SOME OF THE MEDICINAL PLANTS WITH ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY

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Argyreia  argentea(Convolvulaceae)
Argyreia argentea,
a plant ofbelonging to the family Convolvulaceae,is an evergreen shrub that is mainly found in Chittagong Jessore, Mymensingh, Noakhali, Sylhet and Tangail of Bangladesh and it is widely distributed in Easter India, Bhutan and Nepal (Sarder Nasir Uddin, 2006). It has been widely used by the tribal communities of Chittagong Hill tracts for the treatment of various diseases. The plant is locally known as Bitarak Rupar tola ludi by Chakma and Kajinganj, Naiprabong by Marma of Bangladeshi tribal communities. The plant grows in secondary forest and scrub jungles. It gives flower and fruit during July to October. The plant is used in the treatment of Boils, Gastric, Tumour, Marasmus, Paralysis and Spermaforrhoea (Sarder Nasir Uddin, 2006). Its root and leaves are used for the treatment of nervous disorder, skin infection, gonorrhea and aphrodisiac.

Antibacterial properties of Argyreia argentea methanol stem extract(1mg/disc) was studied on three Gram positive and seven Gram negative bacteria by disc diffusion method and obtained results were compared with the standard antibiotic disc kanamycin (30 μg/disc) (Atiar Rahman et al., 2010). The extract showed zone of inhibition 13, 14 & 10mm against Gram positive bacteria Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis & Bacillus megaterium, respectively, and 15, 14, 13, 10, 14, 12 and 12mm diameter of zone of inhibition against the seven tested Gram negative bacteria such as Streptococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhae, Salmonella para typhae, Pseudomonous sp(I), Pseudomonous sp(II) and Shigella sonnei. In addition, the antifungal potential of the same extract was evaluated to Aspergillus fumigates, Aspergillus flavous, Fusarium equiseti, Altenaria alternate, Aspergillus niger, Colletotrichum corphori fungal strains showing the % inhibition of fungal mycelial growth 0, 44.44, 66.66, 44.44, 0, 75.55% at a concentration of 2 mg/ml of Argyreia argentea stem extract.

Mallotus  philippensis[Lam.] Muell. Arg. Var. philippensis (Euphorbiaceae)
Mallotus philippensis
(Lam.) Muell. Arg., var. philippensis locally known as “Kapilapodi” has been used medicinally for long time throughout India. The genus Mallotus Lour., (Euphorbiaceae) comprises of about 150 species in the world, of which 20 species has been reported from India and 11 species with 2 varieties are reported from Tamil Nadu state alone (Santapau and Henry 1973; Henry et al., 1987).Medicinally, the bark decoction is used for typhoid and meningitis, stomach disorders such as diarrhea, dysentery, wormsand stomachic effect (Baral and Kurmi 2006). The chemical constituents such as betulin, friedelin, kamaladiol-3-acetate, lupeol, tannic acid, 3-hydroxy-D-A-friedooleanan-3-en-2-one, 2β-hydroxy-D-A-friedooleana-3-one and 3α- hydroxy-D-A-friedooleanan-2-one, were reported from the stem bark (Reiko et al., 2008). Only one biological activity such an anti?tumour activity was reported for the compound 3a?Hydroxy?D: Afriedooleanan?2?one isolated from the Stem Bark (Nair and Rao 1993).

Mallotus philippensis(Lam.) Muell. Arg., var. philippensis was analyzed for chemical composition and antimicrobial activity (Jayaraman et al., 2011). Preliminary phytochemical screening of various extracts of the stem revealed the presence of various classes of compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, gum, oil & resins, proteins, phenolic groups, saponins, steroids, tannins and terpenoids. Hexane, chloroform and ethanol extracts of Mallotus philippensis var philippensis stem were prepared and tested for the purpose. To evaluate anti bacterial activity of the extracts the agar well – diffusion was performed against 13 bacterial strains. The antimicrobial activity of the hexane, chloroform and ethanolic stem extract showed concentration?dependent activity against all the tested bacteria with the zone of inhibition ranged from 12?26mm at various concentrations. But only the ethanol extract showed antimicrobial activity against the fungi Aspergillus  flavus andCandida  albicans with the zone of inhibition ranged from 16?22mm at various concentrations.

