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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue Mar 2017, 38 (2)                                                                                                             Back

nstantaneous and historical temperature effects on a-pinene

Antibacterial activity of medicinal plants used in Ayurvedic medicine towards food and water borne pathogens


I. M. Nair1, V. Anju2 and A. A. M. Hatha3*

1School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, P.D. Hills, Kottayam-686 560, India

2Department of Botany, Kuriakose Elias College, Mannanam, Kottayam-686 560, India

3Department of Marine Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, School of Marine Sciences, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin-682 016, India

*Corresponding Author E-mail:




Key words

Antibacterial activity,

Aqueous extracts,

Ayurvedic medicine,

Medicinal plants,

Pathogenic bacteria




Publication Data

Paper received : 17.07.2015

Revised received : 07.06.2016

Re-revised received : 30.06.2016

Accepted : 30.07.2016



Aim: In the emerging scenario of increasing multiple antibiotic resistance among pathogenic bacteria, plant based extracts having antibacterial activity are being explored as a means to check the emergence of drug resistant mutants. In the present study, aqueous extracts from various parts of twenty four different plants used in Ayurvedic medicine were evaluated for their antibacterial activity against water and food borne pathogens such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Vibrio, Aeromonas, Bacillus and Staphylococcus.

Methodology: Antibacterial activity of plant extracts from various parts of twenty four different plants was evaluated by agar well method. Antibiotic sensitivity testing was carried out by Kirby Bauer method. The diameter of inhibition zones was measured in millimetres. Inhibition zone with diameter less than 12 mm were considered as having no antibacterial activity. Diameters between 12 and 16 mm were considered as moderately active, and greater than 16 mm were considered as highly active.


Results: Out of 33 extracts prepared from various officinal parts, 23 extracts showed antibacterial activity ranging from narrow spectrum to broad spectrum. Tamarindus indica, Garcinia gummi-gutta and Allium sativum possessed excellent broad spectrum antibacterial activity. While inhibitory activity against Salmonella was widespread among many plants, some of the plant extracts showed specific activity towards Staphylococcus aureus.


Interpretation: The study revealed that the Gram positive bacteria were more susceptible to crude plant extracts than Gram negative ones. Some of the plant extracts showed superior antibacterial activity when compared to antibiotics. Antibacterial properties of plants analysed might be helpful in discovery of new plant based bactericidal compounds to control drug resistant bacteria.



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