Ayurvedic texts have introduced several substitutes for the herbs which are either less available or not available. It is documented that there are more than 350 substitutes in the Ayurvedic texts. Out of which Puskaramula (Inularacemosa root) is a high altitude plant introduced in to therapeutics by Charka (500 BC) for the management of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. For various reasons the availability of this herb has become a problem at later times. It is Bhavamisra (16 AD) who was a pioneer in identifying suitable substitutes for the original herbs, introduced Kushta (Saussurea lappa root) as the substitute for Pushkaramula. Later, Yogaratnakara (17 AD) added Erandamula (Ricinus communis root) as another substitute. Author of this paper earlier identified and reported the chemical and pharmacological similarities of Pushkaramula and Kushta (Sastry et al., 1998). In the present study an attempt has been made to find out whether there are any pharmacognostic similarities between the three plants or not. The results are suggestive that out of the three herbs studied Pushkarmaula & Kushta have comparable microscopic similarities while EM is different from both. This paper emphasizes the need for the identification of substitutes basing on the text in place of endangered or extinct medicinal plants.
PHARMACOGNOSTIC STUDIES ON THE SUBSTITUTES OF PUSHKARAMULA (INULA RACEMOSA)