Pharmacological Screening of Various Ethnomedicinally Important Plants for their Antibacterial Activities
Medicinal plants have a long history of use and their uses are widespread in both developing and developed countries. Medicinal plants represent a rich source of antimicrobial agents. Considering the vast potentiality of plants as a source for antimicrobial drugs with reference to antibacterial agents, a systematic investigation was undertaken to screen different ethnomedicinally important plants for their antibacterial activities. Different parts of experimental plants i.e. Aloe vera, Annona squamosa, Cressa cretica, Mangifera indica, Momordica dioica, Nerium indicum and Prosopis juliflora were washed with running tap water and air dried. These air dried parts were then homogenized to fine powder. The antimicrobial activity of 100% methanol extract was individually tested against Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus coagulans and Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli, using the well method and disc diffusion method. Ciprofloxacin was used as a standard drug. The plants Aloe vera, Annona squamosa, Cressa cretica, Mangifera indica, Momordica dioica, Nerium indicum and Prosopis juliflora showed significant antibacterial activities against Bacillus coagulans and Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli. The results of the present study support the folkloric usage of the studied plants and suggest that some of the plant extracts possess compounds with antimicrobial properties that can be further explored for antimicrobial activity. This antibacterial study of the plant extracts demonstrated that folk medicines can be as effective as modern medicines, suggests that they represent an economic and safe alternative to treat infectious diseases.