benzoin or if applied as a 2 to 4 % gel to the affected area helps to treat warts caused by human papillomavirus.
• It is used to treat acute diarrhea in children.
• It has purgative property.
• It is also used to treat small – cell lung cancer and testicular cancer.
• It is used to treat lymphomas and leukaemias.


1. What is the botanical name of podophyllum?
(a) Podophyllum hexandrum
(b) Asciepias tuberose
(c) Cobaea scandens
(d) Physalis franchetti

2. What is the biological source of podophyllum?
(a) root
(b) Stem
(c) Rhizome
(d) Both a and c

3. Which type of extract is used in the formation of podophyllin?
(a) Aqueous
(b) Alcoholic
(c) Butane hash oil
(d) Ice

4. What is the chief chemical constituent of podophyllum?
(a) Resin
(b) Vincristine
(c) Protopine
(d) Scillaren

5. What is the adulterant of podophyllum?
(a) Crystal violet
(b) Indigo dye
(c) A. latifolia
(d) Prussian blue

6. What are the chemical constituents of podophyllum?
(a) Podophyllin
(b) Podophyllotoxin
(c) Alpha-peltatin
(d) All of the above

7. Podophyllum is used to treat which disease?
(a) Diabetes
(b) Rheumatoid arthritis
(c) Asthma
(d) Cancer

8. Podophyllum has which type of property?
(a) Purgative
(b) Antiseptic
(c) Anti-malarial
(d) All of the above

9. What is the amount of podophyllin present in Indian podophyllum?
(a) 5-6%
(b) 9-10%
(c) 6-12%
(d) 8-9%

10. What is the amount of alpha-peltatin present in podophyllum?
(a) 0.25%
(b) 0.15%
(c) 0.13%
(d) 0.90%


1. (a)
2. (d)
3. (b)
4. (a)
5. (c)
6. (d)
7. (d)
8. (a)
9. (c)
10. (a)


Evans W.C, Editors. Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy. New York , Saunders Elsevier; 2009, p.424.

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