Mahonia manipurensis Takeda (Berberidaceae)
Mahonia manipurensis
Takeda belongs to the family Berberidaceae. The plant is endemic to the North eastern region of India in the states of Manipur and Nagaland. Although there is merger report about the local used of this plant against diarrhoea, fever and jaundice, however, a number of species of this genus are widely used as folk medicine in different parts of the world. For instance the dried stems of Mahonia bealei and Mahonia fortuner are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine against fever, swelling, inflammation, jaundice, dysentery and constipation. Extract from the stem of Mahonia acanthifolia is given against dysentery, diarrhoea and jaundice by traditional practitioners in Darjeeling Himalaya (Pranay and Ritu 2009). Alkaloids are the main active compounds in Mahonia plants (Ji et al., 2000). Berberine, palmatine and jatrorrhizine are the principal alkaloids found in this genus and these compounds are known to have in vitro antibacterial and antifungal activities (Schiff, 1987).

Mahonia manipurensis crude alkaloid extract was obtained from the stem bark by extracting from 80% of methanol extract. In vitro antibacterial activity of the alkaloid extract was screened against five different pathogenic bacteria i.e.  two species of Gram-negative and three species of Gram-positive bacteria (Neli Lokho Pfoze et al., 2011) Using agar well diffusion method, the alkaloid extract showed significant zone of inhibition against Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus cereus, Enterobacter cloacae, Enterococcus faecalis and one Gram-negativebacterium Shigella flexneri at two different concentrations (5 and 2.5mg/ml). The other Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli were not observed inhibition at these two different concentrations (5 and 2.5mg/ml).Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was carried out using Agar dilution assay (Irith et al., 2008) following the twofold serial dilution. The MIC was determined again all the four bacterial strains that showed positive inhibition and found that the lowest value was exhibited by Bacillus cereus and Enterococcus faecalis each corresponding to 256μg/ml concentration.

Polyalthia longifoliavar. angustifolia (Annonaceae)
Polyalthia longifolia
var. angustifolia is a small medium–sized tree with linear-lanceolate leaves, 1 to 1.5 cm broad, occurring in Sri Lanka and now grown in tropical parts of India on road side and garden for its beautiful appearance (Ghoshet al.,2011).The similar variety of the plant i.e. Polyalthia. longifolia var. pendula has been used in traditional system of medicine for the treatment of fever, skin diseases, diabetes, hypertension and helminthiasis (Wu et al., 1990). A number of biologically active compounds have been isolated from this plant (Hara et al., 1995). The plant extract and isolated compounds were studied for various biological activities like antibacterial activity, cytotoxicity, antifungal activity (Marthanda et al., 2005; Nair and Chanda 2006).

Polyalthia longifolia var. angustifolia stem bark extracts were evaluated for anti bacterial activity against six important pathogenic bacteria viz. Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhi, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella sp.and Staphylococcus aureus (Ghosh et al., 2011) The powdered stem bark extracts were successively extracted with petroleum ether, chloroform, methanol and water using Soxhlet apparatus. The antibacterial activity study was performed by both agar well diffusion and serial dilution methods. The petroleum ether extract was found to exhibit highest activity against all tested bacteria. The inhibitory effect is very similar and comparable with that of standard drug. MIC values indicate that the petroleum ether extract was highly active against B. subtilis (7 μg/ ml) followed by E. coli (10 μg/ml), S. typhi (72 μg/ ml), P.mirabilis (76 μg/ml) P. aeruginosa (83μg/ ml), Klebsiella sp (143 μg/ml) and Staphylococcus aureus (67 μg/ml).

Prosopis cineraria (Linn.) druce (Mimosaceae)
Prosopis cineraria
(Mimosaceae) is a small to moderate sized tree found in the regions of Arabia and various parts of India such as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Tamilnadu. This plant is used in pregnancy as a safeguard against miscarriage. The smoke of the leaves is good for eye troubles. The bark is used as a remedy for rheumatism, cough, common cold asthma and scorpion stings (Bhatacharjee 2001; Rastogi and Mehrota 1995). A new piperidine alkaloid spicigerin, prosogerin E along with gallic acid, pautelin, luteolin and rutin (Hussain and Virmani 1992). Prosogerin A and B were isolated from flowers (Kritikar and Basu 1987).

