ISOLATION OF β-SITOSTEROL FROM ETHANOL EXTRACT OF AERIAL PARTS OF BAUHINIA PURPUREA AND EVALUATION FOR ANTIHYPERLIPIDEMIC ACTIVITY *N. Neelima and M. Sudhakar Bauhinia purpurea is a flowering plant. General phytochemical screening of the aerial parts of Bauhinia purpurea revealed the presence of steroids, terpenes, phenolic compounds, saponins, fatty acids, alkaloids. The aim of this study is to identify and characterize the bioactive principle from the aerial parts of the plant. It has wide folk medicinal use. For isolation of the compound, the dried aerial parts powder of Bauhinia purpurea was subjected to hot extraction with ethanol; this extract was subjected to chromatography. Isolated compound were purified by chloroform. The isolation and purification afforded white crystalline powder which was subjected to physical, chemical and spectral identification by IR, 1H‐NMR, 13C‐NMR and GC‐MS. The compound was concluded as β‐sitosterol. In the present study after the isolation, the ethanol extract of unripe pods and leaves of Bauhinia purpurea was evaluated for antihyperlipidemic activity in cholesterol high fat diet (CHFD) induced hyperlipidemia. Hyperlipidemia was induced by giving high cholesterol diet in standard rat chow diet for thirty days. The groups of rats selected for the study were treated with atorvastatin, ethanol extract of unripe pods and ethanol extract of leaves daily for the whole period. Changes in body weight and the analysis of serum lipids were carried out at the end of the study. There was a marked decrease in body weight, total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) levels. Also there was a significant increase in high density lipoprotein levels after the treatment with Bauhinia purpurea extracts. Ethanol extract of leaves showed a marked effect over body weight reduction and also had a significant effect on the lipoprotein profile. There is a lowered atherogenic index, TC: HDL-c and LDL: HDL-c ratios in the extract treated groups. The present work indicated that Bauhinia purpurea extracts significantly suppressed the CHFD induced hyperlipidemia in rats, suggesting the antihyperlipidemic and antiatherogenic potential of the extracts. Further studies are needed to characterize the phytoconstituents responsible for the study. International Journal Of Pharmacy 2249-1848 2012-10-01 4 806-811 Copyright (c) Pharma Scholars. All rights reserved 2013