Natural excipients can serve as alternative to synthetic products because of local accessibility, biodegradability, eco-friendly nature and cost effectiveness as compared to synthetic products. Therefore, it is a current need to explore natural excipients that can be used as an effective alternative excipient for the formulation of pharmaceutical dosage forms. Adansonia digitata (Malvaceae) has been traditionally used as febrifuge, antiasthmatic and also in the treatment of dysentery, smallpox, and measles. Reports have indicated that mucilage of the leaves of the plant is edible and nontoxic; hence, the present study is an attempt of isolation and evaluation of mucilage obtained from leaves of Adansonia digitata as suspending agent. Various physicochemical as well as suspending agent properties of mucilage were studied. Mucilage obtained from leaves has shown comparable results with sodium carboxy methyl cellulose. 1. Introduction Natural polymers have been used in different pharmaceutical formulations. They are easily available, nontoxic, biodegradable, and cost effective to be used as pharmaceutical excipients [1, 2]. In recent years, plant-derived polymers such as mucilages can occur in high amounts in different parts of the plant and have evoked tremendous interest due to their diverse pharmaceutical applications such as diluent, binder, disintegrant in tablets, thickeners in oral liquids, protective colloids in suspensions, gelling agents in gels, and bases in suppositories. They are also used in cosmetics, textiles, paints, and paper making. These hydrocolloid natural gums and mucilage are biocompatible, cheap, and easily available and are preferred to semisynthetic and synthetic excipients because of their lack of toxicity, low cost, easy availability, soothing action, and nonirritant nature. Demand for these substances is increasing, and new sources are being developed. India, because of its strategic location, geographically and environmentally, has been traditionally a good source for such products amongst the Asian countries . Mucilage is a water soluble, sticky, and gummy substance obtained from certain plants. In plants, it acts as a membrane thickener and food reserve. Gums swell in water to form slippery and aqueous colloidal dispersions. Mucilage occurs in nearly all classes of plants in various parts of the plant, including marsh mallows, flaxes, and certain seaweeds in relatively small percentages and other substances such as tannins and alkaloids are also occasionally found . Gums are widely employed in the pharmacy as
B. N. Sachin, G. Vidyasagar, G. J. Anil, R. B. Atul, and P. Kalpen, “Isolation and evaluation of mucilage of Artocarpushetero phyllus as tablet binder,” Journal of Chem Pharma Reserch, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 161–163, 2010.
R. Kumar, M. B. Patil, S. R. Patil, and M. S. Paschapur, “Evaluation of Abelmoschus esculentus mucilage as suspending agent in paracetamol suspension,” International Journal of PharmTech Research, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 658–665, 2009.
M. L. Woolfe, M. F. Chaplin, and G. Otchere, “Studies on the mucilages extracted from okra fruits (Hibiscus esculentus L.) and baobab leaves (Adansonia digitata L.),” Journal of Science Food Agriculture, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 519–520, 1977.
P. Khullar, R. K. Khar, and S. P. Agrawal, “Isolation and characterization of mucilage from Butea monosperma (lam.) bark,” Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, vol. 24, no. 11, pp. 1095–1099, 1998.
R. Kumar, N. Rajarajeshwari, and V. B. N. Swamy, “Isolation and evaluation of Borassus flabellifer mucilage as a natural suspending agent,” International Journal of PharmTech Research, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 1614–1630, 2012.
V. Senthil and D. Sripreethi, “Formulation and evaluation of paracetamol suspension from Trigonella foenum mucilage,” Journal of Advanced Pharmacy Education & Research, vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 225–233, 2011.