Antibacterial activity of the stem bark of Prosopis cineraria (Linn.) druce were examined (Velmurugan et al., 2010). The extracts were prepared by continuous hot percolation method with chloroform and methanol. Aqueous extract was prepared by maceration. To evaluate   antibacterial activity of the extracts the agar well diffusion method was performed against 9 bacterial strains. The methanolic and aqueous extracts of the stem bark of Prosopis cineraria exhibited moderate antibacterial activity with all the tested strains of microorganisms at 250μg/ml concentration on comparison with the standard ciprofloxacin.The presence of phytosterols, flavonoids, tannins, phenols, carbohydrates, proteins and aminoacids were detected in the preliminary phytochemical tests.

Bryonopsis laciniosa(Cucurbitaceae)
Bryonopsis laciniosa
is a shrub known as “Shivlingi” in India and it is used commonly as an aperients medicine and tonic. B. laciniosa belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and traditional healers use the leaves and the seeds of this plant for treatment of fevers. It is also taken in impotency and used as a tonic.Whole plant is used to treat adenopathy, ague, asthma, bronchitis, carbuncles, cholera, colic, consumption, convulsions, cough, delirium, fertility, headache, megalospleny, paralysis, phthisis, snake bite. The chloroform extract of B. laciniosa has exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity (Gupta et al., 2003). Analgesic and antipyretic activity of methanol extract of B. laciniosa also has been shown in standard animal models (Sivakumar et al., 2004).

Antimicrobial activity of ethanolic extract of the leaf, stem, seed and fruit of Bryonopsis laciniosa were evaluated (Bonyadi Rad Ehsan et al., 2009). Extract of  leaf, stem, seed and  fruit of  Bryonopsis laciniosa tested against three strains of Gram positive bacteria (Bacillus cerues, Staphylococcus aureus and Micrococcus luteus) and three strains of Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) by agar well diffusion  method. There were fine responses of the organisms to the leaf and stem extracts compared with standard antibiotics, while organisms did not show any susceptibilities to fruit and seed extracts.The extents of the growth inhibition of bacteria were measured for each extract and Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus and Bacillus cerues exhibited significant growth inhibition zone. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) exhibited by stem extract against the tested organisms ranged between 0.156 and 5 mg/ml; and for leaf extracts it varied between 0.625 and 10 mg/ml. Antimicrobial activities of the crude plant extracts were comparable to those of the standard antibiotics. This study concluded that B. Laciniosa used as a traditional medicinal plant has antimicrobial activity against pathogenic microorganisms.

Jatropha curcas(Euphorbiaceae)
Jatropha curcas
is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, that is native to the American tropics, most likely Mexico and Central America. It is cultivated in tropical and subtropical   regions around the world, becoming naturalized in some areas. Jatropha curcas Linn is commonly called “Physic nut”, “Purging nut” or “Pig nut”. Previous studies have reported that the plant exhibits bioactive activities for fever, mouth infections, jaundice, guinea worm sores and joint rheumatism. Fagbenro-Beyioku (1998) investigated and reported the anti-parasitic activity of the sap and crushed leaves of J. curcas. The water extract of the branches also strongly inhibited HIV induced cytopathic effects with low cytotoxicity (Matsuse et al., 1999). Previous works have shown that many Jatropha species possess antimicrobial activity (Aiyela-agbe et al., 2000; Aiyelaagbe et al., 2007).

The in vitro antimicrobial activity of crude ethanolic, methanolic and water extracts of the stem bark of Jatropha curcas were investigated (Igbinosa et al., 2009). The antimicrobial activity of the extract of Jatrophacurcaswere determined by agar-well diffusion method and Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). The extracts exhibited antimicrobial activities with zones of inhibition ranging from 5-12, 8-20 and 0-8 mm for ethanol, methanol and water extracts respectively. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the ethanol extract was between 0.5 and 6.25mgml-1 while that of methanol extract ranged from 0.5 to 10mgml-1.  Again all the extracts exhibited appreciable activity against all the fungal species investigated. The zones of inhibition exhibited by the extracts against the test fungal species ranged between 15 and 18, 15 and 20, 5 and 10mm for ethanol, methanol and water extracts respectively. The ability of the crude stem extracts of J. curcas to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi is an indication of its broad spectrum antimicrobial potential which may be employed in the management of microbial infections.

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