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Physicochemical, phytochemical, and nutritional profiles of root powder of Asparagus racemosus (Willd) of Sri Lankan origin
Y.A.U.D. Karunarathne, L.D.A.M. Arawwawala, A.P.G. Amarasinghe, T.R. Weerasooriya, U.K.A. Samarasinha

Abstract
Asparagus racemosus Willd is one of the well-known plants which has abundant medicinal effects. The present study aimed to standardize the roots of Sri Lankan grown A. racemosus for the first time by the determination of physicochemical, phytochemical and nutritional profiles using WHO guidelines and standard protocols. The analysis of physicochemical parameters showed that the roots of A. racemosus contained 9.7 ±0.2% total ashs, 4.4 ±0.2% water-soluble ash and 0.5 ±0.0% acid insoluble ash. The levels of tested heavy metals were below the WHO acceptable limits and harmful microorganisms were not present. Saponins, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, phenols and steroids were present in the root extract. Twelve prominent spots bearing Rf values of 0.03, 0.05, 0.08, 0.11, 0.17, 0.19, 0.27, 0.41, 0.49, 0.67, 0.81 and 0.93 were present in the TLC fingerprint profile of dichloromethane extract of A. racemosus root. Percentage of crude protein was 7.8 ± 0.2%, the total fat was less than 1%, crude fiber percentage was 28.9 ± 0.6% and carbohydrate was 37.2%. Energy value of A. racemosus was 180 kcal/100g. In conclusion, this is the first report on physicochemical, phytochemical and nutritional profiles of Sri Lankan grown A. racemosus. Further data gathered from this study can be used as a reference standard for the roots of A. racemosus of Sri Lankan origin.

Keywords: Asparagus racemosus, phytochemical, nutrition, thin layer chromatography