Antimicrobial activity of southern African medicinal plants with dermatological relevance

Mabona, Unathi
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Over 100 southern African medicinal plants with dermatological relevance have been identified, yet very limited scientific research to support claims for their effectiveness have been undertaken. With this in mind, a study was designed to investigate the antimicrobial properties of southern African medicinal plants used to treat skin inflictions, with specific emphasis on dermatologically relevant pathogens. Organic and aqueous extracts (132) were prepared from 47 plant species and screened for antimicrobial properties using the micro-titre plate dilution method. Most of the plant extracts demonstrated pathogen specific antimicrobial effects with a few exhibiting broad-spectrum activities. Plants demonstrating notable (MIC values ≤ 1.00 mg/ml) broad-spectrum activities against the tested pathogens include the organic extracts of Aristea ecklonii, Chenopodium ambrosioides, Diospyros mespiliformis, Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Gunnera perpensa, Harpephyllum caffrum, Hypericum perforatum, Melianthus comosus, Terminalia sericea and Warburgia salutaris. The organic extract of E. elephantina, a plant reportedly used to treat acne vulgaris, demonstrated noteworthy antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes (MIC value of 0.05 mg/ml). Diospyros mespiliformis reported for its traditional use to treat ringworm, also displayed noteworthy antimicrobial activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes (MIC 0.10 mg/ml) and Microsporum canis (MIC 0.50 mg/ml). The study also focused on finding a scientific rationale for the traditional use of plant combinations to treat skin diseases. Five different plant combinations (1:1) were investigated for potential interactive properties, which were identified through ƩFIC calculations. Since the 1:1 combination of Pentanisia prunelloides and Elephantorrhiza
Thesis (M.Pharm.)--University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Health Sciences, 2013.