North Sumatra is a medicinal plant rich area in Indonesia consisting of thousands of therapeutic plants1. Much work has been done on ethno-medicinal plants in this region1, 2. These plants represents rich source of antimicrobial agents and scientists have used different extracts from these plants as herbal medicines to avoid side effects of commercial antibiotics3.
In a study conducted by Indonesian scientists, they have characterized 2 potential medicinal plants whose methanol extracts have potential antibacterial and antifungal properties4. These plants were; Premna pubescens. blume, commonly known as bebuas and Centella asiatica, commonly known as Asiatic Pennywort.
Premna pubescens. Blume is a shrub of about 7 to 10 m height. Various names are bebuas and buasbuas in Indonesia. It has been used as treat catching cold, increase body strength, increase breast milk, overcome warm infection, and also to increase appetite5.
Centella asiatica is commonly known by Pegagan, Asiatic Pennywort, North Sumatera Indonesian Pennywort, Luei Gong Gen, Takip, kohol, Antanan, Pegagan, Pegaga, Vallarai Kula kud, Bai Bua Bok and Brahmi. Indonesian use it improve mental ability6.
Scientists conducted this study to investigate in vitro antimicrobial activity of these 2 plants against main pathogens. The idea was to attain some potent, less toxic and safe antimicrobial agents from natural sources for mankind beneficial4.
For this purpose, the organic solvent plant extracts are tested on the various microorganisms including bacteria and fungi by using agar diffusion technique.
Authors of study mentioned:
“We compared the antibacterial and antifungal effects of the methanol extracts of both plants. C. asiatica methanol extract were more effective as an antifungal than P. pubescens where C. asiatica effective inhibits Aspergillus and fusarium growth but P. pubescens is more effective in inhibiting penicillium growth. P. pubescens was more effective as an antibacterial than C. asiatica. Either Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria, Premna’s efficacy as an antibacterial is much better than C. asiatica. As such, it help us in determining the development of bioactive compounds from C. asiatica as antifungal and P. pubescens as antibacterial.”
It was obtained from results that both plants showed the antimicrobial activity as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal against tested pathogens including antibiotic resistant strains. The inhibition zone length was measured in mm. the lowest and highest values of inhibition activity i.e. MIC values were calculated which confirmed the above mentioned facts.
Further it is necessary to determine the toxicity of the active constituents, their side effects and pharmacokinetic properties.
Written by: Rabeeia
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17 November, 2019