Raman Spectroscopic technique as an effective method for detecting adulteration in an Ayurvedic fungal medicine Phansomba (Phellinus merrillii)


  • Prasad Y. Lamrood
  • Sachin D. Ralegankar




Phansomba (Phellinus merrillii) is a traditional fungal medicine used in the western parts of Maharashtra for tooth ache, excessive salivation in children. It has also exhibited prominent in vitro anticancer activity against human cervical carcinoma cell lines. Over the past 20 years it was observed that availability of this fungal medicine became scanty and irregular mainly due to overexploitation and deforestation and more often a ‘look alike’adulter-ants have been commonly sold by the name phansomba. Therefore, the au-thenticity of this medicine is in question. Hence, the samples sold under the name phansomba were collected from various localities of Wersten Ghats and screened using Raman spectroscopy initially at range between 268–1773cm-1and later at a narrow range between 487–1436cm-1. The spectra of these samples were compared with the spectra of genuine phansomba (Ph. merrillii) sample. Later on, after transformation the spectral data into a bina-ry matrix neighbor joining and maximum likelihood tree were constructed. Similarly, the data was subjected to multivariate analysis using PCA and MDS. The results of these analysis indicated a clear separation of genuine phansomba samples and the adulterated samples. It was further revealed that the RAMAN bands at 487, 528, 786, 892, 915, and 1436 cm-1 are charac-teristic of Phellinus, particularly Ph. merrillii. The study, therefore, suggested that with the use of RAMAN spectra adulteration may easily be identified in phansomba samples by screening them at a range of 487–1436cm-1. We therefore, suggest that this range may serve as a signature range for Phel-linus and such specific spectral ranges may also be established for other herbal drugs and a good data base may be created.






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